These sausage and spinach stuffed shells are a real winner for an easy gourmet dinner; each shell is filled to the brim with so much flavor!
- 1lb Italian sausage, ground
- 1 24oz jar of pasta sauce
- 1 12oz box of jumbo pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 15oz container ricotta cheese
- 2 generous handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped with stems removed
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Using a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add in ground sausage and break up until all pieces have fully crumbled. Add in minced garlic, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Once sausage is cooked completely, toss in spinach and cook for about 3-5 minutes more until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked sausage mixture with ricotta + mozzarella cheese. Stir until everything is well incorporated then set aside.
- At this stage, cook jumbo pasta shells according to package directions. Then immediately rinse cooked pasta under cold water to stop the shells from cooking further.
- In a large 12” skillet or 13×9 baking dish, add about 1 cup of pasta sauce to bottom of pan, spread around to make sure bottom is fully coated with sauce (if using a 13×9 dish, you will need a bit more sauce).
- Fill pasta shells with sausage/cheese mixture and place directly on top of sauce in pan. Repeat process until you’ve used up all shells and sausage mixture.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes then take dish out and top shells with more sauce and shredded cheese and bake in oven for an additional 15 minutes, until pasta is lightly brown and sauce is bubbly.
- *Optional: garnish with fresh basil and serve with a side salad and/or garlic bread
Feel free to use ground beef instead of Italian sausage if you prefer.
You can also use low-fat ricotta cheese for a more health conscious option.
This dish is also freezer friendly 🙂