Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms

I never get sick of Italian food. Sometimes I think I am Italian, my name is Maria, I have dark hair, I could pass, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ I love pasta, pizza, gelato, panini, etc. Italian food always hits the spot for me.

I recently made stuffed shells for dinner. I started with the classic ricotta spinach mixture. I also added in portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, and red peppers. I made a homemade marinara sauce and topped the shells off with cheese.

I loved peeking in on the bubbling shells that were oozing with cheese. The house smelled amazing too. I am glad I added in the extra vegetables, the portobello mushrooms and red peppers worked well with the spinach and cheese.

I think this is a great dish to serve to guests. You can prepare the filling and stuff the shells in advance. Keep the stuffed shells covered in the refrigerator until you are ready for dinner. Bake them 35 minutes before the guests arrive and you will have an amazing dinner with no last minute hassles.

Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large portobello mushroom chopped
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 15 oz ricotta cheese - I used low fat
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated (divided)
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach thawed, drained, and chopped (use a potato ricer to get rid of the water)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 3 cups of marinara sauce I made my own, you can use store bought
  • About 18 jumbo pasta shells cooked al dente, read box instructions:)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish or Pyrex 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onion, cook until soft. Add in garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers. Remove from heat and cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the ricotta, ¼ cup of the mozzarella, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, stir well. Add in the egg, spinach, dried basil, crushed red pepper,salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Mix well until creamy. Add the mushroom, onion, red pepper mixture.
  • Pour ½ cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of your sprayed baking dish. Place the cooked shells in the pan. Make sure they are spaced out evenly. Stuff each shell with cheese/veggie mixture. Use a spoon, it might get messy:)
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells. Add the leftover mozzarella and Parmesan.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. You want the shells to be bubbling with goodness. Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I think I could live on Italian food too – Im so glad I live so close to Italy so I can get an authentic fix every now and again!

  2. These look delicious! Italian food is by far my favorite. I like sneaking veggies into classic dishes too.

  3. Looks so yummy! Stuffed shells is such a fabulous meal for a number of reasons: 1. Its delicious (duhh), 2. You can make tons and freeze some for an easy meal later, 3. The alterations possible are endless!

  4. I love stuffed shells yours look perfect. What a great idea to add the portobello mushrooms.

  5. Great combo of flavors in there Maria the Italian! I am Italian but my name is Robin Sue and I have green eyes- oh well!

  6. Italian food is definitely comfort food. I haven't made stuffed shells for a while. Yours look delicious!

  7. Your stuffed shells look beautiful. I love the addition of portobello mushrooms!

  8. Oh yummy! Stuffed shells always feel so decadent. This with a nice glass of wine would be the most perfect dinner.

  9. I love all the extra flavors you added to the spinach-ricotta mixture! I'm going to follow your lead the next time I make these…which coicidentally (I'm not kidding!) is going to be tonight! Love the potato ricer idea too. (My moving man thought it was the world's largest garlic press when he was packing my stuff.)

  10. I love Italian food too and I definitely couldn't pass for Italian ๐Ÿ™‚ Stuffed shells are one of my favorites and yours look awesome!

  11. Stuffed shells are a family favorite here – you can't go wrong with the additions to the fillings.

  12. I love pasta! I especially love pasta that keeps the filling contained (meaning I don't care for lasagna! lol). These look delicious!

  13. OK seriously delicious!!! I love stuffed shells but I can never find whole wheat ones ๐Ÿ™ I need to find some quick so I can make this!

  14. Stuffed shells is my all time favorite dish. My birthday pick each and every year.

  15. stuffed shells are a favorite italian dish for me–minimal pasta and lots of choice cheese. delightful dish, maria, and i need to tell you how much i enjoy the stunning head lamp in the post below. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hubby is the same way about Italian…I think he was in a previous life. that ricotta shell looks absolutely delicious!

  17. I am going to have to make your homemade marinara sauce, because you use it in so many different things!

  18. I can't get enough Italian food either. It is just so good and versatile. These look simply scrumptious!

  19. I love stuffed shells. They're a great way to show a little creativity and still be traditional.

    You're the opposite of me. I AM Italian, but no one believes me because my name is Rachel.

    I'm so glad you had a good vacation. With the weather beign so chilly and rainy in this neck of the woods, I envy you the warm sunshine.

    I just have to know: With all of this delicious food you make, how do you manage to look so great in a bikini????

  20. I do something very similar for first dates because it can be prepped ahead of time so I can relax before she shows up.

    I love these types of dishes too because they have endless options.

    Oh yeah most people think I should be Italian too so yeah us!

  21. I love stuffed shells! I grew up on these which my grandmother would make for me when I stayed with her. Definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

  22. I could pass for an Italian at least once a week as far as my culinary tastes go. These shells with the mishrooms added are amazing.

  23. Ha, So I'm guessing you're not Italian? That's ok, you don't have to be to appreciate stuffed shells ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice job on the veggie front!

  24. I love Itlian food too – filling and delicious! I especially like lots of noodles.

    Nice job on your stuffed shells!

  25. Now those looks amazing and this has everything my children love especially the spinach! Thanks for sharing and terrific photos!

  26. Well, these looked so good that I made them today! My half Italian son said, "Best shells ever! The vegetables in the cheese mixture make it taste so much lighter than the usual shells."

    I didn't use frozen spinach. Instead, I emptied a bag of baby spinach into a dry pot and cooked it on low, stirring occasionally until it was completely wilted. Then I chopped it up and used it as the recipe instructed.

    I scraped the gills out of the mushroom before chopping. You didn't say to do that or not.

    I had more filling than 18 shells could hold, so next time (and there will be a next time on this recipe), I'll cook up 22 to 24 shells.

    Thank you for posting this. I was looking for a better stuffed shells recipe. This one's a keeper.

  27. wow! these look amazing! I was just thinking about making stuffed shells but couldn't find them in the market. I love how yours has a filling that has my favourite ingredients. yum!

  28. yes, Yes, YES. This is right up my alley. Up and down and all throughout my alley. So Love it!!!!

  29. I haven't made these in a zillion years and when I did they didn't look as good as yours. And because I'm starving right now, it's just about killing me!

  30. With food looking this good (sans viande), you make it very easy to like Italian food every day!

    I've got some shells in the pantry that still need cooking.

  31. These look great! It’s been a while since I made stuffed shells. Gotta remember that next week for meal planning.