Soft pasta shells filled with a creamy spinach and artichoke ricotta stuffing is drenched with tomato basil marinara in these delicious Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells. These stuffed shells are the ultimate comfort food and the perfect weeknight dinner!
WHAT ARE SPINACH ARTICHOKE STUFFED SHELLS
Pasta, pasta, pasta!!!! I love a delicious and easy pasta recipe. Whether I am making a classic pasta dish like my creamy red pepper rigatoni or playing with the flavors in a creamy shrimp salsa pasta, you get that wonderful comforting feeling in every bite!
These creamy stuffed shells burst with a cheesy mixture of ricotta, spinach, and artichokes. They cook in a delicious marinara sauce, are topped with shredded mozzarella, and bake to cheesy perfection in just 20 minutes! Finish this comforting recipe off with a side salad, roasted Brussels sprouts, or oven roasted asparagus for a complete meal!
WHY WE LOVE THESE STUFFED SHELLS
We just love these cheesy stuffed shells! They bake in well under an hour making them ideal for a weeknight dinner. This easy, cheesy pasta also makes a wonderful meatless Monday recipe! These stuffed shells can also work as a meal prep recipe. Simply bake them up and divide them into lunch containers to take for lunches during the week!
HOW TO MAKE SPINACH ARTICHOKE STUFFED SHELLS
Shells– 16 jumbo pasta shells hold the creamy spinach artichoke stuffing.
Spinach artichoke stuffing– This tasty filling is made with a mix of ricotta cheese, drained frozen spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, an egg, minced garlic, black pepper, salt, and chili flakes.
Tasty toppings- Finish these stuffed shells off with a tomato basil marinara, shredded mozzarella, and fresh basil.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. While the oven preheats, begin cooking the pasta. Boil the pasta shells halfway through, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and drizzle the shells with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat well. Set aside.
Next, whip up the ricotta stuffing. Drain and chop a can or jar of artichoke hearts. Next, prepare the spinach for the filling by draining a cup of frozen spinach. If you prefer to use fresh spinach, sauté about 3 cups of spinach fresh on a skillet until cooked through. Remove from heat and drain out excess water from the spinach.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, garlic, black pepper, salt, and chili flakes.
Next, prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking dish by pouring about 2 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce into the bottom of the dish. Save the remaining sauce for topping the shells.
Stuff each pasta shell with 1 regular tablespoon of the cheesy spinach artichoke stuffing. Place the stuffed pasta shells in the baking dish lined up in a row (see below).
After stuffing the shells, drizzle the tops with the remaining marinara sauce and cover with mozzarella.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, cover and allow shells to cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and enjoy.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR STUFFED SHELLS
- While cooking the pasta, stir the shells occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pot or each other.
- Make the spinach artichoke stuffing while the pasta cooks for quicker assembly.
- Drain the spinach before putting it in the ricotta mixture. Too much liquid from the spinach will make the ricotta mixture runny instead of thick and creamy.
WHY DO YOU COOK THE SHELLS HALFWAY?
There are two reasons to stop cooking the shells halfway. First, cooking halfway keeps the shells from being too soft to handle and stuff. By stopping halfway, you can easily stuff the shells with the spinach artichoke filling and they will hold up in the dish. We also stop cooking halfway because the shells continue to cook in the marinara while they bake in the oven.
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OTHER DELICIOUS PASTA RECIPES
- Creamy Spinach Macaroni and Cheese
- Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Tortellini Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
- 16 Jumbo Shells
- 28 oz. Tomato and Basil Marinara Sauce
- 1½ c. Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Fresh Chopped Basil for garnish
- 1½ c. Ricotta Cheese Full fat
- 1 c. Frozen Spinach drained
- 1 c. Artichoke Hearts canned or jarred
- 1 c. Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
- ½ c. Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Egg
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- t tsp. Black Pepper
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Chili Flakes
- To begin, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cook the jumbo pasta shells halfway, according to the package directions. While the shells cook, in a large mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, drained spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Set aside until shells are ready.
- Once the pasta is halfway cooked, drain and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish pour about 2 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the base of the dish. Reserve the rest of the sauce for topping the shells.
- Stuff each pasta shell with 1 regular sized tablespoon of stuffing and place them lined up in the baking dish.
- When all shells are stuffed, top the shells with the remaining marinara sauce and them cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cover. Allow the stuffed shells to cool a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped basil.