Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Meatballs on a white plate with garlic and parsley in the background
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5 from 4 votes

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Stuffed with a combination of fresh spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, these Three Cheese Stuffed Shells are an easy-to-make classic family favorite! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Lauren

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box jumbo shell pasta * gluten free, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic * minced
  • 3 cups spinach * roughly chopped
  • 30 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese * shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese * shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt * or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper * or to taste
  • 4 cups pasta sauce
  • fresh parsley * optional, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. 
  • Start a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain, and let cool.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the spinach and cook down for about 2-3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses. Add the spinach, mixture, salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.
  • Stuff each shell with a large spoonful of the cheese mixture and place in a large baking dish. 
  • Top all of the stuffed pasta shells with the pasta sauce of your choice. Add additional cheese, if desired, and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  • Top the baked pasta with fresh parsley and serve.

Notes

Tips and Techniques for the Best Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

  • I always recommend shredding cheese right from a block rather than using pre-shredded bags of cheese for the best melting and texture.
  • Make this recipe gluten free simply by using gluten free jumbo shell pasta. I really like the Tinkyáda brand of gluten free pasta.
  • Store leftovers in air-tight containers in the refrigerator. Use within 3-5 days.

FAQ's

  • Can you freeze stuffed shells? Yes, you can freeze stuffed shells. Assemble the stuffed shells up until they are ready to be baked. Tightly cover them, place them in the freezer, and use within 3 months. You will have to increase the baking time 15-20 minutes when baking from frozen.
  • Can you freeze ricotta and spinach filling? Yes. If you have leftover ricotta filling, you can freeze it, tightly covered, in the freezer for up to 6 months.
** Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 650kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1485mg | Potassium: 928mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3029IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 581mg | Iron: 4mg