Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

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Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells bring an old classic to new life. Using pork sausage, fresh spinach and smooth cream cheese makes this classic dish feel like something really special!

sausage and spinach stuffed shells on a blue plate with entire pan in background

Stuffed Shells, a classic comfort supper!

There are many things that take me back to my childhood. The smell of rain in the summer, my Momma’s potato salad and the smell of a wood burning fireplace to name just a few. It’s no secret that my Momma is a wonderful cook. I can name a dozen dishes that she is a master of. For me, food is nostalgic and takes me right back to my childhood. Especially, when she cooks it.

This recipe is one I adapted after one of hers. Growing up in a frugal household, we had stuffed shells with ground beef, topped with cheese. It filled our hungry bellies many a night. I took her classic recipe and fancied it up just a bit by adding cream cheese, fresh spinach and using ground pork sausage to make it deeper in flavor and heartier in texture.

Taking awesome recipes and only making them better is something I love to do. I hope you enjoy this too!

How to make Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

This is one of those dishes you can prep for ahead of time. If you are a meal prep person and meal planner like me, this recipe is a dream come true. You can totally get the components ready ahead of time and put it all together when you get home and have supper in a flash!

As an extra treat we also show you how to skip the pasta and stuff bell peppers with the same mixture to cut out carbs!

Let’s get to it!

~Ingredients~

  • 15-20 Jumbo pasta shells cooked and drained
  • 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • parsley for garnish

~Method~

  1. Cook jumbo pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water and set aside. Brown sausage and drain. Return to pan. Over medium heat, add garlic, tomatoes and spinach to ground sausage. Cook about 5 minutes or until liquid from tomatoes has cooked off.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take shells and stuff them with sausage mixture. Place stuffed shells in a baking dish, stuffed side up. Spoon any leftover sausage mixture over the top of shells. Sprinkle tops with parmesan and parsley. Cook in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

**Bonus**

For a lower carb option, cut the tops off of some small to medium bell peppers. Remove the seeds and vein. Wash and drop in salted boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Drain and cool.

Fill bell peppers with sausage spinach mixture and top with cheese and parsley and bake just like the stuffed pasta. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • Pasta. It can be a booger. It’s important for this dish to have the pasta just cooked enough that it is still able to support the stuffing. Pasta will continue to cook if allowed to drain and cool naturally. The best way to stop this process is to rinse with cool water. This little trick is good for removing some of the starches away too. Because this pasta will get a 2nd cook, rinsing the starch away will not make it too tough!
  • We love versatile recipes. This is one you can make a few simple swaps to help the old calorie count and the pocketbook! Feel free to cook this recipe using ground beef, turkey or even chicken. Just know that when doing that, you may want to add a tad more seasoning. By the same token, if using plain ground sausage and not Italian sausage, you will need to season it a little more as well.
  • Fresh is almost always better. Let’s talk about the spinach! I know that frozen spinach is easier to keep, however, for this dish just like our Sausage, Spinach and Tortellini Soup, fresh is better! Using fresh creates a texture and fresh flavor to the dish.

Check out our lower carb option below. Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Bell Peppers!

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells using green bell peppers in place of the pasta shells

If you make this recipe, be sure and post it to Facebook or Instagram and tag us. We love pictures of food. Also, if you pin this recipe, we would appreciate that when you make it, you use the Made It function in Pinterest too. 

And as always, we would love it if you shared this recipe with your family and friends. Over to the side on this post and all of the others are handy dandy share buttons. We would sure be grateful if you shared the love!

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pan of sausage and spinach stuffed shells

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells bring an old classic to new life. Using pork sausage, fresh spinach and smooth cream cheese makes this classic dish feel like something really special!

Ingredients

  • * 15-20 Jumbo pasta shells cooked and drained
  • * 1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
  • * 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • * 1 can diced tomatoes
  • * 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • * 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • * salt and pepper to taste
  • * 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • * parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook jumbo pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water and set aside. Brown sausage and drain. Return to pan. Over medium heat, add garlic, tomatoes and spinach to ground sausage. Cook about 5 minutes or until liquid from tomatoes has cooked off.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take shells and stuff them with sausage mixture. Place stuffed shells in a baking dish, stuffed side up. Spoon any leftover sausage mixture over the top of shells. Sprinkle tops with parmesan and parsley. Cook in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

***For a lower carb option, cut the tops off of some small to medium bell peppers. Remove the seeds and vein. Wash and drop in salted boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Drain and cool.

Fill bell peppers with sausage spinach mixture and top with cheese and parsley and bake just like the stuffed pasta. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 681Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 49mgSodium 596mgCarbohydrates 86gFiber 5gSugar 4gProtein 28g

**Nutritional Values are estimates only

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