These easy ricotta stuffed shells are a new addition to our family dinners. Stuffed with three different cheeses, these stuffed shells are easy to make and freezer friendly.
Are you struggling with easy dinner meals? I hear you. It is hard to come up with new dinner ideas that are quick and easy. These stuffed shells are not only delicious, but easy to make and they get bonus points for being freezer friendly. They can be made ahead of time and then popped in the oven right before dinner.
With the anticipation of baby #3, I’m testing out recipes that can easily be frozen. Before our two boys, I spent some time in the kitchen prepping meals so when those newborn zombie nights hit, I could stumble to the freezer and still have a nice dinner.
I’ll just go ahead and say this recipe makes a lot of shells. Pictured is only half of the recipe. I used the other half to create another set and freeze them. I debated on cutting the recipe down, but I figured there isn’t any additional work so why not have more for less work? I would recommend getting an aluminium pan if you want to freeze the rest, or you could eat them all in one night…no one is judging here.
How to Make the Stuffed Shells
Step 1: Boil the shells until al dente (almost done) and let them cool.
Step 2: Add a layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan. You can use homemade or store bought. I used a good quality store bought to speed up the dinner.
Step 3: Mix the cheeses, lemon, egg, salt and pepper, spinach and basil.
Step 4: Spoon the cheese mixture into the shells.
Step 5: Add the stuffed shells into the sauce.
Step 6: Add the remaining sauce in between the shells and top with more cheese.
3 Cheese Stuffed Shells
These stuffed shells have three cheeses: ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella. Living in the Netherlands, I feel like we live in the land of cheese. The Dutch love their “kaas” (cheese) and I love having a selection of good cheeses. If you can splurge for good cheese, go for it. Once you give up bagged cheese, you won’t ever go back. I swear my kids can hear the cheese grater and come running to grab fresh grated cheese.
This is first time I have used burrata mozzarella. Burrata cheese comes in a pouch filled with soft creamy fresh mozzerella. I love that this dish is so versatile. You can switch it up and add beef, chicken or more spinach to the stuffing or sauce.
Here are a few items I used to complete this recipe:
Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means the seller will know that I referred you to their product, and I’ll get a small percentage of the sale.
Easy Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- Large pasta shells about 35
- 2 jars of marinara sauce 4 cups/1200g
- 1 1/2 cups of ricotta 450g
- 1/2 cup of parmesan 50g
- 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella 170g
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of spinach 15g
- Basil - 2 tablespoons of fresh or 1 tablespoon of dried
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (160 C)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta shells according to the package but about 2 minutes less so they will be al dente.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
- Spread a layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, lemon juice, egg, salt, pepper, chopped spinach and basil.
- Spoon or pipe the cheese mixture into the cooled pasta shells and place into the layer of sauce.
- Cover the shells with the remaining sauce and top with more mozzarella cheese if desired.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Turn your oven to broil, remove the foil and bake for 2-3 minutes. Careful not to burn it, but once the cheese is hot and bubbly, remove from the oven.