Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Lenten Recipe: Ricotta And Spinach Stuffed Shells

Published February 28, 2013

Margaret Betz of Good Samaritan Church, Ellijay, shared this recipe for vegetarian stuffed shells. She said, “This recipe is a favorite at our house—it makes a beautiful, aromatic and delicious meal for meatless Fridays, for Lent, and even for company any time! I always make a big batch (by increasing the amount of filling and sauce). The shells freeze beautifully, so I can be ready for company or for giving to a friend in need.”


1 12-oz. package of jumbo pasta shells (approximately 48 shells)


2 10-oz. boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

15 oz. part skim ricotta

8 oz. part skim mozzarella, grated

2 eggs


1 medium onion, diced

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz. can of diced or whole tomatoes (crush the latter)

1 10-oz. can of tomato sauce

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. basil leaves

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp. Splenda or sugar (optional)

3 tbsp. wine (optional)


Grated parmesan

Fresh basil, torn

Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Cook pasta shells as directed on package. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. (It’s a good idea to have an extra 9×9 pan or two available, as this recipe makes a generous amount.) Defrost and drain spinach thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients (spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and eggs).

In a medium-sized saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until the onion is translucent. Combine the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.

Spoon a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Stuff the cooked pasta shells with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Place shells in baking dish. Spoon sauce over the shells.

Bake for 30 minutes or until sauce is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with garnish. Serve with a colorful salad, and dinner is served!