These Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells are simple to make, fully vegetarian and great for a crowd! They’re so incredibly cheesy and absolutely delicious!

At some point during my college career, I learned to make this dish. It was my go to dish when I wanted to impress a boy and make him think that I was a great cook. I like to think that it worked well. It’s all about confidence.

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Since college, I’ve made these stuffed shells approximately 168 times (that is a made up estimate but probably pretty accurate). It’s that dish that I can whip up in no time and without the need for a recipe. All it requires is throwing a few ingredients into a pasta shell, coating it with cheese, and baking it. Easy enough, right?

Regardless, I’m here to give you my recipe for stuffed shells. This recipe has transformed a bit over time and I make it slightly different each time. I used to put sausage in my stuffed shells before going vegetarian but honestly, I like this meatless version SO much more!

Ingredients in these shells:

  • Jumbo shells
  • Ricotta shells
  • Pecorino Romano cheese or parmesan cheese
  • Wilted spinach
  • Good quality marinara sauce
  • Garlic powder + Italian seasoning + red pepper flakes
  • Fresh mozzarella

How do you make Stuffed Shells?

One of the things that I love most about this recipe is how easy it is!

Start by boiling the pasta. While the pasta cooks, make the filling by combining steamed spinach, ricotta, herbs, spices, egg, pecorino cheese, and salt and pepper. Filling the shells with the cheesy mixture and place them on top of a layer of marinara. Top with more marinara and mozzarella cheese. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes and ENJOY!

Super easy but just absolutely delicious!

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Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These Vegetarian Stuffed Shells are simple to make and deliciously cheesy! They’re filling and perfect for a crowd!


Units Scale
  • 2025 jumbo pasta shells
  • 8 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 15 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, grated (parmesan also works well)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • Sliced mozzarella for the top- I used an 8oz ball cut into roughly 12 slices (can also sub shredded mozzarella)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish with cooking spray (I used a standard 9×13 inch dish but a round oven-safe skillet would also work well!).
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions so that it’s al dente. You want the pasta to be just slightly under cooked since it will cook more in the oven. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to cool down. Toss lightly with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Steam the spinach for 1 minute until it’s wilted. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl.
  4. To the bowl with the spinach, mix in the ricotta, pecorino/ parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, egg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. 
  5. Pour 1 cup of marinara in the casserole dish so that it fully covers the bottom. Fill each of the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and place them evenly in the dish. Repeat until all of the ricotta mixture is used up.
  6. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce on top of the shells. Place the slices of mozzarella evenly around the top of the shells.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese on top is fully melted and bubbly. Serve with fresh herbs and ENJOY!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 459
  • Sugar: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 1072.4 mg
  • Fat: 13.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.6 g
  • Protein: 29.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.9 mg