There’s always room for an easy weeknight dinner, especially when it’s as comforting as this baked pasta. Easy Spinach Stuffed Shells is a great vegetarian option for Meatless Monday or any night of the week. It’s filled with nutrient-rich spinach and plenty of cheesy goodness to give you plenty of comfort.
Pair this with a simple side salad or a crusty loaf of bread to make it a full meal.
You can even put this dish together in advance, refrigerate it up to 24 hours in advance, and pop it into the preheated oven to bake. Just add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time to ensure it’s warmed and cooked all the way through.
- 20 to 24 Conchiglioni (large pasta shells)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup skim-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, fresh grated (plus more for serving)
- 1 egg
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach, packed
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara or pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pasta shells according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet heated to medium-high. Once oil is hot, add minced garlic and baby spinach. Stir and cook until spinach is wilted down, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses with one egg. Stir together until combined. Add fresh basil, salt and pepper, along with slightly cooled spinach mixture. Stir and set aside.
Spread half of the pasta sauce evenly into an oven-safe dish. Use a spoon to generously scoop cheese and spinach mixture into shells, placing each into the sauce with the stuffed side facing up. Continue filling shells and nestle them into the baking dish, until it is filled.
Spoon the remaining pasta sauce onto the stuffed shells, filling in extra spaces between the shells. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place on middle rack of the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until sauce begins to bubble. Take the dish out of the oven, shred fresh parmesan onto the top of the shells (optional) and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.