Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells (Bulk Recipe for Freezing)

Recently I’ve had quite a few friends have babies. I’ve been cooking up extra meals to bring to barter for time holding their newborns. Actually, I’m kind of terrified to hold them to be honest. When you are used to a toddler, a tiny one feels intimidating again. I hope that fades soon considering our baby girl will be here soon and I probably should get comfortable with holding her.

Visiting all the sweet babies also has me focused on preparing for ours. I’ve been busy stocking our freezer with meals to enjoy while we try and get the hang out this family of four thing. In order to minimize kitchen time and accomplish as much as possible, today I am sharing a recipe designed for cooking in bulk.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- @ahealthyslice

I love stuffed shells (what is there not to love?), but they do take some time to make. This recipe is comforting, delicious and makes 3 pans full of shells. I gave one away, ate one and still had one for the freezer. I like that maximized result for my effort!

I like to use fresh spinach, mostly because I can never get all the moisture out of the frozen kind.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- spinach

The giant pile cooks down quickly, so you’ll want to watch it to make sure it doesn’t get too mushy.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- garlic

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- wilted spinach

This recipe calls for fresh garlic and spinach, which really makes the flavor pop. I also highly suggest using fresh basil for a brighter flavor. With spring coming it should be easier to get, but feel free to cheat like I did.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- easy basil

You’ll want to cook extra shells because I guarantee you some will break in the process.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- boil shells

Then, turn on some tunes and enjoy the therapeutic filling of the shells.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- fill shells

If you plan on freezing a batch or three, first cover snuggly with plastic wrap, followed by tin foil.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- seal and cover

I also like to clearly label with directions so there is no guess work when pulling it out of the freezer.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- freezer ready

I was psyched to bring this to a friend, have one for ourselves and another ready in the freezer.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- 3 pans

Totally worth the time and effort for homemade comfort food.

spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- close up 1


spinach stuffed shells bulk freezer recipe- close up


4.5 from 2 reviews
Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells (Bulk Recipe for Freezing)
Serves: 16 (4 people per dish)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
These stuffed shells taste so fresh. They are a perfect comfort food dish that makes 3 pans full of shells, perfect for freezing or sharing.
  • 2 (12 oz) Boxes of Jumbo Shell Pasta
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 tsp Freshly Minced Garlic
  • 12 c Fresh Spinach, roughly chopped (about 10 ounces)
  • 36 oz Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 c Shredded Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1.5 c Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Basil
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 tsp Pepper
  • 8 c Marinara Sauce
  1. Cook shells according to package directions; rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Coat three 9-by-13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray then spread 2-2.5 cups of marinara along the bottom of each baking dish.
  4. Combine spinach, cheeses, egg, basil and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. Stuff each shell with 1 heaping spoon of filling and arrange stuffed shells in baking dish. Spoon any remaining sauce around shells where needed.
  5. If freezing: Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then tinfoil. Clearly label and keep in freezer for up to 3 months. Pull out of freezer and allow to defrost in the fridge over night, then follow regular baking directions (below).
  6. If cooking immediately: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake covered with tinfoil for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.




    • Brittany Dixon says

      I love bringing homemade soups, stuffed shells and enchiladas because they are crowd pleasers. It’s a little more challenging when the weather warms up because so many of my favorites are cold weather foods. I try and go by how the mom usually eats, too. If someone is really health-focused, I’ll sometimes make a big salad or fruit salad or healthy muffins, too. I think so many people bring dinners that breakfast sometimes gets overlooked :)

    • Brittany Dixon says

      I didn’t have trouble with it this go ’round and I’m thinking it’s because I mostly cook it covered and just uncovered it for the last 10 or so minutes. It certainly doesn’t hurt to put sauce on top (I love extra sauce!), but it just didn’t look as pretty for pictures 😉

    • Brittany Dixon says

      I’ll bring some when I visit! Oh, did you not know I was going to do that? Hmm… awkward. Well, I’ll bring shells 😉

    • Brittany Dixon says

      I’ll bring some when I visit? Oh, did you not know I was planning on doing that? Hm, awkward. Well, I’ll be bringing shells! 😉

  1. says

    Freezer meals are a mystery to me (well, beside the Evol frozen ones that mysteriously find their way into my grocery cart once and a while), so I’m happy you are posting about them! Stupid question: do you let everything cool before wrapping them and putting them in the freezer? I’m assuming so, but honestly have no idea :)
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    • Brittany Dixon says

      I know some people fully cook the meals before freezing, so yes, I’d say let cool completely to avoid freezer burn, but I cook after I thaw the meals, so no cooling necessary ahead of time since they are room temp. Freezer meals really aren’t so scary, I promise 😉

  2. emily says

    I love stuffed shells!
    One tip I have found to cut down of the ” stuffing” time is to use lasagna noodles and roll them up! Less breaking & still super yummy!

  3. says

    Thanks for the recipe! Ingredients are already added to my shopping list so I can try it this week!! I’ve never made freezer meals and this one looks like a great one to start with!

  4. Kelsey says

    I just made these and can testify that they are so delicious! Hopefully I can resist getting the other two dishes out of the freezer before our second arrives this summer! Thanks for the recipe :)


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