What’s for Dinner? Weeknight Spinach Stuffed Shells

8-10 Servings
1 hr 10 min

Anyone else feel like they’ve made dinner 11 million times since March? You too?! Today I’m sharing my go-to recipe for Easy Weeknight Spinach Stuffed Shells. It makes enough to share, freeze, or have as leftovers. Leftovers = a night of no cooking. Winner winner, weeknight dinner!

This recipe is easy, hearty and makes a great meal for weeknights. I love that you can make ahead (the night before is fine) and pop in the oven just before meal time.

Prep Your Pasta:

Let’s get started! First, boil your pasta al dente, according to box directions.

Next, drain your pasta and rinse with cold water. Drain well again.

Prep Your Dish:

Spray your 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil spray and lightly cover the bottom with tomato or marinara sauce. You can use your favorite prepared sauce, but if you want to make your own, here’s a delicious recipe for  Tomato Sauce with Fresh TomatoesIf you have tomatoes lingering in your garden and a little extra time, this elevates the whole recipe. 

If you’re busy juggling work, life and, ahem, virtual learning– Costco carries a three pack of my favorite sauce, Classico Organic Tomato, Herbs & Spices.

Spinach + Cheese Mixture:

Cook your spinach according to package directions– the microwave option makes it easy. Once your spinach is steamed, drain it REALLY well. I use a wooden spoon and colander to squeeze all the water out. Once you squeeze the water out, squeeze it again! Nobody wants watery stuffed shells.

Mix your cooked/drained spinach with ricotta, mozzarella, salt and pepper.

Stuff the Pasta:

Now you’re ready to stuff your pasta with the spinach + cheese mixture. I use heaping spoonful in each shell. No need to measure– they should look something like the photo below. 

You’ll likely have more stuffed shells than you have room for in your casserole dish. Here are two options: 1, If you’re feeding a crowd or sharing with friends, grab another dish and continue (you might need a bit more sauce); 2, Prep your shells to freeze the rest. Keep reading, I’ll show you what to do with these later.

Cover with Sauce & Bake:

Once you’ve filled your casserole dish, cover with the rest of your tomato or marinara sauce. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes until warm throughout. Serve with a side salad and warm garlic bread.

Freezing Tips for Stuffed Shells:

Once you’ve stuffed your extra shells, place them on a cookie sheet overnight. Space them apart so they don’t stick together. The next morning, move to a zip bag and you have an EASY throw-it-in-the-oven meal for another night.

When baking frozen shells, take out what you need and place in a smaller dish. Follow instructions as shared in previous steps, adding sauce and parmesan. Bake frozen at 350, for about 35-40 minutes, or until warm throughout.

For more of my recipes, check out my blog at Back Porch Bliss!

What’s for Dinner? Weeknight Spinach Stuffed Shells
Recipe details
  • 8-10  Servings
  • Prep time: 35 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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Easy Spinach Stuffed Shells
  • Box of jumbo pasta shells (12 oz)
  • Frozen spinach (10 oz package)
  • Mozzarella, 8 oz block, grated
  • Ricotta, 32 oz. (you can use whole milk or skim)
  • Salt and pepper 1/2 teaspoon each
  • Tomato or Marinara Sauce, 28 oz.
  • Fresh Parmesan, grated

Prepare your pasta shells according to the package for al-dente. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Steam your frozen spinach according to package directions and squeeze out all the water. Then squeeze again, nobody wants watery stuffed shells!
Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil spray and spread a thin layer of tomato/marinara sauce in the bottom.
Prepare your cheese mixture: mix ricotta, mozzarella, spinach, salt, pepper.
Stuff each of your shells with the spinach & cheese mixture.
Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle fresh-grated parmesan.
Bake for 30-35 mins on 350 until warm throughout.
  • **I usually have extra shells that don’t fit in the casserole dish– you can freeze these on a cookie sheet overnight. Space them apart so they don’t stick together. The next morning, move to a zip bag and you have an EASY throw it in the oven meal for another night.
Misty | Back Porch Bliss
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  • Dee9453079 Dee9453079 on Mar 27, 2022

    Thanks for your recipe!! Like the freezing part as I cook for one now!! Will try out!!

    • Forestlady Forestlady on Jul 03, 2022

      Yes, it makes it easy for one, I also am one. Anxious to try.

  • Lorie Lorie on Sep 21, 2022

    Looks yummy! I’m going to try it and make a batch (and freeze) for my son who just started University! Thank you for the recipe!