These vegan stuffed shells are filled with a delicious creamy vegan ricotta and spinach. It’s an easy meal that’s perfect for casual or fancy dinners, and will be loved by the whole family!
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If you love Italian food (who doesn’t), then you’re going to love these stuffed shells! They’re filled with my Tofu Ricotta, which is made creamy with a bit of cashew cream, and some spinach for veggie goodness.
This recipe is very similar to my Vegan Lasagna, but instead of layering the pasta, ricotta, and sauce, I’ve stuffed some jumbo shell pasta with the spinach ricotta and baked it with some of my delicious Marinara and Vegan Mozzarella.
This dish looks fancy, but is so easy to make. It’s loved by kids and adults alike, and can be served as a casual weeknight meal, or for a more elegant special occasion.
- Jumbo Shells – if you are gluten free, use gluten free jumbo shells
- Tofu Ricotta – my recipe is quick and easy, and is creamy from the addition of cashew cream
- Spinach – you can use fresh or frozen. If you use frozen, be sure to squeeze out the excess water or you’ll have runny ricotta.
- Marinara – my Oil Free Marinara is delicious in this recipe, but feel free to use jarred sauce or your favorite marinara recipe.
- Vegan Mozzarella – I like to sprinkle a bit on top before baking
- Fresh Basil (optional) – for a pretty and tasty garnish
How to make vegan stuffed shells
Begin by boiling the pasta. The instructions on the package should have the proper cooking time to avoid overcooked pasta. You want to make sure they are not cooked past an al dente stage, or they will fall apart when you stuff them. They also continue cooking in the oven, and you don’t want to end up with a mushy mess.
After cooking drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
If your ricotta was not made in advance, make it while the pasta is boiling, and steam the spinach. When the spinach is wilted, gently squeeze out the extra liquid, so you don’t end up with runny ricotta. Add the spinach to the food processor with the ricotta. Pulse a few times to chop up the spinach and mix it into the ricotta.
Spread about 2 cups of marinara in the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan.
Stuff each shell with a couple of tablespoons of the ricotta and place them in the pan. To make this process less messy, you can pipe the filling into the shells with a pastry bag, but I find it easy enough to just use a spoon.
Top the shells with the remaining marinara and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
Cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake at 375° F for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan or fresh basil, if desired.
What to serve with spinach tofu stuffed shells
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Just purchase gluten free shell pasta. Everything else in the recipe is naturally gluten free
This is a great recipe to make in advance. Just prepare the recipe up to the baking stage, and refrigerate overnight, or freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw the frozen stuffed shells in the refrigerator before baking. Add a few minute of extra baking time if you’re baking refrigerated shells.
Leftover stuffed shells will keep in an enclosed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can be reheated by placing them in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes. Or reheat in the microwave in intervals of 30 to 60 seconds until they are hot.
For more delicious Italian recipes, see:
- Vegan Lasagna
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Vegan Ravioli
- Fresh Pasta Dough
- Vegan Stromboli
- Vegan Italian Sausage
- Pepperoni Pizza Panini
- Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
- Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
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Vegan Stuffed Shells
- Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Be sure not to overcook them, or they will be difficult to stuff, and you will end up with a mushy mess after baking.
- After cooking drain the pasta, and rinse with cold water, and drain again.
- Make the tofu ricotta. Steam the spinach, gently squeeze out the liquid, and add it to the food processor with the ricotta. Pulse a few times to chop up the spinach and mix it into the ricotta.
- Spread 2 cups of sauce in the bottom of a a 9×13 pan.
- Stuff each shell with a couple of tablespoons of the ricotta and place them in the pan.
- Top the shells with the remaining marinara and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake at 375° F for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil before serving, if desired.
Nutrition calculations are approximate.