Prep-Ahead Spinach & Artichoke-Stuffed Shells Prep-Ahead Spinach & Artichoke-Stuffed Shells

Photography: Tango/C. | Food Styling: Nataly Simard | Prop Styling: Caroline Simon

Try preparing this delicious meal ahead of time so all you’ll need to do on a busy weeknight is warm up the food—minimal effort required—and the rest of the evening is yours to savour.

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Total time 1 hour & 10 minutes
  • Portion size 4 servings



In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells until they have softened but are still quite al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or about 2 minutes less than the package directions). Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside on clean damp tea towel.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Drain spinach mixture. In food processor, pulse spinach mixture with artichoke hearts, ricotta, 3/4 cup mozzarella and half of the Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Spread tomato sauce over the bottom of 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Stuff each reserved shell with scant 2 tablespoons of spinach and artichoke filling. Place shells side by side in tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. (Make-ahead: Baking dish can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.) Set aside remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400°F. Remove plastic wrap and cover dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted and tops of shells are crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.

Tomato Sauce

In saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic, chopped, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups canned whole tomatoes and 1 tsp each dried oregano and hot pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, crushing tomatoes with wooden spoon. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.) Makes about 2 cups.

Nutritional facts PER SERVING: about

  • Iron 5.3 mg
  • Fibre 8 g
  • Sodium 1000 mg
  • Sugars 10 g
  • Protein 30 g
  • Calories 650
  • Total fat 29 g
  • Cholesterol 75 mg
  • Saturated fat 14 g
  • Total carbohydrate 67 g
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Lunch & Dinner

Prep-Ahead Spinach & Artichoke-Stuffed Shells