Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Jumbo Shells

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Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Jumbo Shells – a healthier version with ricotta and cottage cheese.


Whenever you’re in the mood to eat some cheesy pasta, this recipe of cheese and spinach stuffed shells is perfect. There are 4 types of cheeses in this dish, making it scrumptious and super delicious. I chose to mix some cottage and ricotta cheese for the stuffing, therefore making this dish healthier. I topped the shells with mozzarella cheese and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and it turned out so good. Comfort food at its finest.

The sauce I used is is just store bought sweet basil marinara sauce, but of course you could make your own. This dish is great because it’s quick, and it’s easy to make. I made this on a Sunday, but it could easily be made on a weekday. I used a whole package of jumbo shells, only because some break, and I only wanted to use the ones that are whole. Cook the shells as per the instructions on the box and when they’re done, place them in ice cold water. I ended up filling 23 shells, making about 8 portions. For the filling, I mixed a cup of chopped spinach with ricotta cheese and cottage cheese, I used frozen spinach that I thawed out first.


This dish looks amazing, and it tastes delicious and it truly is a great meal. Your kids will thank you. Your spouse will thank you. You will thank yourself. Cheesy goodness. :)


Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Jumbo Shells
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 30 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to instructions on box
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • basil for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, spinach, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spread out evenly a cup of the marinara sauce.
  4. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese and spinach mixture and place in the baking dish over the sauce.
  5. Top each shell with a tablespoon of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over each shell.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, after which change the heat to broil and bake for an additional 2 to 5 minutes so that the cheese browns a bit.
  7. Remove from oven and top with the Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


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  1. maria says

    do I double the recipe if I were to use the entire package, with some left? I could not find a similar recipe w/c used all ingredients for all shells; I might have had some leftover of the filling w/c I just put on the sides of the shell pasta in the same pan… I don’t think I mixed the cottage cheese w/ the ricotta cheese… although one time, I picked up cottage cheese in error from the store, instead of ricotta cheese, & the cheese filling (at the time I didn’t use spinach) was very smooth, unlike when ricotta is used… another time, I used ground meat w/ the sauce but filling was just ricotta-based… so that’s for those looking for some meat…

    • says

      I’m not sure I understand, the entire package of what? Do you mean shells? I’m not sure how many shells are in a package now.

  2. Dee says

    Hi..I haven,t been on here for a bit, but have tried many of you recipes.of which have become favorites in our home…I love these stuffed shells, but hubby would like a recipe made meat stuffing???
    Thankyou, and love you site


    • says

      Hi Dee,
      Do you mean shells stuffed with meat? You can easily do that, some ground chicken or ground turkey would be nice and light. But I do have other recipes on here with stuffed meat, like stuffed peppers, cabbage rolls, stuffed grape leaves. Try some of them, I’m sure you’ll love them, those are my Romanian recipes from my mother, so I know they are good, we’ve made them many many times.

  3. Teresa says

    My son asked for cheese and spinach pasta for dinner today so, as usual, I did a Google search for a recipe and this was one that came up. Not only did we get a delicious meal from your site but also a wealth of information (How to start your own food blog) Thank you for the recipe and for generously sharing the information on blogging.

  4. Heather says

    Hi , I actually made this dish , i added a bit of hamburger to it fabulous dish , will be using your website more often , looking forward to the stuff mushrooms :)

  5. says

    I guess I can still keep my promise of healthy and delicious meals on the table for the year…This recipe just made my day. Ready to start cooking…Thanks for this recipe =)

    • says

      Hi Vicky, I’ve never tried to freeze pasta before, it’s a good idea though, because somehow I always make more than we can eat. :)

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