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 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.
Helpful Tips for Making Stuffed Shells
- One thing I love about these is that they can be prepared in advance, covered and chilled up to 2 days in advance. Allow to rest on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking or increase the baking time to heat thoroughly.
- When doing so, drizzle with the marinara sauce and final sprinkling of cheese can go on top of the shells just before baking.
- Serve 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.
- See also my Parade article featuring 15 Stuffed Shells Recipes We Can't Live Without.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Servings: 16 servings
- 1 15 oz box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 medium onion diced
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes rinsed
- 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 oz light whipped cream cheese
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cups baby spinach
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend divided
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce i.e. Bertolli 5 Cheese
- 1 tablespoon 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, Worcestershire sauce, 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 of Italian cheese blend and ⅓ 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
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Thud meal was excellent. My boyfriend loved it!!!
Wonderful, thank you!
This recipe is fantastic! It is my son's favorite dinner. I'm so glad I found this recipe.
As a Mother of 2 sons that makes me very happy! We love it too, thanks.
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.
I'm going to make this but I'm having a hard time finding the dried tomatoes. The only ones I find are in jars with oil.
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!
Hi Didi! Kicked up flavors, for sure! xoxo
I'm loving both the sundried tomatoes in this and the pesto Melissa, too die for!!!
Hi Carole, that's a great idea! Thanks for visiting ~ Melissa
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.