That Skinny Chick Can Bake
A plateful of baked Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Home » 300+ Entree Recipes » 30+ Meatless Recipes » Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells were Katie’s request for her birthday dinner this month. Filled with ricotta, spinach, and mozzarella, these stuffed shells are cheesy and comforting!

Baked Pasta dishes fill the house with an incredible aroma as they cook. Just add a simple salad and a loaf of bread for a tasty meal!

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells in a white ceramic casserole dish

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Katie is a self-proclaimed picky eater. And I’m here to second that! This is one of the few dishes she will eat that contains actual vegetables. I found the stuffed shells recipe on the back of a box of pasta many years ago. I started added a box of frozen, chopped spinach to the filling and this dish became one of our favorite meatless meals.

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells ready for the oven

How to Make Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spinach

These stuffed pasta shells are vegetarian and make a terrific, hearty meatless meal. Like lasagna, these stuffed shells freeze well, so you can keep a stash in the freezer for those nights you don’t have time to make dinner.

  • I make these with jumbo pasta shells, but if your market doesn’t have them in stock you can substitute manicotti shells, which are tubes of pasta. It will take more than one box of manicotti to use up all the filling.
  • A box of frozen chopped spinach is what makes these stuffed shells with spinach. Defrost the spinach in the fridge overnight or place the box in a bowl of warm water to hurry the process along. It must be squeezed dry so the filling isn’t watery. You can use a potato ricer (though it’s hard to clean!) to squeeze the spinach dry or place it in a colander and press the liquid out, but I often use my clean hands to do the squeezing.
  • The process is easy. Cook the pasta, drain and separate the shells on a baking sheet while you prepare the filling. The pasta will stick together if you drain and leave it in the pan. Mix the filling ingredients, then stuff, place in a casserole dish with some marinara or leftover spaghetti sauce and bake.
  • I like to keep a stash of leftover spaghetti sauce in my freezer for recipes like this. If it’s only 2 cups, it’s no big deal, even if the recipe calls for 3 cups. It will still be delicious. I also use it to make a quick Chicken Parmesan.
  • If you can’t find ricotta, you can substitute cottage cheese. You might consider blending the cottage cheese to make it more of a ricotta consistency.

Do You Cook Pasta Before Baking?

Generally, the answer is yes. Pasta needs a lot of liquid to go from hard to al dente (the perfect “to the tooth” texture). If you use no-boil lasagna noodles, they don’t require quite as much liquid to rehydrate.

Do You Cover Pasta When Baking?

Again, follow the recipe, but covering with a sheet of greased foil will keep the dish from drying out while in the oven. If you want the cheese topping to brown slightly, the foil can be removed during the last 10-15 minutes of baking.

More Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:

You Might Like:

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. See the details here.

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells | A comforting casserole the whole family will adore!

The Recipe: Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and spinach and topped with marinara.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings


  • 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling over the dish
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and cool while preparing the filling.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Combine cheeses, eggs, seasonings, and spinach. Mix well. Spread a thin layer of sauce over bottom of baking dish. Fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling and place in prepared dish. Cover shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes or till hot and bubbly.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1393mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g


Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

27 comments on “Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells”

  1. I have to make this Liz, looks amazing!

  2. When my friend’s mom made these, they were more popular than pizza at her birthday parties! Always a great way to get kids eating veggies

  3. We love pasta with spinach at our house too and I am always looking for variations so we are not eating the same dishes over and over. I definitely will have to make this version.

  4. I love stuffed shells and I can skip the meat, too!

  5. Years ago, before the airlines really cared about luggage weight, I bought a gorgeous ceramic jar from Bloomies kitchen shop, in NYC. I loved the jar and really hadn’t thought twice about what it contained: extra large pasta shells. After hanging onto them for a few years, I made something similar with them but they had dried out and basically disintegrated on cooking! Thank goodness it was just for JT and I. Your recipe makes me want to find these shells and cook them again, so gorgeous. JT would love it too! Too bad we’re ending our séjourn in Paris and not Milan! On the plus side, Toronto has the largest Italian population outside of Italy (other than aroma and Milan, I believe) so I’m sure I can find them.

  6. I am also a picky, though somewhat adventurous eater. I would definitely be up for these without the tomato sauce, that’s one thing I have never liked.

  7. That’s an interesting touch to the usual pasta, dear! Great for potluck too! xoxo

  8. Stuffed shells is a favorite here too Liz! Funny, it’s my picky eater that requests them too:@)

  9. This looks amazingly delicious and comforting!

  10. #Yummy! Thank you Katie (and Happy Birthday) for inspiring this keeper recipe. Love spinach, ricotta and mozzarella =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.