| September 28, 2012

Nothing tempts our taste buds like a savory plate of pasta — unless it's a savory plate of pasta loaded with sausage, spinach and cheese.

This stuffed shells recipe from Joanne at Inspired Taste is just what we crave, combining pork sausage, garlicky spinach and creamy ricotta into an unbelievably mouthwatering filling. Try this dish the next time you're in the mood for Italian, or bring it to a friend's house for their next pot-luck. However you serve it, this recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table!

For the complete recipe from Inspired Taste, read the step-by-step instructions below.

Stuffed Shells With Sausage and Spinach

Cooking Method: 
Boil, bake
Prep Time: 
5 minutes
Cook Time: 
35 minutes
Total Time: 
40 minutes
4 servings


  • 16–18 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 pound fresh pork sausage links, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Boil large pasta shells according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and add to a large bowl of ice water until ready to be stuffed.
  3. To make the filling, start by removing the casing from the sausage links. Carefully use a sharp knife to pierce the casing and peel it off the meat.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the pork sausage to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break the sausage apart. Cook the sausage until browned.
  5. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer, making sure the garlic does not burn.
  6. Pour in a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.
  7. Defrost some frozen spinach in the microwave (this should take one or two minutes). Once defrosted, squeeze the spinach over a bowl to remove the excess water.
  8. Add the spinach to the pan and stir.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the ricotta cheese to give the filling a creamier texture. Taste for seasoning, then use a spoon to fill each pasta shell.
  10. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the shells, then bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tips of the shells begin to crisp and brown.
  11. Remove shells from the oven and serve.