Uncommonly Cheesy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Sneak Preview: The secret to this Cheesy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells is Mascarpone cheese. It makes this vegetarian entree especially rich and flavorful.

CHEESY SPINACH AND MUSHROOM STUFFED SHELLS--ready to eat in a casserole dish

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Can you guess the hardest part of making this recipe? Finding the ingredients.

The biggest challenge might be laying hands on the jumbo shells in the grocery store. I usually have good luck at my local Krogers. Don’t forget to try online if all else fails.

The second challenge is locating the Mascarpone cheese. Hunt for it in the deli section, not where the more common Cheddar and Mozzarella hang out.

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, assembling this dish is simple.  It’s less complicated than lasagna in my book.

The easiest part, of course, is eating it.

With gooey cheese, luxurious Mascarpone, flavorful spinach and mushrooms, and pasta shells bathed in your favorite marinara, who can resist?

After boiling, the shells are easy to stuff. Use surgical gloves if messy mixtures gross you out.


I make these without meat, although some chicken or Italian sausage would pump up the protein numbers and expand the flavor profile. Leave out the spinach and mushrooms if they aren’t your favorite. Then you could call them 4-Cheese Stuffed Shells.

Speaking of the cheese, I incorporated homemade ricotta cheese, but only because I have a lot of it in the house at the moment. I’ve recently experimented with making ricotta using the whey from Greek yogurt. Meanwhile, store-bought ricotta works fine.

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Grate the mozzarella and parmesan for better melting.

Can I freeze this recipe?

These stuffed shells freeze well after baking. Or wrap securely in individual portions for an instant dinner that microwaves quickly.

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Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, leave a rating 🤩 inside the recipe below. No comment required. If you have any questions or suggestions, email me privately: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells are filled with spinach, mushroom, ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Vegetables and Side Dishes
Servings 5 -6 servings


  • ½ box Jumbo Shells
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms - chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach - small bag
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 1-1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - shredded and divided
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese - shredded and divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 24-ounce jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Cook shells in boiling water for 9 minutes. Stir several times to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Drain and place on a cookie sheet to cool.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet and add mushrooms. Saute until browned. Remove from pan to medium mixing bowl. Add spinach and garlic to hot skillet and saute until wilted. Drain well in a colander, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible. Chop and add to mushrooms.
  • Combine ricotta, mascarpone, half of Parmesan, and half of Mozzarella with spinach and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fill each shell with spinach and mushroom and cheese mixture.
  • Add water to half of prepared sauce and pour it into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch dish. Place shells on top of the sauce, open side up.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over shells
  • Bake at 400˚F for 30 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells
Serving Size
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Vegetables and Side Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: jumbo pasta shells stuffed with spinachspinach and mascarpone stuffed shellsstuffed pasta shells vegetarianstuffed shells vegetarianvegetarian stuffed shells

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  1. Looks tasty! Have you tried making your own mascarpone? It’s on our list to try because its so expensive. I’m looking forward to your post on ricotta from whey. We’ve tried making ricotta from the whey left after making mozzarella without much success.

    1. Hey Gina,
      Haven’t tried making mascarpone. I don’t need to be eating this stuff very often so the price is worth the occasional treat. Also haven’t tried making Mozzarella. Would love to try yours.

      1. I used my mom’s Matfer strainer making mozzarella earlier this week, and finally decided to break down and get one. Ordered it tonight and will have it by Tuesday. I tried straining my yogurt a couple of weeks ago to see if I liked it better, and it was really good. Thanks for all the good advice!

  2. My husband would love these just as they are and I would love them stuffed with bits of chicken. Great that this is freezable! Perfect for taking to a friend/neighbour in need 🙂

  3. Paul: I love stuffed shells and this looks delicious! Great recipe as is or as a springboard for adding more “stuff” (couldn’t resist the pun) such as sausage. As always…beautiful pics.

  4. OMG! This looks delish! I’m going to the store later, so this will definitely be on my grocery list! Thanks!

  5. I made these tonight, and you were right, I had to go to two stores before I could find the shells…I doubled the recipe bc I only have 8×11 dish pans and I wanted to freeze some for later (not realizing how much this made…we got through half a pan with a family of 5)… anyway, I inadvertently used only one 8 oz mascarpone for both batches combined…but it still came out DELICIOUS!! Thanks again for posting such yummy thungs! I have a hard time trusting cookbooks, but I know when I pick something off of your aite to make, it’s going to be awesome! Thanks again!

  6. Sandy Coughlin says:

    This would be perfect for a dinner party! I’ll definitely have to try it. Thanks!

    1. Sandy,
      I agree. This dish is company-worthy and fairly rich so you wouldn’t want to be eating it every day. 🙂

  7. These are on the menu for next week. I’ll definitely be adding Sweet Italian Sausage since my husband pouts when I give him meatless dinners. =)

  8. Mushrooms Canada says:

    This recipe is just too amazing! Flavours we all love with a more simplistic take. Thanks for sharing!!


  9. I can say this was spectacular! It made enough for me to offer some to my mother in law and a few for leftovers on this back to school night!!! And I’m *very* excited about your next post about ricotta cheese from yogurt whey!! Since I saved mine from the last batch earlier this week!

    1. Watch for ricotta cheese this weekend.

  10. I love this recipe. I have made it several times. I add a 2 ounce bag of pine nuts to the ricotta and spinach mixture. It gives it a nice, unexpected crunch. Thanks for all of your great recipes.

    1. I’m so glad you wrote, Patti. Gotta try your idea with the pine nuts. Genius! Thank you for your kind words. Have a great week.