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5 from 2 votes

Baked Shells with Beef, Sundried Tomatoes & Spinach Recipe

These lightened-up baked pasta shells are a family favorite. Stuffed with beef, sun dried tomatoes and spinach for extra flavor and nutrients.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Entrees
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Beef and Lamb Recipes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 395kcal


  • 8 ounces large pasta shells


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups packed roughly chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 12 ounces low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until just tender.
  • For the filling, heat olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for additional 30 seconds.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until beef is cooked through. Put a lid on top (slightly askew) and pour any accumulated juice out of the pan. Transfer ground beef mixture to a large bowl.
  • Stir in spinach and sun dried tomatoes until combined.
  • Place the cottage cheese in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  • Allow the beef mixture to cool, then stir in cottage cheese, dried chile flakes and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture.
  • Prepare a 9- by 13-inch baking pan by spreading 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange pasta shells, opening-side up, in the pan. Spread additional 2 cups tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Serving: 4Stuffed Shells | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 1224mg | Potassium: 1159mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1485IU | Vitamin C: 15.5mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 4.7mg