Simply Cooking: Stuffed ricotta and spinach shells


(Graphic Illustration by Charlie Dillon | The Collegian)

Sierra Grimm, Arts and Culture Reporter

Stuffed shells are a classic. They are also my new favorite comfort food.

I’ve come to learn lately that if I don’t like something, it is either because I don’t know how to make it or I have really failed at it and do not want to attempt it anymore. Well, make another attempt because this stuffed shell recipe is for any skill level. However, these aren’t just any stuffed shells — these are homemade stuffed shells that you (later on down the way) will crave and want to bake for yourself, for a party or for your neighbor. They’re that good. They’re creamy, easy and delicious — almost restaurant quality, if you ask me. 


I’ve always loved getting stuffed shells when I am out to eat, as they seemed nearly impossible to make at home — until they weren’t. In fact, they are just as easy as making a bowl of spaghetti with red sauce. I was blown away at the outcome and the efficiency of them; you’ll take that first bite and be impressed you did that. 

This recipe will absolutely have leftovers for a few days, so no need to worry too much about cooking the week you make them. They’re even better on day three, when flavors are bursting. Let’s get cooking! 


  • 1 bag jumbo stuffed shells 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Large handful of spinach
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups Rao’s Homemade tomato sauce 
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Fill one large pot with water and bring to a boil. 
  3. Add jumbo stuffed shells into water, and boil for 16 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. 
  4. In a smaller pan, on medium heat, add olive oil and spinach. Cook until soft. 
  5. Grab a large mixing bowl, and add in ricotta and cooked spinach. Fold those ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. 
  6. Add oregano, chili flakes, salt and pepper into the ricotta mix. 
  7. By this point, the shells should be cooked through. Drain any excess water and set it aside. 
  8. Next, you will need a large 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add marinara sauce to the bottom of this pan before adding the shells. 
  9. Take a spoon and stuff your shells evenly with ricotta mix until all are filled. 
  10. Place each stuffed shell facing up on the pan. At this point, you can add mozzarella on top for more gooey goodness, or leave it as is. 
  11. Place shells into the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. 
  12. Once finished cooking, allow shells to sit for about 10 minutes to cool. 
  13. Enjoy! Add foil or cover, and save up to three days in the fridge.

Reach Sierra Grimm at or on Twitter @CSUram5.