Home Recipes Tasty Thursday: Spinach Stuffed Shells

Tasty Thursday: Spinach Stuffed Shells

by Nellie

Easy Spinach

Easy Spinach Stuffed Shells

I love pasta, to an extent.

I make pasta a lot in the house because my husband loves it and can eat it everyday but usually after 3 days I tap out. I simply can’t eat anymore pasta!

This is definitely an exception.

I learned how to make stuffed shells from my sister in law many many moons ago. I dare to say 10 years ago because I am pretty sure my husband and I weren’t even engaged then. I remember going to Virginia to visit her and my nephew and he introducing me to shells for the first time.


Like a great sister in law she showed me exactly how to make it, because honestly the whole notion of stuffed shells sounded like it was way beyond my culinary capabilities. I would learn that day that it was way easier than it seems and the end result looks phenomenal.


It really a matter of mixing different ingredients and stuffing (spooning) the mixture into the shells for baking. I have done stuffed shells with ground beef, cheese only, & ground turkey. Today’s recipe is filled with 70% spinach and 30% lowfat ricotta cheese. I originally found this recipe on SkinnyMom.com, and as usual I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made due with what I had. πŸ™‚



What I loved the most about this recipe was that it was definitely mostly spinach. It pairs perfectly with a leafy spring salad and it is a rather quick meal, prep time for me was really no more than 20 minutes! The original recipe calls for 2.5 cups of meat sauce but since I am not a sauce fan I really only used a 1/2 cup of regular sauce.

Prep time: 18 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving size: 3 stuffed shells


  • 12 oz box jumbo shells pasta
  • 10 oz bag frozen spinach
  • 8 oz part-skim Ricotta cheese
  • ΒΌ cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp low moisture, part-skim, shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2Β½ cupsΒ Skinny Meat Pasta Sauce


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add pasta shells to boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until almost al dente.
  3. Drain pasta shells and spread pasta shells onto a sheet of wax paper to dry.
  4. Place spinach in microwave and cook for 5-6 minutes as directed on package.
  5. Drain spinach and make sure to remove all of the moisture from spinach until it is dry.
  6. In a medium sized bowl, mix spinach, fat-free ricotta cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
  7. Using a 9×13 casserole dish, spoon a small amount of Skinny Spaghetti and Meat Sauce to cover the bottom of dish.
  8. Next, fill pasta shells with spinach mixture by using a spoon to place mixture inside each pasta shell.
  9. Place filled pasta shells face up into casserole dish.
  10. Top filled pasta shells with Skinny Spaghetti Meat Sauce and sprinkle reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese on top.
  11. Heat pasta shells in oven for 15-20 minutes and serve hot.

Have you ever tried stuffed shells? What kind of version have you made?

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Allie April 17, 2014 - 6:09 am

As an Italian from a large Italian family (is there any other kind?) I’ve been eating pasta since birth. It’s served at every single meal I’ve ever had at a relatives house and we even have it at Thanksgiving! When I was pregnant with the twins, I made my aunts show me all the classic recipes – sauce, meatballs, and stuffed shells! I rarely make stuffed shells but I love the idea of adding spinach.

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:39 pm

its a fun recipe, it definitely more spinach than anything else so its a great way to add veggies.

Janine Huldie April 17, 2014 - 7:14 am

My mother-in-law makes her own homemade stuffed shells all the time and I have yet to be brave enough to try this, but totally pinning for when I get that brave now. Thanks for sharing, Nellie and Have a wonderful Thursday πŸ™‚

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:38 pm

haha, Janine let me know when you try!

Kita April 17, 2014 - 8:39 am

I tried a stuffed shells recipe from pinterest a while back with chicken and it turned out blah…I will give this one a try because it looks wonderful not as dry as the one I saw and tried and I am just now discovering spinach after years of not liking it so this should be good

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:37 pm

hmm try this one and let me know. I didn’t like spinach for a while too, now I’m trying it in different ways!

Kristina Walters April 17, 2014 - 9:01 am

This looks awesome! I just saved it and can’t wait to try it out. Thanks!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:36 pm

You are welcome πŸ™‚

Tamara April 17, 2014 - 9:59 am

I LOVE stuffed shells, but I’ve never tried them myself. I can eat pasta to an extent. It used to be my favorite food and now it just makes me full fast, and kind of tired! I like it as a side dish with lots of proteins! Or stuffed with cheese and spinach!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:36 pm

that is the carb effect making you tired! i think the spinach combats some of that though–but what do I know LOL

Kim April 17, 2014 - 11:48 am

This looks good. I’m going to have to try it one day.

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:35 pm

let me know how you like it!

FitBritt April 17, 2014 - 1:01 pm

I have tried stuffed shells but I’ve never made them myself before. I am a huge pasta fan. I could eat it all the time! I think it might be my favorite food!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:35 pm

Ha, you should definitely try these — you will love them!

K. Elizabeth April 17, 2014 - 8:28 pm

Love stuffed shells. I live for a good pasta recipe!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:07 pm

me too girl! πŸ™‚

Kim April 18, 2014 - 9:03 am

Looks awesome!
I don’t think I’ve ever made stuffed shells – not sure why because we love pasta, too!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:04 pm

try it, its surprisingly easy but it looks so difficult πŸ™‚

Michelle April 18, 2014 - 11:53 am

I’ve never made stuffed shells…I don’t know why! I need to try them! And these look delicious!

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:03 pm

They are so simple and so delicious!!

Kimberly (Manifest Yourself) April 18, 2014 - 1:39 pm

The first time I made baked shells, I totally forgot to boil them first. needless to say, my dish was gross. I need to try again cause these look so good! πŸ™‚

Nellie April 20, 2014 - 10:02 pm

ohh noooo lol try these, you will love!

Leslie April 21, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Mmmmm…I love pasta of all kinds. Coming from Italian heritage pasta was our family “thing”, and we even dedicated one night per week to a homemade pasta dish. Spinach stuffed shells were a favorite, though we usually had ours with some ground beef in there as well. Just use a lean meat and a veggie filled sauce and it’s actually somewhat healthy!


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