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Uncommonly Cheesy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach, mushrooms, ricotta, Mascarpone cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese are stuffed into jumbo pasta shells to make this delicious vegetarian entree. The Mascarpone cheese is the secret to this Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe.

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

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.

Variations

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.

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 try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula


Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Yield: 5-6 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells are filled with spinach, mushroom, ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 box Jumbo Shells
  • 1/2 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
  • 24 ounce jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine ricotta, mascarpone, half of Parmesan, and half of Mozzarella with spinach and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fill each shell with spinach and mushroom and cheese mixture.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over shells
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1509mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g

Did you make this recipe?

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Patti

Sunday 16th of August 2020

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.

Paula

Sunday 16th of August 2020

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.

Lisa

Thursday 19th of September 2013

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!

Paula

Friday 20th of September 2013

Watch for ricotta cheese this weekend.

Mushrooms Canada

Monday 16th of September 2013

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

-Shannon

Tae

Saturday 14th of September 2013

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. =)

Sandy Coughlin

Friday 13th of September 2013

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

Paula

Monday 16th of September 2013

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