Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Large pasta shells bursting at the seam with Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheeses with an added pop of color from the spinach.  Topped by a chunky marinara sauce,  this meatless meal will definitely leave you satisfied!

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

I can’t remember when I started intentionally adding a meatless meal to our weekly menu.  It’s been a few years, I think.  It took a few months for my meat and potato husband to come around to the idea but now he comes to expect it.  He also comes to expect the lovely dessert I bribe him to go along with the idea, although secretly, I think he’s totally on board and just likes to make a fuss about it.

I was excited to learn that the theme for this week’s Sunday Supper was Meatless Meals so that I could add a few new dishes to our weekly line up.  Thanks so much to Tammi of Momma’s Meals for hosting.  Tammi was the first blogger I connected with when I joined the Sunday Supper Movement and was so kind in showing me the ropes!

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

If you can boil water, you can make this dish.  Even better, you can prepare this dish in advance and simply put it into the oven to warm through.  That’s my kind of dish!  I’ve made this dish while I’ve prepared lunch for my youngest two and then simply reheated it once the dinner hour arrived.

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

Speaking of my children, they literally inhaled these stuffed shells.  My oldest ate five of them without a second thought.  If that isn’t a seal of approval, I don’t know what is!  Even my three year old who has all of a sudden decided she doesn’t “eat leaves,” also known as spinach to the rest of the world, ate them without complaint.

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

And can we talk about the cheese factor for a minute?  Not one or two, but four – count them, four! – different cheeses steal the show.  The filling couldn’t be easier as it’s simply stirred together in a large bowl.    To insure each shell was filled evenly, I used a small cookie scoop.  Definitely made the job quick and easy!

You will likely have additional shells leftover but I like to cook the entire box of pasta shells as some tend to break when cooking.

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 12 oz. jumbo pasta shells
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 24 oz. marinara sauce
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes, drained
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta shells until just shy of al dente. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together cheeses, spinach, garlic and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine marinara sauced and diced tomatoes. Spoon ½ cup of sauce into 9x13 pan.
  5. Using small cookie scoop, fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese and spinach mixture. Place filled shells in baking dish.
  6. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over stuffed shells
  7. Cover dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling and heated through.
  8. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells | Melanie Makes

Not only a delicious main dish that can be made ahead if needed, but a satisfying and meatless meal at that!

Looking for more meatless meal inspiration?  Check out these other amazing dishes: 

Salads, Soups, Stews and Starters


Pastas, Pizzas and Casseroles


Tacos & Everything Wrapped

Other Main and Side Dishes

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


  1. I have yet to make stuffed shells and after looking at your recipe, I sooooooooo have to make this!!

  2. I make a similar recipe, but love the idea of chunking up the marinara sauce! Thanks for the inspiration; I need to put this on the menu ASAP :)

  3. I love stuffed shells, and adding spinach to get in some more nutrition is a perfect idea!

  4. Gorgeous and delicious!

  5. Melanie!
    I LOVE this!!! and love the idea of serving a great dessert to bribe the husband. . I wish this would work. . but then my husband would probably still grumble and mumble about having no meat in his dinner .. :) I say too bad!! :)

  6. mmmm all that cheesy deliciousness, these are perfect for a meatless meal!

  7. I LOVE the chunky sauce! This looks sooooo good!

  8. Sooo encouraging Melanie…I can boil water so maybe I can replicate your gorgeous stuffed shells =) And if the food tastes as tantalizing as the photos look, I’ll be inhaling the pasta, too!

    • melanie says:

      You’re so full of compliments, thank you! And if you can boil water, you’ve got this one covered – promised!

  9. If I wanted to turn this into a freezer meal would I bake it all the way through and then freeze or freeze before doing the final baking. I’m new to freezer meal making. My husband and I are expecting our first child in a month and I’m trying to get some simple meals prepped and frozen before the craziness begins :)

    • melanie says:

      Hi, Dawn –

      Congrats on the soon-to-be arrival of your new little one! If you were going to freeze this in advance, I would do so before the final baking. Then you would simply thaw and then cook until warmed through.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Mmmmm absolutely wonderful dish. I will pin this for alter use :)

  11. Seriously want some of these right now Melanie! I LOVE stuffed shells and your version looks perfect!

  12. mmmmm these shells look PERFECT! I love the cheeses and spinach. Yum!

  13. I love stuffed shells, the more cheese the merrier!

  14. Oh I love stuffed shells!! What a great idea for a meatless meal!!

  15. I love everything about this beautiful dish, Melanie, especially the spinach which in our family we call greenery. :) Pinning this on my Recipes to Try board, cookie scoop at the ready!

  16. Ok. Now I really need to make some stuffed shells!

  17. Haha, so glad somebody else uses the “bribe the husband with dessert” strategy. It totally works! Man, this is reminding me that I haven’t had stuffed shells in FOREVER. I need to get on that before the winter is over. These look fabulous!

    • Thank you so much, Lori! I just took cookies out of the oven for after tonight’s meatless meal. 😉

  18. If you squint your eyes and look real hard at the dish in the back you can see my name written all over it. I’d claim the whole thing for myself because it looks so incredibly tasty.

  19. This reminds me of one of my schoolfriends, her mom made this every time a gang of us came for dinner!

  20. We are big fans of stuffed shells, which reminds me it’s been a while since I made them. I love the cheese and spinach stuffing.

  21. With amazing dishes liked cheese stuffed shells who needs the meat? It has been ages since I did a stuffed shell recipe, it looks so good I think I need to make one soon.

  22. I made similar stuffed shells for dinner last night. They were super yummy! Thank you so much for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

  23. Oh wow, talk about bursting with flavor! These would go over real well in my house!

  24. I totally need to make stuffed shells again! This version looks wonderful!

  25. What a good looking recipe! I love the idea of using a cookie scoop to fill the shells–can’t wait to try it!


  1. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  2. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  3. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  4. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  5. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  6. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  7. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  8. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  9. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  10. […] Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes […]

  11. […] but I’ve also used it to add filling to mini loaves of bread and even to fill my Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells!  It just makes my time in the kitchen easier and a whole lot cleaner!”   I’m giving […]

Leave a Comment


Rate this recipe: