Stuffed shells are one of my favorite fall and winter comfort foods. They are simple to make and freeze great! You can easily make a double or triple batch to stick in the freezer for future meals. Stuffed shells are also super versatile with all the flavor and ingredient combinations they can take on.
This recipe came about, as many of mine do, with random leftover ingredients I needed to use up. This time it was a leftover cup of feta cheese along with a lonely package of frozen spinach. Those are actually two of my favorite ingredients to combine. Usually I make a greek pizza with but this time I wanted something different.
For some reason, stuffed shells came to mind so I searched the internet world for some ideas. I came across this recipe from Cooking Light and decided to adapt it with the ingredients I had on hand. Any red sauce would work with this recipe. I used a tomato sauce that I made, portioned out, and froze a month or so ago.
My family loved this recipe – especially the hubs. The flavor was delicious and it was a great way to sneak in some spinach.
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 2 ½ cups part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup feta
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 garlic clove grated
- 1 10 ounce package chopped frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 cups of spaghetti sauce
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cook pasta in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes. You want the pasta to still be really firm but soft enough to get filling in without them breaking. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, feta, onion powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, garlic, and spinach. Mix until combine. **You want to make sure the spinach is drained as much as possible before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Stuff the shells with ricotta mixture.
- In a 9x13 pan ladle ½ the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the stuffed shells in the pan then pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before eating.
Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions
This recipe can be frozen a couple different ways. The first time I made it I already had sauce in the freezer. So I made the shells (up to step 3) flash froze on a tray for a couple hours then put in a large freezer bag. When I was ready to eat I took out the amount of shells I wanted and continued with step 4. I would thaw the sauce ahead of time but I put the shells in the oven frozen straight from the freezer. They cooked for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
Another way to freeze this recipe is to prepare as a complete meal using the casserole method or Glad SimplyCooking OvenWare
(which is what I use). Complete all recipe steps then freeze as a meal. This way you can just pull it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven when you are ready to eat. Again, you would cook for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.