Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells

The panicked look on my face probably startled my husband into thinking something dire had taken place.

“Where’s the ricotta???”

Truthfully, for the first few seconds after I realized the stuffed shells recipe I was following seemed to have omitted the ricotta…well, I did have a minor momentary freakout. It shouldn’t have been a real showstopper, but when I’m racing against the sun to prepare and photograph a meal before putting it on the dinner table, the last thing I want to find out is that the recipe I’m following has flaws. Sometimes when you find one error in a recipe, others aren’t far behind.

I scanned over the recipe again and again, but there was no mention of ricotta cheese at all. Impossible! Stuffed shells are made with ricotta, or at least the kind I like to eat do. I wondered if I had mistakenly chosen a sausage-and-spinach-only version, but the photo on the side of the box where I found the recipe depicted shells just brimming with spinach-flecked ricotta. It was definitely supposed to be in there.

Fortunately, this recipe error seemed to be an isolated incident. Hoping I wouldn’t wind up with way too much filling I went ahead and added in a pound of ricotta anyway. I just couldn’t bear to make stuffed shells without it. They turned out just right – that classic, homey comfort dish I’ve known and loved for years, made a little healthier with a bag of baby spinach mixed in. And ricotta. Problem averted.

Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells

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  1. Shaina wrote:

    I love stuffed shells. They are one of those classic comfort foods that make you feel warm from the inside out, and yours look perfect.

    Posted 4.6.11 Reply
  2. That’s surprising – I can’t believe they omitted the ricotta! I would’ve done the same thing…

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  3. Stuffed shells is one of my favorites too. Yours look scrumptious. Definitely needs ricotta!

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  4. marla wrote:

    Glad to hear you added that ricotta 🙂

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  5. beautiful picture! Those stuffed shells look so good! One of my favorite meals 🙂

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  6. I loved stuffed shells, but now I love them even more. Well done. I hate my diet.

    Posted 4.7.11 Reply
  7. Great job! Love all that gooey cheese in there. I can almost taste it…

    Is there a way to feed back to Barilla that their recipe is wrong?

    Posted 4.8.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That’s probably a good idea, Nate – maybe I’ll see if they have a feedback email address somewhere.

      Posted 4.8.11 Reply
  8. Mindy wrote:

    One of my favorite things about cooking so much is when you realize that the recipe must be wrong–and you can fix it! These look great! I recently made some stuffed shells with collard greens instead of spinach…it turns out that lots of greens work well in them. (Lucky me, since I get a ton of non-mainstream greens from my CSA over the summer.) 🙂

    Posted 4.9.11 Reply
  9. Kristin wrote:

    Made these tonight for some friends that were coming over for dinner and they were a huge hit! Delicious!

    Posted 4.13.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Fantastic – that’s great to hear, Kristin!

      Posted 4.14.11 Reply
  10. Jill wrote:

    Thank you for coming to my rescue! My freak out moment after reading the recipe on the back of the box was no specific amount of reserved pasta water. I didnt even realize the ricotta cheese snafoo. I can’t wait to try your version tonight. It looks incredible!

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  11. Cheryl Bixby wrote:

    So, I do love this recipe off the box, without the ricotta. I dont cook with ricotta and we like it with out. Here is my problem, we want to make the recipe…but the back of the box changed…and the last time we cooked it it must have been so good that we ate the box. I had torn the recipe off, but it disappeared. Do you have the recipe with out the ricotta? Please help!!

    Posted 11.29.11 Reply
    • Hi Cheryl – You pretty much just make it the same way and leave out the ricotta. 🙂

      Posted 11.29.11 Reply
  12. Nora wrote:

    Does anybody know how many servings are in this recipe?
    It definitively does not say in the box, and I want to know how much should I scale this down for 2 servings

    Posted 6.19.13 Reply
  13. JOHN POWELL wrote:

    The recipe is fine, but the print is so small thart it is VERY difficult to use; it coulc be made larger and still fit on one page..

    Posted 2.25.15 Reply