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Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells are another fantastic vibrant way to enjoy the always popular Italian flavors. The colors in this dish are reminiscent of the holidays making it a festive entrée to serve but, the robust combination of ingredients make it a tasty dish to enjoy year-round.
Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells Recipe

These shells are stuffed with beef, spinach and a creamy pesto sauce with plenty of Parmesan cheese for added flavor. Drizzled with marinara sauce then baked until heated through they’re ready to devour. My boys really love stuffed pasta shells. I’ve begun making them in a variety of flavors and continue to think outside of the box for fillings.

Beef And Spinach Stuffed Shells

How to Make the BEST Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells: One box jumbo shells, ground beef, baby spinach, onion, olive oil, prepared basil pesto, shredded Italian blend of cheese of mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes, ricotta cheese, whipped cream cheese, fresh garlic, dried Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, large egg, marinara sauce,
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: Skillet, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and cutting board, 13 x 9 inch baking dish and large spoon.
  • Take time to rinse the sundried tomatoes will remove some of the oil. this will keep it from overpowering the flavor of the filling.
  • You can use an Italian blend of cheese from the grocery store or mozzarella cheese for these shells.
  • You can use ground turkey, Italian sausage or ground chicken for this recipe.
  • Use your favorite brand of marinara sauce for drizzling on top.
  • One thing I love about these stuffed shells is that they can be prepared in advance, covered and chilled up to 2 days in advance. Allow them to rest on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking or increase the baking time to heat thoroughly.
  • When doing so, top with the marinara sauce and final sprinkling of cheese just before baking.
  • Serve Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells with a wedge salad, a spinach salad or a fresh Caesar salad along with warm and toasty garlic bread and it’s time to eat.
  • Store baked shells chilled in the refrigerator or up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave or in a 350°F oven with foil on top just until heated through.

Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells

More Italian Inspired Recipes to Make


Beef And Spinach Stuffed Shells

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Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beef-and-spinach-stuffed-shells
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 15 oz box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp prepared basil pesto
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 oz light cream cheese (i.e. Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend OR mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce i.e. Bertolli 5 Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley for garnishing


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook the shells per the instructions on the box in salted water until al dente, then drain and cool slightly.
  • In a stove top pan, saute the chopped onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, until translucent. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until no pink remains. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain excess fat from the pan. Add the sun dried tomatoes, pesto, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes to the ground beef. Stir until combined.
  • Add the whipped cream cheese, ricotta cheese spinach Simmer on low heat for 2 minute or just until melted. Taste and adjust salt and black pepper to your taste. Remove from the heat.
  • Add egg, 1 cup shredded Italian cheese and 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly.
  • Fill shells using a tablespoon then place side by side, seam side up in the dish. Drizzle the tops with the marinara sauce.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Place the remaining shredded cheese on top five minutes before the end of baking. 
  • Serve immediately garnished with parsley. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. This recipe is fantastic! It is my son’s favorite dinner. I’m so glad I found this recipe.

  2. Hi Pat, the sundried tomatoes typically come in a jar packed in oil. It sounds like that’s what you’ve found. If they are large, give them a quick dice after you rinse them.

  3. I’ve been searching for the perfect Christmas Eve meal. This is it! Of course I’ll need to give out a test run tonight, you know, just to make sure. 😉 Thanks ever so much!

  4. Thanks!! I was wondering what to make for dinner. You solved my problem. Have all ingredients on hand but I am using ground turkey instead of ground beef. Thanks again.

    Another thing I do for stuffed shells is an appetizer. Moisten your favorite antipasto recipe with a little Italian Dressing (variety of choice) and fill cooked shells. You may have to secure each shell with a decorative pick. Sprinkle chopped basil over top.

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