Easy To Prepare Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure that combines the earthy richness of mushrooms, the vibrant green goodness of spinach, and the comforting embrace of pasta shells? Look no further because we’re about to dive headfirst into the delightful world of Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells. This recipe is not only a feast for your taste buds but also a masterpiece of culinary creativity. Grab your apron, and let’s get cooking this fabulous family dinner!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we start creating this gastronomic masterpiece, let’s make sure you have all the ingredients at your disposal. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Stuffed Shells:

  • Large pasta shells (about 20)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients, let’s start our culinary journey.

Preparing the Stuffed Shells

  1. Cook the Pasta Shells: Begin by boiling the large pasta shells according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain them and set them aside to cool.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics: In a pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté them until they turn translucent and release their aromatic fragrance.
  3. Add Mushrooms and Spinach: Toss in the finely chopped mushrooms and fresh spinach into the pan. Sauté them until the mushrooms are browned, and the spinach wilts. This mixture will be the heart of our stuffed shells.
  4. Prepare the Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the sautéed mushroom and spinach mixture with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and an egg. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything until it’s well combined.
  5. Stuff the Shells: Carefully stuff each cooked pasta shell with the delicious mushroom and spinach filling. This step requires a gentle touch, but it’s worth it for the mouthwatering result.

Creating the Tomato Sauce

  1. Simmer the Tomato Sauce: In a separate saucepan, pour in the canned crushed tomatoes and add dried basil, dried oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Let the sauce simmer over low heat, allowing all the flavors to meld together.

Baking the Stuffed Shells

  1. Preheat the Oven: Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Layer the Shells: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells on top of the sauce.
  3. Cover with Sauce: Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed shells, ensuring they are generously coated.
  4. Bake to Perfection: Sprinkle some extra mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Serve and Savor!

  1. Let It Rest: Allow the Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells to cool for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven. This lets the flavors settle and makes it easier to serve.
  2. Garnish and Enjoy: Garnish your dish with fresh basil or parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Serve the shells hot and watch as your guests’ eyes light up with delight.

Why You’ll Love This Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

  1. Versatile: This recipe is incredibly versatile. You can customize the filling with your favorite ingredients, making it suitable for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
  2. Healthy Twist: The addition of spinach adds a healthy twist to the classic stuffed shells, making it a guilt-free indulgence.
  3. Crowd-Pleaser: Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells are guaranteed to be a hit. They are comfort food elevated to an art form.
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories per Serving: Approximately 350

Ingredients Pros:

  • Mushrooms: Low in calories, rich in flavor.
  • Spinach: High in nutrients, adds color.
  • Ricotta Cheese: Creamy texture, protein source.
  • Tomato Sauce: Rich, essential for Italian dishes.
  • Pasta Shells: Versatile, perfect for stuffing.

Ingredients Cons:

  • Pasta Shells: High in carbs, portion control advised.

So there you have it – a recipe that’s sure to tickle your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Get ready to be hailed as a culinary genius as you serve up these delectable Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells. Bon appétit!

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1. Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

Absolutely! You can substitute frozen spinach for fresh in this recipe. Just make sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly before adding it to the filling mixture.

2. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Certainly! You can assemble the stuffed shells a day in advance and refrigerate them. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply bake them as instructed.

3. What side dishes pair well with this dish?

Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells are delicious on their own, but they also go well with a side salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables.

4. Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze any leftover stuffed shells. Make sure they are in an airtight container, and they should stay good for up to three months.

5. Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?

While jumbo pasta shells work best for this dish, you can experiment with other pasta shapes. However, cooking times may vary, so be sure to adjust accordingly.

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