stuffed shells | foodsciencenerd.com

Spinach Stuffed Shells

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Hosting lots of hungry guests this week?  Here’s a dinner idea that will serve a crowd without much effort or much guilt.

Because I had made a few dishes with ricotta earlier in the week, I had a half-full container of ricotta and some mozzarella just begging to be used.  I also had purchased, on a whim, a pumpkin-based tomato sauce from Trader Joe’s that I wasn’t thrilled with and wanted to use up.  I considered making lasagna, but I already had lots of frozen spinach (well, I always do), so I thought I should use it to make one of my favorite things growing up- stuffed shells!  Unfortunately, whole wheat jumbo shells are just about impossible to come by, so I settled for regular.  Boo.

Anyway, I more or less made this recipe up based on the amounts of ingredients that I already had, and it turned out great

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  • One box jumbo pasta shells
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 oz bag frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 cup (or more) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, onion salt, basil, etc. as desired
  • 1 1/2-2 cups marinara (the pumpkin marinara is unnecessary!) sauce
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat the oven to 375F and prepare pasta according to package directions, draining about 2 minutes before completely done (there will still be a little ring of uncooked starch on the inside of the pasta if you bite into it.).  Place on a sheet of foil to drain.

2) Meanwhile, spread out about half the sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish and sprinkle with a bit of salt and parmesan.
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3) Mix the egg, cheeses (save about half the mozzarella), and seasonings in a medium bowl.  Add the spinach and garlic, and the filling is ready!

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4) Stuff each shell with 3-4 T of filling (the shells I found were pretty small).  I was able to fill 24 shells, which fit perfectly in a 13×9 dish. Cover with the rest of the sauce and a generous layer of mozzarella.
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5) Bake for 20 minutes, then broil if necessary to brown the cheese.

Stuffed Shells | foodsciencenerd.com

Serve immediately to happy guests or save for fabulous leftovers!

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

  • One box jumbo pasta shells
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 oz bag frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 cup (or more) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, onion salt, basil, etc. as desired
  • 1 1/2-2 cups marinara sauce
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and prepare pasta according to package directions, draining about 2 minutes before completely done. Place on a sheet of foil to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, spread out about half the sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish and sprinkle with a bit of salt and parmesan.
  3. Mix the egg, cheeses (save about half the mozzarella), and seasonings in a medium bowl. Add the spinach and garlic.
  4. Stuff each shell with 3-4 T of filling and place in a 13x9 dish. Cover with the rest of the sauce and a generous layer of mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil if necessary to brown the cheese.
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