These Instant Pot Stuffed Shells are perfect for those nights where you crave a good Italian meal. Stuffed with cheese and spinach they are comfort food at its best!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, I am certain you may want one after reading this recipe! This pressure cooker has seriously revolutionized my cooking. Remember boiling pasta? The Instant Pot makes pasta-making a breeze and this recipe is another testament to how quickly a meal can be made with pasta without all those extra steps….and pots and colanders! My kids adore pasta (maybe it’s all that swimming they do?) and this recipe is one of our go-to Instant Pot recipes when we need to make it quick!
I hate to admit it because I know pasta is such a easy meal to throw together but I just find it a pain to make. It’s the waiting what seems like an eternity for water to boil, then cooking the pasta, and then dumping all that steaming hot water into a colander. It’s too many pots and pans for me for something that should be so simple. And my kids loooove it. Whenever I am in a bind for dinner and I ask my kids what I should make they always want some type of pasta! Unbelievable, right?! 😉
Well this is where the Instant Pot comes in to literally save my day. I have been loving making pasta in my IP because it makes it a one pot meal meaning you don’t have to boil any noodles ahead of time. You can add uncooked noodles right to the instant pot with an appropriate amount of water and/or sauce and lock that lid, press a button, and BOOM!, cooked pasta with no need to get out a colander!!!
To cook up this super filling and crazy flavorful Instant Pot Stuffed Shells recipe you will need and Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Make sure to follow the directions of your pressure cooker if you are not using an IP! And that’s it!!! How awesome is that!
Instant Pot Stuffed Shells Recipe
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 12 mins
Total time - 22 mins
Recipe type: Main Course
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until dry
15 oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, separated
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp basil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 12 oz boxjumbo pasta shells, uncooked
For the sauce:
1 24 oz jar marinara sauce
1 cup water
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1. In a medium bowl, mix together spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, egg, basil, salt, and pepper.
2. Transfer spinach/cheese mixture to a large plastic zippered bag, zip close, and cut the tip off of one corner for easy squeezing into the shells.
3. Squeeze the mixture into each shell making sure there are no air pockets in the shells, set aside stuffed shells.
To make the sauce:
4. Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add in 2 tbsp butter, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes
5. Pour the jar of marinara sauce into the IP and stir together.
6. Remove ½ of the sauce mixture and set aside.
7. Press CANCEL to stop the saute function.
To make the stuffed shells:
8. Add 1 cup of water to the sauce mixture remaining in the Instant Pot and mix well.
9. Place one layer of stuffed shells onto the sauce mixture using half the shells.
10. Add another layer of the remaining stuffed shells on top, making sure to keep stuffed shells upright.
11. Pour the remaining sauce mixture over top, making sure to cover all shells.
12. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot.
13. Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minutes and close the steam valve.
14. Once IP is done cooking, release the steam valve carefully for a quick steam release.
15. Sprinkle the remaining one cup of mozzarella cheese over top and place the lid back on for 1-2 minutes or until cheese has melted.
This recipe makes basically a whole box of jumbo shells…minus a few that were broken to itty bitty pieces in the box…but that is expected when your five year old tries to help you put groceries away by kicking the box to the pantry, oy!
I really like to use a jar of store bought marinara sauce to speed up my cooking process. And I make it a bit more homemade by first sautéing onions and garlic in the base of the pressure cooker first and then adding the sauce to it. I love a good chunky sauce!
Then taking half of the sauce out of the IP, I add one cup of water to the remaining sauce and stir it all together. Then add the shells, stuffed side up, making two layers of shells total.
I add the remaining sauce on top of that top layer of shells, making sure to cover all the shells.
Then lock the lid, close the steam valve, and press MANUAL. Adjust the time to 7 minutes….and then go make a salad or something!
Once the IP is done cooking, you can either let the steam release naturally or you can do a quick steam release.
I then sprinkle some mozzarella over the top and close lid for a couple minutes so that it gets nice and melty!
Mmmm!!!! So good!!
I could eat this all day. 🙂