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February’s Reader Recipe: Vegetarian Skillet Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells

January 27, 2023

If pasta is your love language, then you’re sure to enjoy this recipe! It was submitted by a reader in California who notes that it’s a quick and simple stovetop version of classic stuffed shells. It’s perfect because it’s simple to prepare and irresistibly delicious!

The sauce is made by dressing up a jarred marinara sauce with garlic browned in butter and crushed red pepper flakes.


  • 18 jumbo pasta shells (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup), plus more for serving
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped oregano, divided

Step 1

Cook shells in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente and drain. Run under cold water to stop the cooking; drain again.

Step 2

Heat oil over high in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and stir until juices are released. Season with black pepper and 1 tsp. salt. Reduce heat to medium, add wine, and stir until reduced by half. Add spinach and cover the skillet until the spinach begins to wilt. Uncover and continue cooking and stir occasionally until spinach is completely wilted and most of the liquid is evaporated. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl; reserve skillet.

Step 3

Cook garlic and butter in reserved skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown. Add marinara sauce and red pepper and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

Step 4

While sauce cooks, add ricotta, parmesan, oregano, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Spoon about 2 Tbsp. ricotta mixture into each shell. Fill the shell to capacity without overstuffing it.

Step 5

Nestle stuffed shells into hot sauce in skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until shells are warmed through, 4–6 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining 1 Tbsp. oregano.


Total Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Servings: 4

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