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Healthy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey and Spinach

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These healthy stuffed shells are going to rock your world! They’re stuffed with spinach, a yummy blend of cheeses, then lightened up with ground turkey.

A healthier, freezer-friendly, delicious dinner option.

If you like healthy food but you still like things to taste good… this recipe is for you, baby.

Ground Turkey + Ground Beef

Ground Turkey and Beef

No matter how you season it or cook it, ground turkey is not going to taste like ground beef. I tried. So my compromise here is to lighten up this dish by using half ground beef and half ground turkey. The ground beef infuses flavor into this dish while the ground turkey adds that meaty texture but cuts the grease in half. You can opt to use all turkey or all beef, but this half and half blend is my personal favorite way to make these stuffed shells healthier without sacrificing flavor.

This recipe feeds a large family or a small crowd.

These stuffed shells are pretty easy to prep but do take a little time so I’d recommend making two batches at a time—have one for dinner and either share one dish with a friend or put it in the freezer for an easy heat-and-eat weeknight dinner. These freeze and reheat well using a casserole dish.

If you don’t want to make a huge batch, two batches, or if you’re just short on time, then cut the amount of ingredients in halfv to make half the amount. A half batch will still feed 3-4 people.

Watch how to prepare and cook these stuffed shells:

Tips for stuffing the shells:

Stuffing Shells

If you’ve never stuffed shells before, don’t worry it’s pretty easy it just takes a little time and some practice to find your grove.

• Make sure to stir your jumbo noodles while cooking, otherwise they can stick together and rip when you try to pull them apart.

• Don’t overcook your shells. Drain immediately after they’re done cooking. Cooked properly, they hold their shape better and are easier to stuff.

• After you drain the shells, don’t let them sit too long. They’ll dry up and start to stick together. I cover mine with a wet paper towel if I need more time to mix up the stuffing.

• Use your fingers to stuff the shells with the spinach-cheese-meat mixture if a spoon isn’t working well.

What ingredients are needed to make these healthy stuffed shells?

You don’t need a long list of ingredients to make this yummy dinner.

Here’s everything you need: Ground turkey, ground beef (or use double turkey), jumbo pasta shells, onion, spinach (fresh or frozen), ricotta cheese, Parmesan Romano cheese blend, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, tomato sauce (I love Rao’s sauce!), Mozzarella cheese, and parsley if you want a pretty garnish.

Healthy Stuffed Shells Ingredients

Helpful tools for making these stuffed shells:

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These healthy stuffed shells were featured on South Your Mouth, Menu Plan Monday, and Inspire Me Monday and have been pinned more than 15,000 times with lots of rave reviews! I hope you enjoy them too!

Healthy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey and Spinach

Healthy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey and Spinach

Healthy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey and Spinach

These healthy stuffed shells are going to rock your world! They’re stuffed with spinach, a yummy blend of cheeses, then lightened up with ground turkey.
Author: Angela G.
5 from 11 reviews
Read Comments
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Skill Level: Easy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Yield: 12x9 dish

Ingredients
 

  • 12 oz jumbo shells
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ onion diced
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 9 oz parmesan romano cheese mix
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 48 oz tomato sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Boil jumbo shells according to package. Drain and set aside covering with a wet paper towel to keep from drying.
  • Brown ground meat in a skillet together over medium heat with diced onion. Cook until no pink meat remains. Drain any excess fat.
  • Thaw spinach in a colander under warm water. Press to remove excess water.
  • In a large bowl, mix together parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, meat, onions and spices including salt and pepper.
  • Take meat and cheese mixture and gently stuff into shells. Line a large baking pan or two smaller baking pans (freeze one!) with shells.
  • Cover shells with tomato sauce. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella. Bake at 375˚ for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce it bubbling in the center. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Video

Notes

To reheat from frozen, thaw first or cover with foil and add approximately 10 minutes to the bake time.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 3shells | Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1062mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3652IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 462mg | Iron: 4mg
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Cassondra

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

I ended up with a couple of loaf pan sized aluminum pans of leftovers, one I froze and one I was looking to reheat this weekend sometime. If you don’t mind, how long do you reheat from fridge temp - the original 25 minutes at 375, or less time/lower temp than that? It’s covered with foil already, but I think it would come out much better reheated in the oven rather than microwaving it

Angela G.

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

I would cover it with foil and reheat it at a higher temperature since you’re just trying to warm it up and not cook it. I would try 10 minutes at 4:25. Then check and see if the sauce is bubbling. If it’s not yet then give it a little longer.

CD

Saturday 27th of August 2022

Can you use bagged spinach instead of frozen?

Angela G.

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Yes, you can!

4HMomOC

Monday 25th of July 2022

Loved it! Easy, delicious and so happy I had extra to freeze!

Gwen Little

Monday 18th of April 2022

I made these today for dinner! 😋 I used parm chz, mex triple chz & mozz chz. Next time I was suggested to use Gouda 😋

Angela G.

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Sounds yummy! Changing up the cheese is a great way to give this dish a new spin. Thanks for sharing!

Winfield

Thursday 10th of March 2022

Made this last night - big hit! It made two large 9 x 13 pans. The only addendum I made was using more mozzarella on top. Tasted even better the next day! Will absolutely make again! I even sent it to a few friends. Thanks for the recipe!

Angela G.

Thursday 10th of March 2022

Thanks for the review! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for sharing it with friends!