You're going to love these vegan stuffed shells. They are filled with herbed cashew ricotta and fresh spinach and topped with a marinara sauce for a classic plant-based pasta dish that the whole family will love.
Prepare the jumbo shells according to packaged directions. Strain through the water when shells are al dente. Do not overcook as they will become too tender to stuff. Allow shells to cool while preparing the filling.
In a food processor blend together the ingredients for the Cashew Ricotta until it begins to resemble ricotta cheese. Add tofu, oregano, salt, and pepper and blend until evenly incorporated. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in parsley and spinach and set aside.
Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce into a 9x13 baking pan. To stuff shells, gently press the top and the bottom with your fingers so that shells open width-wise. Spoon in 2 heaping tablespoons of spinach ricotta filling and place in the pan on top of the marinara sauce. Repeat until all the filling is gone. It should fill about 20 shells. Top with remaining marinara sauce.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until sauce is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow shells to cool slightly before serving.
Serve with vegan parmesan and fresh parsley.
Serving and storing - Serve these stuffed shells immediately with vegan parmesan and fresh basil or parsley. Serve the shells with a big Caesar salad or homemade soup.Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Once thawed, gently reheat in the oven until heated all the way through.Make in Advance - To make this recipe in advance, make the shells according to the instructions below. If you are going to store the shells, wrap them in plastic wrap before baking them and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. To bake frozen shells, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking them. They will need a little longer in the oven since they will be chilled.Recipe Tips
Make sure not to overcook the pasta shells. They should be cooked just to al dente. Otherwise, they will tear as you try and stuff them.
If you don’t have a high-powered blender, soak the cashews in water for 6 hours prior to using. When ready, drain and rinse the cashews and blend them together in a food processor. They won’t be quite as smooth but it should work.
VariationsIf you are allergic to cashews, you can make the ricotta with equal parts macadamia nuts, raw sunflower seeds, or extra tofu.