Loaded with vegan ricotta and spinach, and topped with vegan cheese and homemade marinara sauce, these vegan stuffed shells are a yummy entree that everyone will love.

Serves 4

Ingredients

STUFFED SHELLS

  • 20-25 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water)
  • 7 oz. frozen baby spinach leaves
  • 16 oz. vegan ricotta cheese
    (see ingredients and recipe below)
  • 2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

TOFU RICOTTA CHEESE

  • 14 oz. firm tofu
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbsp. white miso paste
  • ½–1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tsp. dried basil, oregano, parsley or Italian seasoning (optional)

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (see below)
  • Fresh chopped parsley and/or basil, for garnish

Directions

TOFU RICOTTA CHEESE

Drain excess liquid from tofu (do not press). Break into small pieces and add to food processor with remaining ricotta ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape sides as needed.

STUFFED SHELLS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare flax egg by mixing flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and setting it aside for 10-15 minutes to thicken.

Cook pasta shells, drain and set aside.

Thaw frozen spinach and gently squeeze water out. Add ricotta to a large bowl along with prepared flax egg, spinach, shredded vegan mozzarella, parsley, basil, onion powder, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix and set aside for filling.

Pour half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish, spreading it evenly.

To stuff the shells, either fill them with a spoon or place ricotta filling into a piping bag and pipe into shells. Fill about 24 shells up with roughly 1 1/2 Tbsp. of filling each.

Add the rest of the sauce on top of the shells and sprinkle 1/2 cup of vegan mozzarella cheese on top.

Cover dish with foil and place in oven. After 20 minutes, remove cover, reduce heat to 375° F and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with freshly chopped parsley and/or basil. Serve warm.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 430; protein 20 g; fat 28 g; carbs 34 g.

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Photo: Jasmine Briones

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Black pepper, as desired

Directions

Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once warmed, add the onion and garlic then sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.

Next, add canned tomatoes (with juice), and gently break them apart using a wooden spoon or potato masher.

Add in all of the remaining ingredients and discard until uniform. Simmer uncovered on low for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired before serving.

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