Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

Stuffed shells with meat sauce, but make it fancy by stuffing the shells with spinach and ricotta.

stuffed shells with meat sauce

How to Make Italian Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Meat Sauce

I won’t lie, learning to make how to make stuffed shells with meat sauce was a bit of a journey, ha! However, it lead me to the most delicious and flavorful stuffed shells recipe you’ll ever make! Making stuffed shells is primarily in four steps; making the stuffing, making the meat sauce, assembly, and baking.

  1. First, we need to combine the ricotta stuffing for the shells. In a bowl, I combined ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, an egg, freshly sliced basil, spinach, salt, and a sprinkle of pepper. Then I set the bowl aside and start working on the meat sauce. Start boiling your shells and don’t forget to salt the water.
  2. Second, I add chopped onion and ground beef to the pan. Once the ground beef is browned and drained, I placed it back in the pan. I added tomato sauce, minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. After I combine everything and bring the meat sauce to a boil, I turn it down to low and let it simmer.
  3. Next, my shells were finished boiling, so it was time to strain them! while I set them aside to cool enough for me to handle them, I took my 9×12-inch baking dish and put a layer of meat sauce at the bottom.
  4. Finally, I gently use a spoon to stuff each shell, I used 18 shells. After stuffing them, I placed each one in the baking dish. In the end, I put more sauce between each shell. I couldn’t help but top the dish with freshly shredded mozzarella. After baking at 35 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, I took it out of the oven and topped it with more basil. I served it with a delicious mocktail for the family.

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce Recipe

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stuffed shells with meat sauce

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

  • Author: Johnniemay McDonald
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


Delicious ricotta and spinach stuffed shells with savory meat sauce.


Units Scale


  • 18 shells
  • salt for boiling water

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffing

  • 15 oz Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 Egg
  • 5 leaves Basil
  • Handful Spinach
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Sauce Recipe

  • 1 Onions (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
  • 2 pounds Ground beef
  • 48 oz Tomato sauce (2 jars)
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


  • 8 oz freshly grated mozzarella
  • fresh basil


  1. Start boiling your water for the shells, and don’t forget to salt the water! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the stuffing. Then set the bowl aside.
  3. Add your diced onion and ground beef to a pan. After the ground beef has been browned, drain the mixture and add it back to the pan. Next, add the seasonings and tomato sauce to the beef and onion mixture. Combine everything and cover. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let the sauce simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the shells when they’re done cooking. While they are cooling enough for you to handle, cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan with meat sauce.
  5. Begin gently stuffing each shell with the stuffing mixture. I used a small spoon for this. Place each shell in the pan when done. After you’ve filled the pan, fill in the spaces between each shell with meat sauce. Then top everything with freshly grated mozzarella and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner

Keywords: shells, stuffed shells,

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