Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach is a well-known super food for its numerous health benefits. It not only tastes great, but it is packed with much needed vitamins and minerals. Here are some delicious ways to incorporate spinach into mealtime for your family.

Spinach

Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients

½ cup butter

1 (9 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 pint heavy whipping cream

3 tbsp cream cheese

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper

1 (16 oz.) box penne pasta

Instructions

Cook spinach according to package directions and drain well. Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat; add spinach and cook for 1 minute. Add cream cheese and heavy cream; cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until cream cheese is melted. Stir in parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer, over medium-low heat, until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce over cooked pasta.

Bacon Spinach Chicken

Ingredients

5 strips bacon

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cups fresh spinach

4 thinly sliced chicken breasts

4 slices provolone cheese

3 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp flour

1 cup panko or Italian breadcrumbs

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs in three separate, shallow bowls. Dip chicken breasts first in the flour, then eggs, and then breadcrumbs. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon from pan when cooked, chop into pieces, and set aside. Add diced onion to the bacon drippings and cook for several minutes until softened. Then add spinach and cook until wilted. Add bacon pieces back to the skillet and remove pan from heat. When chicken is finished cooking, remove from oven and top with cheese and bacon spinach mixture. Bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Bake

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Salt & pepper

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 cups Italian style shredded cheese, divided

½ can artichoke hearts, drained and diced

4 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and place the chicken flat in a baking dish. In a large bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, mustard, and 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Then stir in the chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Spread mixture on top of chicken. Bake for 25 minutes. Top with remaining cup of cheese then continue to bake another 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If the top is browning too quickly, you can cover the dish lightly with foil while baking.

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

16 jumbo pasta shells

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

4 cups fresh spinach leaves

12 oz. ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried basil)

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 ¼ cups marinara sauce

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and spinach and cook, stirring occasionally until the leaves begin to wilt. Remove from heat and let cool. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour ½ cup marinara in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Stuff each shell with a generous amount of spinach mixture and then place in the baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce and bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.

Holly Arnett is a stay at home wife and mom of four precious children. She’s a lifelong resident of Nacogdoches who loves cooking and sharing great recipes with others.

Holly Arnett is a stay at home wife and mom of four precious children. She’s a lifelong resident of Nacogdoches who loves cooking and sharing great recipes with others.

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