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close up of a skillet with tomato sauce, pasta shells stuffed with ricotta with basil leaves on top

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

  • Author: Rita
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1:10h
  • Total Time: 1:20h
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe is flavor, comforting, and easy to make. The whole family will love it! Plus, it’s freezer-friendly.


  • 25 jumbo pasta shells
  • 8 oz spinach, fresh or frozen (250 g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can peeled tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese (250 g)
  • 0.70 oz grated parmesan cheese (20 g)
  • 7 oz grated mozzarella cheese (200 g)
  • 7 oz buffalo mozzarella (200 g)
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat a pan over medium heat a drizzle a little bit of olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the spinach and saute for 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.
  2. Next, heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat and drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the garlic, onion, and bay leaf and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the peeled tomatoes, tomato puree, white wine, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil, and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. After cooking, remove the bay leaf and blend the tomato sauce with a hand blender until smooth.
  4. While the tomato sauce is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package instructions and make the filling.
  5. Add one egg, spinach, grated mozzarella, grated parmesan, ricotta, salt, and black pepper, and mix everything into a mixing bowl.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  7. Add the tomato sauce to a baking dish or skillet and spread it all over. Spoon the filling mixture into the shells and place the shells on top of the tomato sauce.
  8. Add buffalo mozzarella on top and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and golden. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.


Make this recipe ahead: Save time by preparing this recipe the day before. Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Replace fresh spinach with frozen spinach: Use frozen spinach if you prefer. Defrost spinach first and drain the excess water.

Make this recipe vegan: Replace the regular cheese with vegan cheese to make this recipe vegan-friendly.

Keywords: ricotta stuffed shells, spinach stuffed shells, vegetarian stuffed shells