Skip to Content

Three cheese stuffed shells with spinach

Three cheese stuffed shells with spinach are the perfect freezer meal. Gooey cheese, plenty of garlic and the best pasta sauce I’ve ever eaten come together into a perfect weeknight dinner solution.

Freezer dinner meals are all the rage but I can only dump so many zip lock bags on a cookie sheet before I find myself looking for something more comforting–something with plenty of gooey cheese, the best pasta sauce I’ve ever used (that’s the truth) and the joy of a hands-off dinner you can customize for 2 or 20 people.

Dig in to the joy of having a dinner you can easily adjust with sausage or ground beef, additional vegetables like grated carrot or zucchini and any cheese your family enjoys. These are a great way to sneak extra vegetables in your diet!

For a change you could try these Pizza Stuffed Shells.

two stuffed shells on a plate with a fork

What pasta sauce is best for stuffed shells with spinach?

I’ve used every sauce there is. I was raised on Prego and Ragu (Heaven help us), I’ve made my own from scratch for years, and I’ve bought the $6 a jar Rao’s at the store.

But this pasta sauce changed my life. The flavor is fresh, wholesome and even better than my own homemade. The ingredients are clean too. Don’t skip if you can keep from it.

How to freeze shells

Once your shells are stuffed, lay them on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer until solid. Transfer them to an airtight container or zip top bag for up to two months. You can also layer pasta sauce, add shells and cheese and wrap tightly in foil then bake from frozen or thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

a container of frozen stuffed shells.

No stress shell stuffing

Stress your shells with no waste and less fuss by using a zip top bag. Put your filling in and snip of a good size corner (about an inch or so) then squeeze the shells open (watch the YouTube video if you need a demonstration) and pipe in your filling. So much easier than a spoon!

how to use a zip top bag to fill the shells

More pasta recipes to love

Watch me make this recipe on YouTube

9x13 pan of stuffed shells with spinach on a wooden table.

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Spinach

The best freezer friendly stuffed shells! Three cheeses, garlic and spinach make these easy and delicious.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce box jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 4 cups baby spinach chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 24 ounces Farm to Fork Pasta Sauce

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a healthy pinch of salt and the shells. Cook to al dente accordingn to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain and return to the pot, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the shells. Toss well to keep shells from sticking. Set aside.
  • In a 9" skillet over medium heat, add the final tablespoon olive oil, garlic and baby spinach to the skillet. Cook until the spinach is wilted about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl add the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses. Stir in the egg, parsley, basil, salt, nutmeg and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to a zip top plastic bag or piping bag to fill the shells.
  • Cut the corner off the zip top bag and squeeze the cheese mixture in to each shell. It's easier to fill the shells if you squeeze them slightly to open them wider.
  • Transfer all shells to a cookie sheet to freeze then store in an air tight container for up to 2 months.

To bake right away:

  • Lay 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add shells to fit the pan. It's fine if they touch. Cover with additional 1-2 cups sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30-40 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes so the cheese can melt.

To bake from frozen:

  • Follow instructions as above but bake 55-60 minutes, uncovering for the last 10 minutes. If you are making a very small batch (5 shells or less) check to see if your shells are done at 45 minutes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from: https://www.jessicagavin.com/spinach-and-cheese-stuffed-shells-with-meat-sauce/

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2465IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 359mg | Iron: 2mg

a cutting board of 8 pieces of cut up chicken
How to cut a whole chicken step by step
← Read Last Post
Shrimp and Grits in the Oven
Read Next Post →
Recipe Rating