These easy, freezer-friendly Italian Spinach Stuffed Shells are the perfect week night meal the whole family will love!
I’ve been working on a lot more freezer and make-ahead recipes lately and this one is my new favorite! It’s really easy to make, freezes well and the whole family liked it, which makes it a winner in my book!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so tired of cooking dinner! How about you? The other day when it hit 4:00 and I had nothing planned for dinner my first thought was “ugh, I can’t believe I have to make dinner again!!” I mean, I’ve already done breakfast and lunch and now I need to make a “real” meal for dinner. That’s when I decided to start making some freezer meals.
One day when Emily was a daycare I made 3 different freezer dinners along with 2 pans of baked oatmeal so I could give myself a little break from the recent dinnertime madness! I think you all know what I’m talking about – Emily’s at her chair yelling “eat, eat!” while I’m scrambling either trying to make the meal or pull something out of nothing in our cupboards. It’s not really a fun time for anyone involved.
With a pan of these made ahead of time, all I had to do was pull them out of the refrigerator and put them in the oven. While the shells were baking I threw together a quick green salad and dinner was ready to go! It honestly doesn’t get easier than this, does it?
I love dinners like this. I wasn’t stressed, Emily and I happily played while dinner was baking and everyone left the dinner table with a fully belly. Talk about loving dinnertime again! Do you have a favorite dinner like this? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
- 24 Jumbo Pasta Shells
- 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 15 oz ricotta cheese (whole or part skim, not non-fat)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 large jar spaghetti sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray, set aside. Cook the shells according to package directions, rinse in a colander, set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, prepare the filling. Add the oil to a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese and egg. Stir in the Italian seasoning, salt, spinach and cooled onion/garlic mixture.
- Spoon 1 cup spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Take one cooked shell and spoon about 1 Tbs. of the ricotta mixture into it. Place in the prepared baking pan. Continue process with remaining shells.
- Cover the shells with additional spaghetti sauce, about 1 Tbs. per shell. You may not need the entire jar depending on how much sauce you like. Sprinkle with shredded cheeses. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Cheese should be melted and sauce may bubble. Cool for about 5 minutes and serve!
*Recipe adapted from my Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls