Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells — These are the best Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells I have ever had! You can fill them with any fillings you want, but I chose spinach and ricotta cheese. The shells come out crispy on the outside while still being soft on the inside. They’re perfect for a quick dinner or an easy appetizer for your next party.
Are you looking for a quick and easy stuffed pasta dish but don’t want to use the oven? Well, then this is the recipe for you. You can make these Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells in less than 20 minutes!
These are so good! I love comfort food as the weather starts to turn, this is one of the best!
A mouth-watering platter of stuffed shells meets your taste buds as you take a bite into this meal. The filling combines three types of cheese, spinach leaves topped with fresh herbs, and homemade or store-bought marinara sauce for that extra added flavor! It’s a pure comfort food that will make anyone feel satisfied without feeling guilty about overeating because it tastes so good!!!
If you are new to air frying or want some great Easy Air Fryer Recipes, some of my favorites are AIR FRYER RANCH CHICKEN, AIR FRYER CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA, AIR FRYER KUNG PAO CHICKEN, or AIR FRYER CLASSIC CHICKEN TENDERS (TENDERLOINS).
What Are Stuffed Shells?
Stuffed shells are a classic Italian dish, typically made with ricotta cheese and other ingredients mixed inside the pasta. The mixture is then placed in the shell-shaped pasta before boiling it to create a hearty meal. Stuffed shells are usually served as an appetizer or main course for dinner parties.
And, of course, nothing makes them better than the air fryer!
Quick and delicious!
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells
- Pasta Shells
- Olive Oil
- Tomato Paste
- Canned Diced Tomatoes
- Minced Garlic
- Italian Seasoning
- Black Pepper
- Baby Spinach
- Ricotta Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Egg Yolk
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
How To Make Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells
Cook the pasta shells as directed on the package.
Make the marinara sauce by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Next, add tomato paste, dried oregano, and dried basil, and cook for another minute. Finally, add the canned tomatoes and leave to cook for 20 minutes—season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Add spinach and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Take off heat and leave to cool for a few minutes, then place into a medium bowl. To taste, mix in ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, lemon zest, half the mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
Pour the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. Fill pasta shells with spinach ricotta mixture and place them into the pan. Sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Set air fryer to 300˚F, air fryer setting, and cook for 12-14 minutes, until cheese has melted. Remove from air fryer and serve.
What Type of Shells To Use?
When you head to the grocery store, look for jumbo pasta shells, conchiglie, or even manicotti shells!
You can use either oven-ready or regular jumbo pasta shells (which need to be cooked before stuffed)
Can I Use Frozen Spinach?
Yes, you will need to thaw it and then fully drain it before using it in the recipe. But the recipe will work precisely the same.
Meat: Add some cooked ground Italian sausage, diced meatballs, shredded BBQ Chicken, or even cooked chorizo sausage.
Sauce: If you do not want to make your sauce, you can easily use jarred tomatoes or pasta sauce. For an extra treat, use Alfredo or even cheese sauce.
Vegetables: Looking for a hearty vegetarian option, you can add diced zucchini, celery, or even carrots to your pasta sauce.
Can this be made ahead?
It’s the perfect solution for those busy weeknights when you don’t feel like making dinner. You can quickly assemble these ahead of time and wrap them tightly in saran wrap until you are ready to air fry them up.
I would recommend not to assemble them unless you will be cooking them in the next 24 hours.
Can I freeze stuffed shells?
This is the perfect recipe for those nights when you don’t have time to cook! You can make a couple of these stuffed shells, freeze them, and then take out as many as your family needs. They will taste just like freshly cooked ones – only quicker than making conventional pasta dishes from scratch (and much healthier!).
To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking, following the cooking directions in the recipe card below; this way, they’ll be warm by dinner time without any hassle or extra work involved!
What to serve with Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells?
A great side salad, or even a plate of pasta, some of my favorite Air Fryer Side Dishes to Serve this dinner with are:
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Air Fryer Stuffed Spinach Pasta Shells
- 14 oz 400g giant pasta shells
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cans canned tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Spinach & ricotta filling:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 7 oz 200g baby spinach
- 9 oz 250g ricotta
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- Zest of one lemon
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
- Cook the pasta shells as directed on the package.
- Make marinara sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Next, add in tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, and cook for another minute. Finally, add canned tomatoes and leave to cook for 20 minutes—season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add spinach and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Take off heat and leave to cool for a few minutes, then place into a medium bowl. Mix in ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, lemon zest, half the mozzarella, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. Fill pasta shells with spinach ricotta mixture and place them into the pan. Sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Set air fryer to 300˚F and cook for 12-14 minutes, until cheese has melted.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Baking Pan, any oven-safe pan that is smaller than the air fryer basket
- Cooking Spray