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jumbo shells stuffed with cheese and topped with marinara and fresh basil

Cheesy Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells are filled with 3 types of cheese, marinara sauce and spinach. They are comforting, easy to make and a cozy weeknight dinner! Hello comfort food classic!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy, dinner, pasta, stuffed shells, weeknight dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 535kcal


  • 20-25 jumbo pasta shells*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 oz.) or 1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 16 oz. Italian Sausage (spicy/hot) optional
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil
  • 4 cups chopped fresh baby spinach (pat dry with paper towels)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Boil water for jumbo shells and cook shells al dente (about 8-9 minutes), drain and set aside on parchment paper to cool. (If making with Italian Sausage, cook the sausage now and set aside in a bowl).
  • Heat olive oil in pan for 30 seconds on medium heat and then add in garlic, stir for 30 more seconds. Then add in dry, chopped spinach, stir and cook for 2 minutes or until leaves wilt and turn bright green. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, spinach mixture, egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, garlic powder and salt and pepper until combined. Line 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce into the bottom on a 9x13 inch oven safe baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a heaping Tbsp. of the spinach/ricotta mixture and place in dish. *If using Italian sausage, put ground sausage in first, then cheese mixture on top.
  • Cover the shells with the leftover red sauce and bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, top with additional mozzarella cheese and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with Parmesan sprinkled on top!



  • *Jumbo Shells: always boil off a few extra shells just in case some shells tear in the cooking process. The 12 oz. box is plenty. There are usually a couple of broken ones in the box so boil extra!
  • You can sub ground turkey for the Italian sausage is desired, or leave out the meat completely. 
  • *Be sure dry your spinach because you don't want any water from the spinach leaves to mix with the hot oil in your pan when you begin the wilting step!
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll's Korner makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Serving: 3shells | Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 362mg | Iron: 2mg