Spinach Stuffed Shells in the Crockpot Recipe


  • 1 bag of spinach: Ensure that the spinach is fresh and washed. You may choose to chop it finely for easier incorporation into the cheese mixture.
  • Shredded cheese (amount as desired): Use your favorite type of shredded cheese. Cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend of Italian cheeses work well.
  • Mozzarella cheese (for topping): This cheese will provide a gooey, melted topping. Shredded mozzarella is commonly used.
  • 1 box of jumbo shells: Purchase a box of jumbo pasta shells from your local grocery store. The number of shells may vary, but it’s typically around 12-16 ounces.
  • About 2 1/2 jars of pasta sauce: Choose your preferred pasta sauce or make your own. The amount may vary based on personal preference and the size of the jars.
  • Parmesan cheese: Grate fresh Parmesan cheese for added flavor. This can be mixed into the cheese filling and sprinkled on top of the shells.
  • Cottage cheese: Use small-curd cottage cheese for a creamy texture in the filling.
  • 2 large eggs: These will act as a binder for the cheese and spinach mixture.


  1. Boil the jumbo shells according to the package instructions:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    • Cook the jumbo shells until they are al dente.
    • Drain and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, shredded cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and chopped spinach:
    • Mix the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, shredded cheese, mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped spinach in a large bowl. Ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
  3. Drain the cooked noodles and stuff them with the spinach-cheese mixture:
    • Carefully fill each cooked shell with the spinach-cheese mixture. You can use a spoon or your hands to stuff them evenly.
  4. Spread a layer of pasta sauce at the bottom of the crockpot:
    • Cover the bottom of the crockpot with a thin layer of pasta sauce. This prevents the shells from sticking and adds flavor.
  5. Place the stuffed shells in the crockpot, forming a layer on top of the sauce:
    • Arrange the stuffed shells in the crockpot, ensuring they fit snugly but without overcrowding.
  6. Add more pasta sauce on top of the shells, then sprinkle with cheese:
    • Pour additional pasta sauce over the stuffed shells, ensuring they are well-covered.
    • Sprinkle shredded mozzarella (or your choice of cheese) over the top for a cheesy finish.
  7. Repeat the layers until all the stuffed shells are used:
    • Continue layering stuffed shells, sauce, and cheese until all shells are in the crockpot.
  8. Cook in the crockpot on low for four hours or on high for two hours until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly:
    • Set your crockpot to low and allow the shells to cook for approximately four hours or on high for about two hours. This ensures the shells are heated through, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Serve and enjoy:
    • Carefully scoop out the stuffed shells, ensuring they remain intact, and serve hot. Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs like basil or parsley.

here are some additional tips to enhance your Spinach Stuffed Shells in the crockpot:

  1. Prep Ahead: You can prepare the spinach-cheese mixture and stuff the shells ahead of time. This makes assembly quicker when you’re ready to cook.
  2. Seasoning: Add herbs and spices to the cheese mixture for extra flavor. Basil, oregano, garlic powder, or even a pinch of red pepper flakes can complement the dish.
  3. Variety of Cheeses: Experiment with different cheeses for a more complex flavor profile. Ricotta, fontina, or asiago can be excellent additions.
  4. Fresh vs. Frozen Spinach: While the recipe suggests a bag of spinach, you can choose between fresh or frozen, depending on availability. If using frozen, make sure to thaw and drain excess water before incorporating it into the mixture.
  5. Sauce Choices: Choose your favorite pasta sauce, whether it’s a marinara, arrabbiata, or a homemade tomato sauce. You can also mix different sauces for a unique taste.
  6. Layering Techniques: Alternate the direction of the stuffed shells when layering in the crockpot. This helps distribute the heat more evenly, ensuring all shells cook uniformly.
  7. Customization: Feel free to add other ingredients to the filling, such as sautéed onions, garlic, or even cooked ground meat like Italian sausage or ground turkey.
  8. Top with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped herbs like basil or parsley on top just before serving for a burst of freshness.
  9. Serve with a Side: This dish pairs well with a side of garlic bread, a crisp green salad, or steamed vegetables.
  10. Monitor Cooking Time: Keep an eye on the cooking time, as crockpots can vary. If the shells seem cooked and the cheese is melted before the suggested time, you can turn off the crockpot to prevent overcooking.
  11. Avoid Overcrowding: Ensure there’s enough space between the stuffed shells in the crockpot. This helps them cook evenly and prevents sticking.
  12. Cheese on Top: If you love a crispy cheese topping, transfer the cooked shells to a baking dish after they’re done in the crockpot. Sprinkle with additional cheese and broil in the oven for a few minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy making this delightful Spinach Stuffed Shells dish, and don’t hesitate to get creative with the ingredients and flavors!

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