These Vegan Stuffed Shells are stuffed with creamy vegan ricotta, and taste like the real thing! It’s hard to believe that the filling is dairy-free, and this recipe couldn’t be easier to make.
These stuffed shells make an easy weeknight dinner. You can whip up the creamy filling while the pasta shells cook, then stuff them and bake until everything is hot. It’s relatively low-effort!
Ingredients You’ll Need
These dairy-free stuffed shells are super-simple when it comes to ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Jumbo shells (most brands are vegan, but check the label to be sure)
- 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (Rao’s brand is my favorite)
- Vegan Ricotta (recipe follows)
You can top the baked shells with a sprinkling of Vegan Parmesan Cheese if you’d like to, but they are so flavorful, they don’t need anything extra.
Which Pasta Works Best?
I’ve tested this recipe with regular jumbo shells (which are vegan, according to the package) and with gluten-free jumbo shells, made from brown rice. Both work well, but I found that the gluten-free noodles need to be cooked until they are totally tender, because they do not become any more tender when you bake them in the marinara sauce.
Feel free to experiment with any type of pasta you prefer!
How to Make Them
First, you’ll need to cook the shells. The box will most likely tell you how long to cook the pasta for stuffed shells (usually they suggest cooking the shells about 1-2 minutes less). I prefer my pasta to be pretty soft, so I cook them until they are tender, regardless.
I don’t find that they cook significantly more when baked, but feel free to experiment with it to see what you like best.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegan ricotta. I’ve tested this recipe multiple times, and the version my family loves best is when I add some white miso into the mix. White miso reminds me of a concentrated Parmesan cheese flavor, so adding it to the filling gives it a more authentic cheesy flavor than using nutritional yeast, in my opinion.
To make the ricotta, simply add the tofu and seasonings to a food processor, and blend for about 60 seconds. Easy-peasy!
You can add a big handful of fresh spinach to this recipe, if you’d like some extra veggies inside, too. The flavor isn’t too noticeable, so it’s a great way to get any picky eaters in your life to eat more nutrients.
When the shells are done cooking, drain them and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Pour half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish, then scoop the filling into each shell with a spoon. I don’t totally fill each shell, and keep in mind that this process will be a little messy.
Top the shells with the remaining marinara sauce, and then bake uncovered for about 20 to 25 minutes, until everything is bubbly hot. It’s so simple, yet so delicious!
Benefits of Using Tofu Ricotta
I love using this vegan ricotta recipe, because it’s nut-free and is an affordable source of plant-based protein. One 3.5-ounce serving of tofu packs 8 grams of protein!
Here’s what else you’ll love about tofu:
- Including soy in your diet may help to lower cholesterol, and lower other risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD).
- Eating soy isoflavones may promote vascular health.
- Women who eat soy products at least once a week may have a lower risk of breast cancer.
- Higher intakes of tofu have been linked to a lower risk of stomach cancer in men.
It’s also relatively neutral in flavor, so it works well in a variety of recipes! I hope you’ll enjoy it in these Stuffed Shells as much as my family does.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes
Looking for more dairy-free comfort food? Don’t miss these!
- Vegan Alfredo
- Lentil Bolognese
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Creamy Vegan Pasta
- Kale Pesto Pasta
- Avocado Pesto
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
Vegan Stuffed Shells
- 8 ounces jumbo shells (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1 (14 oz) package firm tofu (397 grams)
- 2 tablespoons white miso (46 grams)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (22 grams)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (8 grams)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 (24 oz.) jar marinara sauce (I love Rao's brand)
- Vegan Parmesan , for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then cook the shells according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the tofu, miso, lemon juice, salt, basil, and oregano to a large food processor fitted with an S-blade. Process until very smooth, about 60 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides, as needed.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch dish, and spread it out evenly. Add a spoonful of filling into each cooked shell, then place the shell into the prepared baking dish. The fills do not have to be filled all the way-- 1 to 2 tablespoons per shell is plenty, so you'll have enough filling for the whole casserole dish.
- Once you've filled most of the shells (I usualy have a few that break, or a few that won't fit) pour the remaining sauce over the shells and spread it out evenly so the shells are covered in sauce. Bake at 400ºF for 25 minutes, or unti the shells are piping hot.
- Serve warm, with vegan Parmesan and fresh basil on top, if desired. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
If you try these Vegan Stuffed Shells, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like them! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience!
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