Cooking, Dinner, Italian, Pasta, Recipes

Spinach-Filled Pasta Shells with Salmon Béchamel Sauce

May 30, 2013

Remember these?

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

Good. I used them in a recipe a while ago and still had half the bag lying around.

I’m sort of trying to use up everything in my pantry because I will be moving out of my flat in less than 2 months {insert sad face here} and have a ton of food that needs to be eaten. So I’m starting my pantry raid by using up the pasta. In addition to using up canned food, pasta and herbs I aim to work my way through the freezer in the next month so excuse me if the recipes on the blog become a little too creative. However, I don’t intend to throw away one single item.

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

I actually wanted to make a “meat free” lasagne  but instead of buying another pack of pasta I used what I had on hand. If you prefer making actual lasagne instead of stuffing pasta shells just layer the pasta sheets, spinach and salmon béchamel and repeat once more. It will taste just as good.

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

The important thing when cooking the shells is to not over-cook them. Cook them only half-way through, drain, shower them in cold water {this stops the cooking process and prevents them from sticking to each other} and let them cool. This way it’s a lot easier to fill the shells with the spinach.

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

Then just simply pour the béchamel sauce on top, sprinkle with some grated cheese, bake until the crust is golden and serve alongside a fresh garden salad.

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

Spinach-Filled Pasta Shells with Salmon Béchamel Sauce

serves 6-8   {For 1  26x18cm dish}


  • pasta shells {depending on the size of the shells you will need 8-12, or alternatively you can also use lasagne sheets and layer as if you were making lasagne}

For the spinach filling:

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 450g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt, pepper + chili

For the salmon béchamel:

  • 50g butter
  • 5 heaping tbsp. flour
  • 1 liter milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/2 cube vegetable bouillon
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 150g smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 2.5 tbsp. dill
  • 40g cheese, grated


  1. Cook the pasta shells according to instructions on the pack. Instead of cooking al dente, boil only until half-way cooked. Then drain, shower with cold water and let cool completely. Set aside.
  2. For the spinach filling heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the defrosted spinach and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chili. Set aside.
  3. For the sauce melt the butter in a medium-sized pot. Wait until completely melted.Then add the flour and using an egg beat stir until a thick paste forms. Immediately add about half of the milk and stir until the sauce is clump-free. You will notice that the sauce thickens quite fast. Add more milk until your preferred thickness is achieved {I used 1 liter}. Reduce heat. Stir in the egg yolk. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and the vegetable bouillon. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the end add the chopped salmon and dill. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Fill the pasta shells with 1-2 tbsp. of spinach. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of an oven-proof dish. Then add the filled pasta shells into the dish. Cover the shells with the béchamel sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Then increase the heat to 200°C for 5-7 minutes or until a golden crust forms. Wait 5-10 minutes before serving. This helps the pasta set and allows for easier serving. Serve with a fresh garden salad.

Spinach-Filled Pasta with Salmon Dill Sauce

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1 Comment

  • Reply Emily @ Hungry Delights May 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    That looks insanely good! I have tried to find those big pasta shells before with no luck! However I think I could adapt the recipe quite easily 🙂

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