Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells for Sunday

Mary Kay DeSola | Homemade Cravings

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells scream Sunday supper. Cozy up with the family and indulge in this hearty pasta favorite.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells Photo

Nothing says Sunday Supper like a big plate of pasta. Especially one that includes sausage, spinach and pasta with creamy cheese and tomato sauce in one comforting dish. It’s ideal for these cold winter nights.

Growing up my family never was one for more than spaghetti and meatballs, we were more of a roast beef and potato kind of family. Not until I moved to New Jersey as a teenager do I remember regularly seeing lasagna, stuffed shells and manicotti at friends homes, parties and restaurants.

After marrying a guy whose Thanksgiving meals often included at least a lasagna or a tray of stuffed shells did I gain an appreciation for stuffed pastas and decided to learn how to make these baked pastas myself.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells Picture

I’ve spent some years working out the kinks and figuring out what my kids will and won’t eat and now my family regularly looks forward to a night of Cheese Lasagna or one of our favorite weeknight meals, Ravioli Sausage Bake.

I love the fact that this dish is a one dish dinner, although its definitely a meal for a Sunday when you have time to spend in the kitchen. The recipe makes enough for 8 adults, which means it will last our family an extra night for dinner. Its a great idea to make a double recipe or split the shells among two baking dishes and freeze one for later. There’s nothing better than being able to pull something out of the freezer when you have a busy day!

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells Image

You’ve got everything for your meal in this dish, but make sure you put the extra sauce out when you serve the shells with some bread for dipping, like this Rosemary Roasted Garlic Bread.

Feeling the need to end your meal on a sweet note? These Tiramsu Cupcakes should certainly do the trick!

    8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces jumbo shells, 1 package
  • 9 ounces spinach, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 1 can
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook shells 2 minutes less than package directions until al dente and drain.

  2. Microwave spinach in bag as per instructions. Let cool, squeeze out as much water as possible and chop and set aside.

  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high. Remove sausage from casings and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon into small crumbles, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on a plate lined with paper towels until slightly cooled and set aside.

  4. Add butter to skillet and melt. Add onions and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.

  5. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cook an additional 5 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

  7. Combine ricotta, egg, 1 cup of mozzarella and parmesan. Stir in cooked spinach and sausage.

  8. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and arrange on top of the sauce in the baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over the shells and top with remaining cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

  9. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

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Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

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Mary Kay DeSola

About Mary

Mary Kay is known for all sorts of lovely family meals on her blog, Homemade Cravings. Around these parts, she's known for her fabulous Sunday Suppers.

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This looks and sounds amazing! I have a question...the ingredients call for "9 ounces spinach, fresh", but the second step in the directions says "Microwave spinach in bag as per instructions. Let cool, squeeze out as much water as possible and chop and set aside." Are you cooking fresh spinach in the microwave? I've never done that before, so wanted to clarify! Thank you so much! :)

Homemadecravings
homemadecravings.com @ Pam Gurganus

Hi Pam, Thanks! Yes, a lot of the fresh spinach comes in microwaveable bags, but feel free to cook it on the stove top if you'd prefer! Hope you enjoy!