Let’s talk about my newest obsession, stuffed shells. I had never made stuffed shells before I started The Hungry Pinner, and now I can’t get enough of them. They aren’t nearly as difficult or time-consuming as I always imagined they would be, and the filling options are endless. I’ve made Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells and Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells, and today I’m trying a new filling with these Sausage Stuffed Shells with Spinach. This recipe has only a few ingredients and promises to be savory, cheesy comfort food that’s perfect for the season. Let’s find out!
This easy stuffed shells recipe with sausage, spinach, tomato, and ricotta cheese will make just about anyone reach in for more.
The ingredients for this stuffed shell recipe are all easy to find basics, so no special trips or online orders were needed. I notice there was some flexibility with the sausage, though, and I chose mild Italian sausage since it is a favorite.
Unfortunately, the bulk sausage I ordered was out of stock, and the delivery shopper substituted Beyond Sausage hot Italian sausage. I’ve never tried it, but their burgers are good, so I have high hopes for this plant-based sausage.
This recipe takes about an hour to make and has four main parts: boiling the shells, making the filling, assembly, and baking. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 32 minutes to prep
- 25 minutes to bake
- 57 minutes total
This recipe had some prep work to do before I got started cooking. First up was boiling the water for the shells while I peeled the casings off the sausages and thawed the spinach (I soaked it in water to thaw it). I also pressed the garlic cloves and drained the canned tomatoes.
Looking back, maybe the tomatoes didn’t need to be drained. The directions mention reducing the liquid while the filling cooks, so I’m not sure I did the right thing even though the filling turned out well.
Once I was ready to start making the filling, things went very smoothly. I browned the sausage in a large skillet, then I added the remaining ingredients as directed. The shells were ready by the time I had the ricotta stirred in–perfect timing!
I used a deep pie plate to bake the filled shells, but a casserole dish would also work. The recipe says it makes enough filling for 16 shells, but I filled all 20. They just fit into the dish with enough room for the shredded mozzarella topping. Then it was into the oven to bake and melt the cheese. Oh, the anticipation!!