These vegan stuffed shells dish is surprisingly easy to prepare and will make you feel like a top chef. It’s also a showstopper that never fails to wow our dinner party guests. The flavor of the sauce is carried throughout the dish, so a great marinara or arrabbiata sauce is crucial!
- 1 (12-ounce) package of jumbo pasta shells
- 1 (16-ounce) block of firm (or extra-firm) tofu, pressed
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 5 medium cloves garlic
- ¼ cup of packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ¾ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 cup of packed spinach leaves
- 1 (25-ounce) jar of flavorful marinara sauce (or 1 batch of the recipe on page 228), divided
- ½ cup of vegan cheese shreds (optional)
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the jumbo pasta shells according to the prebake cooking directions on the package. Then drain, rinse with cold water to prevent sticking, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the tofu, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, red chili pepper flakes (if using), nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Pulse 15 times or until partially mixed. Add the spinach and pulse just a few more times until combined. The resulting texture should be ricotta-like. Do not over pulse or your ricotta will turn green!
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour half of the marinara sauce into a 9 × 13 inch baking dish, spreading to evenly coat the bottom of the dish.
- One by one, fill each cooked shell with a generous spoonful of the tofu ricotta filling and place in the prepared baking dish. Continue until the tofu mixture is gone and the baking dish is filled. Sprinkle the vegan cheese (if using) on top.
- Drizzle the remaining marinara sauce over the stuffed shells. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese (if using) is melted and the edges of the shells are lightly browned. Garnish with the basil leaves (if using). Serve immediately and enjoy hot.
You will likely have several cooked pasta shells left over, and they can be enjoyed just as you would any other pasta. We love dressing them with extra- virgin olive oil, garlic powder, salt, red chili pepper flakes, and nutritional yeast.
Keywords: vegan shells, stuffed shells, vegan italian, vegan baked pasta, vegan italian recipe