Although the total time required to complete this recipe is estimated at 45 minutes, baked shells re-heat well. Make these when time allows, and then serve them for a week night dinner along with a side salad of arugula or any other salad green. Also, substitute Swiss chard or kale for the spinach in the recipe if you prefer.

Inspired by: Real Simple, dinner tonight: done!

Makes 6 servings


  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1-24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 30-ounces ricotta
  • 4 cups spinach, cut into ribbons
  • 1T olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and place an oven rack at the top position.
  2. Cook shells according to package directions and when done, run under cold water to cool, set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté spinach until slightly wilted.
  4. Spread the whole jar of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place the shells on top of the sauce in the baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the shells and bake until the shells are heated through, about 12 minutes.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to broil. Broil the shells until the mozzarella begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  8. Freeze if desired and reheat in a 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until warm in the center.