Whipped Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Shells
Looking for a fun twist on classic stuffed shells? Try this whipped ricotta & spinach stuffed shells recipe. These whipped ricotta stuffed shells are cheesy, creamy and absolutely delicious. Not to mention, the whipped spinach ricotta is such a fun way to sneak more veggies into your family’s diet. After all, veggies mixed with cheese is always a good idea!
For this stuffed shells recipe, I used whole milk ricotta cheese. The whole milk ricotta cheese provides a beautiful creamy texture to the filling. It’s one of those small details that can really take a recipe to the next level. However, I’m sure it would taste very good if you used a reduced fat ricotta as well.
That said, I am a firm believer that there are some recipes when you just have to go for it and truly enjoy the dish. This recipe is one of them! Hey, the blog is called, Healthy-ISH after all. Don’t freight too much because the fresh chopped spinach adds an earthy flavor that really balances everything in the most delicious way. The spinach also offers a healthy dose of vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies crave.
When selecting what type of spinach to use in this recipe, I suggest using baby spinach. Baby spinach is known to be less bitter than its large leaf counterpart. This applies whether it is raw or cooked too. So keep this in mind when you are making salads or other recipes that call for spinach.
When deciding what sauce to pair with these whipped ricotta and spinach stuffed shells, I chose Alfredo. The parmesan cheese, cream, and butter taste so good with the pasta and filling. However, you can use any sauce you like. A simple red sauce or Bolognese would taste great too. So, feel free to get creative.
One additional thing I wanted to mention, is that I ended up with 5-6 shells leftover. I recommend still boiling the entire box because sometimes the shells tear when they cook. One box makes about 35 cooked pasta shells. This way, you will have a few extra shells to use in case any are damaged or broken.
The nutritional information below reflects 8 servings. Each person get 3-4 stuffed shells with sauce per serving.
Store your shells in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you are freezing the shells, consider baking them in a foil container so you can simply cover the entire dish once it cools and freeze it.
Looking for more pasta recipes? Try my creamy pesto pasta bake. This recipe is a fun riff off of the famous TikTok baked feta pasta. Another tasty dish is my, buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. It’s dangerously addicting, be warned.
Whipped Ricotta & Spinach Stuffed Shells
Pasta and Sauce:
- 12 ounces jumbo shells, 1 package about 35 shells
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2.5 – 3 cups Alfredo sauce – store bought or homemade works fine, reserve 1.5 cups to pour over the top of the filled shells.
- ¼ cup warm pasta water to thin out the Alfredo sauce if it is very thick.
Cheese and Spinach Filling
- 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, packed into the measuring cup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, reserve 1 cup to sprinkle over the top before baking
- 9×13-ich ceramic baking dish
- pasta pot
- mixing bowl
- food processor
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Set it aside.
Prepare the pasta:
- Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to the package.
- Al dente pasta is best as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
- Reserve a ¼ cup of the pasta water then drain off the remaining water using a colander.
- Drizzle the cooked pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
Prepare the spinach and ricotta filling:
- Add the ricotta cheese, baby spinach, egg, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper and oregano to the food processor. Buzz until it is smooth and creamy, no lumps.
- Next, add the spinach and ricotta mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Gently fold in 1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese using a spatula.
Assemble the dish:
- Grab the prepared baking dish and add 1.5 cups of alfredo sauce to the bottom of the pan.
- If the alfredo sauce is very thick you can use some of the pasta water to thin it out.
- Next, begin stuffing your shells with the spinach and ricotta filling. Place them in the pan on top of the sauce.
- Once the pan is full and all of the filling is gone, top the shells with another 1 -1.5 cups of Alfredo sauce.
- Sprinkle the entire dish with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes to get extra crispy cheese on the top.
- Dust with extra grated parmesan and serve hot.