Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sausage, Spinach, Three Cheese Stuffed Shells with Homemade Marinara

My family loves when I make baked Italian dishes like lasagna, ziti, and manicotti, so I came up with this recipe to please all of our taste preferences.  Jumbo shells are stuffed full with a mixture of sausage, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta cheese.  They are baked nestled on a bed of homemade marinara, topped with more marinara and mozzarella cheese, then baked until the filling is warm and gooey.  This recipe makes two large casserole dishes, so you can share with your neighbors, enjoy leftovers, or freeze some.

I used five of these individual serving baking dishes...

And made a large casserole dish for my hubby to share at work...


1 batch Homemade Marinara
1 - 12 oz. box Jumbo Shells, cooked al dente
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (for topping)


1 lb ground Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz box or 12 oz package frozen chopped spinach, drained and squeezed of excess water
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 T grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Italian seasoning
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two large casserole dishes with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage until cooked through.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Remove from stove and allow to cool. 

In a large bowl, stir together spinach, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, ricotta, grated parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Add the sausage mixture when cooled and stir well to combine.

Ladle a deep bed of marinara in each casserole dish.  Stuff each Jumbo shell with filling and place side by side within the casserole dishes.  Ladle marinara over top of shells and top with remaining 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella.  

Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is melted and marinara is bubbly.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!


  1. Yum, his co-workers are truly lucky.

  2. I am anxious to try your stuffed shells. They look delicious!! Yum

  3. I made these for supper tonight. Just about to take them out of the oven. The recipe does not state what to do with the spinach so I assumed it went in the sausage mixture. Hope that was right. Smells heavenly...

  4. Sorry about that Brenda. I corrected the recipe. The spinach can go into the cooled sausage mixture or the cheese mixture. I hope you enjoyed!

  5. Rhondi, it was great. Much better than going to a mediocre Italian restaurant. Thanks for sharing....

  6. Can't wait to try this. Do you think it would freeze well, as this is more than we could use at one time?

  7. Hi Rhondi, which sauce do u recommend Instead of making the Homemade Marinara?

    1. Giada's tomato basil from Super Target is good


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