Stuffed shells with spinach, ricotta, and sausage. What is not to love? Make these for your next holiday party or potluck dinner and they are sure to impress!
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Tips for making these stuffed shells with spinach and meat
- Cook more shells than you want to prepare! Chances are a few will fall apart in the pot before you have the chance to stuff them!
- If you want to make sure your shells are al dente, pull them out of the pot a few minutes before you noramlly would. They will finish cooking in the baking dish!
- Make sure you have a clean cooking area before you start with this recipe! You will be using several bowls, pots, pans, and baking dishes so you will need room!
Make this stuffed shells recipe your own
- You can absolutely use frozen spinach here. Just make sure to defrost it and drain the excess liquid so it doesn’t get too watery!
- Instead of marinara sauce, you can use homemade tomato sauce. You could also go a different direction entirely and use vodka or alfredo sauce!
- Add some extra veggies such as finely chopped mushrooms or even shredded carrots.
- Swap the sausage for ground beef, ground turkey, vegan sausage, or simply omit it!
Storing and reheating these stuffed shells with spinach
You can assemble these stuffed shells and store them for two days before baking if needed!
After baking, they will be good in the fridge for about 4 days and they are freezer-friendly for up to 3 months!
To reheat them, you can use either the microwave or oven! Just be sure to add a bit of water or more sauce to make sure the shells don’t dry out.
Check out our other delicious holiday recipes!
- Vegan Pot Pie Pockets
- Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad
- Au Gratin Potatoes With Butternut Squash
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes
- Easy Carrot Cake Recipe
- The Best Chocolate Pecan Pie
Stuffed Shells With Spinach
- 16 jumbo pasta shells with extra in case of breakage
- 2 TBSP olive oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 oz spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 4 oz parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 8 oz smoked sausage kielbasa style, diced small, sub vegan sausage
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
- 24 oz marinara
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the jumbo pasta shells. You’ll need about 16 shells, so cook 20+ in case some break apart while boiling. Boil the shells according to the package instructions (9-12 minutes usually), then drain. Put the shells on a baking sheet to cool, and drizzle with half the oil to keep them from drying out or sticking to each other.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and let it heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Then, add the spinach, salt, and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once the spinach is cooled, squeeze the liquid out using either your hands, a paper towel, or a cheese cloth. You don’t have to get all of the liquid out, just most of it (this keeps your filling from being soupy). Once the liquid is out, give the spinach a rough chop and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, half the mozzarella, parmesan, egg, sausage, parsley, basil, and spinach and salt/pepper. Mix until everything is fully incorporated.
- Prepare the baking dish. Pour all the marinara in the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Stuff the shells. You can do this with a spoon, or you can put the filling into a gallon-sized bag and cut a large piece off the corner (this is a chunky mixture!). Add 2-3 TBSP of filling to each shell. Place the shells in the marinara as you complete them. Once they are all filled, top with the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake covered for 35 minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes to brown cheese (keep a close eye on it!). Let cool slightly before serving. Let cool fully before storing.