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Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells Recipe

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These Three Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells are one of our favorite vegetarian meals. Everyone’s happy to see it on the table for dinner because pasta and cheese always make dinner better.

Can I make these stuffed shells ahead of time?

I make this dish ahead of time, and bake it when I’ve got to have dinner on the table fast. It’s a nice change-up to using the crock-pot or the instant pot. I just make it up to the part where it’s baked, and then just refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it!

If I’m really in a hurry I sometimes turn to this QUICK Creamy Tortellini Soup Recipe. It’s not the SAME dish but it’s got the same delicious comfort food feel and it’s satisfying! And if I’m feeling like a more vegetarian style dish but I want meaty and hearty I turn to this Lasagne al Forno from Splash of Taste.

This recipe makes TWO 9X13 pans of Cheese and Spinach Stuffed shells. That’s enough for one big family meal or a small family meal and leftovers for lunches. Either way, it’s a win!

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells Recipe

We Love This Stuffed Shells Recipe

This is one dish my kids ask for again and again. It’s almost easier than making lasagne and infinitely cooler too. Plus they can help stuff the shells which is always appreciated.

Cheese Stuffed Shells

These shells are filled with Ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella cheese. And topped with a nice sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan on top of the shells.

filling for cheese and spinach stuffed shells recipe

Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Shells

Cheese and spinach work well together in so many recipes and these stuffed shells are no different. You could leave it out but it’s a great way to get kids eating spinach without sneaking it in, or overwhelming them with it. Be sure to buy chopped frozen spinach, it’s finely chopped and mixes in easily.

filling for spinach and cheese stuffed shells recipe

How to Stuff Pasta Shells

The EASIEST way to stuff pasta shells is with a pastry or frosting tube. You don’t even need a tip, just the tube, and a mason jar.

  1. Put the tube in a mason jar
  2. fit the bag over the mouth of the jar
  3. let the bag dangle inside
  4. scoop in some filling, leaving enough room to fold the top over
  5. fill some shells
  6. refilling it is easy, just repeat steps 1-4

A lot of folks say to use a Ziploc bag but in my experience, there are a couple of problems with using a Ziploc bag as a pastry bag:

  1. they have a tendency to burst, leaving you with a hand full of filling
  2. they’re not reusable, you have to throw it out when you’re done, or maybe you toss it in the recycling when you’ve washed it out

Both reasons for not using a disposable bag are messy, a reusable frosting bag is built to be used again and again which means it’s tough enough for the job.

stuffed shells

How to Stuff Pasta Shells without a Pastry or Frosting Tube

You can make cheesy spinach stuffed pasta shells simply by using your hands and a spoon. Hold the pre-cooked shell in one hand, scoop the cheese in the other, and stuff it in. Lay it in the pan, and keep filling shells. It’s a bit messier and time-consuming but it works just fine!

Make Ciabatta Bread to go with this recipe!

This recipe BEGS for a good bread to go with it. Try my Ciabatta Bread Recipe for rustic bakery bread at home. You might need a couple of tries to get it just right, but once you do, your family will be so happy!

Ciabatta Bread Recipe, make rusitc bakery style bread at home!
Yield: 8 servings

Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Need a vegetarian dinner everyone can agree on? This Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells Recipe makes everyone happy at the dinner table.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 16 ounces jumbo pasta shells
  • 40 ounces pasta sauce
  • 9 ounces frozen spinach, chopped
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups mozzarella
  • 1  cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. cook pasta shells for 1 minute less than package directions
  2. while cooking pre-heat the oven to 350˚
  3. cook and drain the chopped spinach
  4. lightly butter two 9X13 pans
  5. spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in each 9X13 pan, set aside
  6. mix the ricotta, 2 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, egg, drained spinach, salt, and pepper together
  7. when shells are cooked drain and rinse in cool water
  8. fill shells with a pastry bag-notes below OR a spoon, to use a spoon simply use a spoon to fill the shells, it's messier but doable-notes below
  9. pour remaining sauce around shells OR over shells, your choice
  10. sprinkle with remaining parmesan and mozzarella
  11. cover and bake for 30 minutes


to use a pastry tube:

  1. Put the tube in a mason jar
  2. fit the bag over the mouth of the jar
  3. let the bag dangle inside
  4. scoop in some filling, leaving enough room to fold the top over
  5. fill some shells
  6. refilling it is easy, just repeat steps 1

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