I love ricotta cheese stuffed into anything… ravioli, manicotti, stuffed shells, yum! It was one thing that I was worried wouldn’t translate well into a vegan version. I scoured Pinterest for a good vegan stuffed shells recipe and found one originally posted by PBS of all sources (link here).
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
16 ounces extra firm tofu
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted
1 box jumbo shells
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1. Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble into the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender along with olive oil, salt, oregano, garlic and nutritional yeast. Process on high until smooth and “ricotta-like”.
2. Add the defrosted spinach to the blended tofu mixture.
3. Cook shells in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about ½ cup pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Stuff shells with 2 T of filling and place in pan, seam side down. Repeat until all shells have been stuffed.
5. Pour remaining pasta sauce over shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve!
Yield: 6-8 servings
Eric loved this version. He’s not a huge fan of cheese, so he liked that it wasn’t very cheesy. However, I missed that cheesy ricotta flavor, this seemed a little bland to me. Since I was an idiot and cooked the entire box of jumbo shells at once, I had about half of the box left over from the first attempt. I decided to try it again a few days later and make a few changes.
This time, I put in about half a tablespoon more nutritional yeast (I would have done even more, but Eric begged me not to make it too cheesy), I doubled the garlic, and I added about ¼ cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
The second version was my preferred recipe. The sun-dried tomatoes added a little extra yummy to the filling and it wasn’t so bland.