Go Back
+ servings
Square shot of spinach stuffed shells
Print Pin
5 from 13 votes

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach Stuffed Shells are an easy and healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that can be prepared in advance!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword spinach stuffed shells, Stuffed Shells Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 329.5kcal
Author Blair Lonergan



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch dish with cooking spray. Pour half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of the dish. Save the rest of the sauce for later.
    Marinara sauce spread in the bottom of a baking dish
  • Prepare pasta according to package instructions for al dente; drain and rinse under cold water.
    Box of jumbo pasta shells
  • Squeeze all of the liquid out of the spinach. I like to use a dish towel for this, and just keep squeezing until you wring out as much water as possible. Place spinach in a large bowl.
    How to squeeze spinach dry in a towel
  • Add ricotta, 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil, salt, and garlic powder to the bowl with the spinach and stir really well with a fork to combine. Add a pinch of optional nutmeg or some ground black pepper, if desired. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture.
    Filling mixture for spinach stuffed shells with ricotta cheese in a large mixing bowl
  • Arrange stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish, open side up. Pour remaining half of the marinara sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of mozzarella.
    Overhead shot of spinach stuffed shells topped with cheese before baking
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil cover during the final 5-10 minutes to allow the cheese to get a little bit crispy on top.
    Close up image of spinach stuffed shells in a baking dish



  • For spinach stuffed shells with meat sauce, simply add ½ lb. of cooked ground beef or ground Italian sausage to the marinara sauce.
  • To make these spinach stuffed shells without ricotta, you can substitute with cottage cheese instead. If using cottage cheese, I recommend straining off some of the liquid first or using a whipped cottage cheese so that you don't end up with a watery filling.
  • Spinach stuffed shells with white sauce: substitute Alfredo sauce for the marinara sauce, or try this recipe.
  • If you prefer, you can use fresh spinach for this recipe in lieu of the frozen chopped spinach — but you will need a lot of fresh baby spinach! The beauty of frozen chopped spinach is that it’s already condensed, so you get a large amount of spinach at a very inexpensive price — and you don’t need to cook it before adding it to the ricotta mixture. A 10 oz package of frozen spinach is the equivalent of about a 1 pound bunch of fresh spinach. So, for this recipe, you’ll need about 2 lbs. of fresh spinach. If you’re buying fresh spinach, it’s wise to buy more than you think you’ll need because some bunches will need the stalks trimmed off and that will decrease the weight before cooking. You’ll also need to cook the fresh spinach, drain it, and squeeze out the excess liquid before adding it to the cheese mixture.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 329.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 31.5g | Protein: 20.8g | Fat: 13.7g | Saturated Fat: 7.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 58.1mg | Sodium: 891.8mg | Potassium: 101.6mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 6.3g