STUFFED SHELLS RECIPE WITH SPINACH


Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe with Spinach and sausage is a delicious dinner meal for the whole family. This recipe combines ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, and spinach, if you like, stuffed into pasta shells. A spicy layer of hot or mild Italian sausage completes the meal. A family favorite Italian dinner!

This spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe is very cheesy with layers of ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan. It’s baked to a golden finish and easy as a weeknight dinner.


One of the most frequently asked questions about this stuffed shells with spinach recipe is whether the extra can be frozen for the future. I generally recommend freezing the extra stuffed shells after you stuff them, but before baking. That way you can just pop it into the oven, although you will have to bake it for longer. I usually bake it covered for about 50-60 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is cooked through. I pefer my cheese bubbly and just starting to brown, so I broil it for a few minutes after that with the cover off.

Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe with Spinach and sausage is a delicious dinner meal for the whole family. This recipe combines ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, and spinach, if you like, stuffed into pasta shells. A spicy layer of hot or mild Italian sausage completes the meal. A family favorite Italian dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 package jumbo pasta shells 16oz
  • 4 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp garlic powder *see note
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup parmesan grated or shredded is fine
  • 45 oz spaghetti sauce large jar
  • 4 cups spinach rough chopped and stems removed if you prefer
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • dried parsley for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp pepper optional

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain any excess fat and remove from heat. In the same saucepan, cook spinach until wilted or about 1-2 minutes. Cook the shells according to package directions (I cook them until they are pliable for filling and no more).
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 8oz of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of parmesan, eggs, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper (optional). Stir in the spinach.
  • Coat the bottom of a 9x13in pan with the entire jar of spaghetti sauce. Spoon the cheese mixture into the shells and place shells open side up, very close together in the dish. There will be more shells than will fit into this pan and you can either make a second smaller pan (5×8 is good) or freeze for future use. Sometimes the shells also break in the box so this is fine.
  • Sprinkle the sausage over the top of the shells. Then sprinkle with the remaining 4oz of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If you like a cheesy crust, you may broil it uncovered for 3-5 minutes (watch closely). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes


I am not a huge fan of garlic, but I find that this recipe really absorbs the garlic and mellows the flavor while baking. I usually put enough garlic powder until I think “wow, I put too much in”. That is actually the perfect amount.
I personally like Prego Chunky Garden Vegetable but use your favorite spaghetti sauce.

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