Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Shells

    1 hour 20 minutes

    Make your own stuffed pasta with this delicious recipe for ricotta and spinach filling. The fennel seeds adds a delicate aroma.

    199 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 32 large pasta shells
    • 600g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
    • 2 teaspoons dried basil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Ready in:1hour20min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, gently place pasta shells in boiling water; bring water back to boil. Cook until just tender; drain well.
    3. Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, fennel, basil and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
    4. Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce evenly over the bottom of a 20x30cm baking dish.
    5. Fill each pasta shell with the spinach cheese mixture. Arrange the shells filling side up in the baking dish. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over the shells. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the shells.
    6. Cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven until heated through; about 30 minutes.

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    Reviews in English (147)


    Simple to make and very good. This recipe is very flexible and additional ingredients can be added to suit individual preferences. I do agree the fennel seeds really add something. The next time I make these, I will double the fennel. Be careful not to over boil the shells before draining and stuffing. About five minutes in boiling water makes them tender. I used a potato ricer to “squeeze” the water out of the spinach. I then used a food processor to mix all of the ingredients. Since the spinach is usually long and stringy, the food processor method gives you a perfectly mixed filling that is easy to handle when filling the shells. Serve this with a green salad and garlic bread. It’s a keeper.  -  03 Apr 2004  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    We love this dish! Had never tried the fennel seed - that was yummy! I added about 1 cup grated mozzarella to the cheese mixture as well as a beaten egg (just think it binds the filling a little better). Also sprinkled mozzarella over the top.  -  23 Dec 2003  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This recipe was awesome both times that I made it. The first time I made them they turned out so well that I made them again the next day and froze the bunch for ready made suppers. They froze wonderfully and reheated easily, I just popped them into the oven frozen and baked them for about 1 hr. They turned out just as well as making and eating them the same day. What I really enjoyed about this recipe was the flavor the fennel seeds gave. I would definitely make this over and over again. Oh, by the way, it was a real hit with my husband and three teenagers!!!  -  18 Sep 2001  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)