Spinach-Stuffed Shells

Makes 8 Servings

  • Total Time: 70
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 45


  • 1 lb. jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 8-oz. container low-fat cottage cheese, drained
  • 1 8-oz. container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 10 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs, large 
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • Kosher salt, to taste 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground nutmeg

Homemade Marinara recipe  

  • 7 15-oz. cans, no salt added, Italian tomatoes (not drained), and chopped in food processor
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil 
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper 
  • Kosher salt, to taste 


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the shells according to package instructions.

As the shells boil, prepare the filling: In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic. Add the spinach to the pan, toss to coat, and cook just until wilted. Add the fresh basil and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Drain any extra moisture. 

Transfer the spinach, drained cottage cheese, ricotta, red pepper flakes, and two eggs in a blender and mix to a uniform consistency.

Line a roasting pan with a thin layer of marinara. 

Stuff the cooked shells with the spinach filling and place in the roasting pan.

Ladle more marinara over top of the entire pan, and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil, adjust the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve hot with extra marinara on the side and grated Parmesan over top. 

Homemade Marinara recipe  

Bring the olive oil to med-high heat.  Throw in the garlic, parsley, and basil, and cook a minute or two until garlic is browned.  Throw in the chopped tomatoes and their juices, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about an hour.

Tips/Tricks - Note with alterations the nutritional values will be affected, including lactose content

**Prepare this recipe in advance and freeze. Before serving, place the frozen casserole directly into the oven and bake for time and a half, so about 20 extra minutes.

**Use your favorite marinara for this recipe, whether it is homemade or jarred. 

*You may also substitute a lactose-free cottage cheese for regular cottage cheese.