Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

8 servings
A creamy, cheesy stuffed shells recipe is a great thing to have in your arsenal. It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods, and this one is flecked with pretty green bits of fresh spinach.

By: Katie Workman, The Mom 100


  • 3/4 pound jumbo pasta shells (about 30 shells)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Roth Fontina cheese
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Roth Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 6 large leaves fresh basil, very thinly sliced — about 1/4 cup (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions for al dente or 3 fewer minutes than full cooking time. Drain shells in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Beat egg in large bowl. Add spinach, ricotta, shredded Roth® Fontina, 1/4 cup whole milk, and oregano; season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine well.
  4. Melt butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, until golden. Add half and half and the remaining 1/2 cup milk; stir often until mixture just starts to come to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low; add Gouda a handful at a time, stirring just until each handful is melted.  Stir in red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  5. Spoon a thin layer of the Gouda cheese sauce over bottom of a shallow 3-quart baking dish (A 9×13-inch pan also works well.) Use a spoon or your fingers to stuff cooked shells with spinach-ricotta-fontina mixture, dividing it evenly between the shells. Line up shells neatly in prepared dish. Give the Gouda cheese sauce another good stir, then pour it slowly and evenly over the stuffed shells.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to 475°F and continue baking for about another 10 minutes, until top is golden brown and lightly bubbling. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil, if desired, before serving.