Vegan Stuffed Shells


Last Updated on January 18, 2021

vegan stuffed shells

These vegan stuffed shells are the perfect plant-based comfort food made with simple ingredients. They’re filled with a delicious homemade tofu ricotta, topped with marinara sauce and spoonfuls of pesto!

These shells are a family-favorite, and come together in just a few easy steps.

Tofu ricotta has been a favorite in our house for a while. I based this recipe off of my tofu lasagna rolls, but loved the idea of cooking the spinach prior for added flavor. The pesto on top is totally optional, but I love the flavor it provides!

How to make vegan stuffed shells:

  1. Boil your pasta– you can use regular or gluten-free shells for this recipe
  2. Saute your spinach– in the same pot your cooked your pasta in, cook the spinach with a little olive oil, garlic and salt to bring out its flavor
  3. Make your tofu ricotta– for the tofu ricotta, add the tofu, lemon juice, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast and olive oil to a blender, and blend it until its smooth
  4. Stuff your shells– once your tofu is made and mixed in with the spinach, begin stuffing your shells with the ricotta mixture
  5. Layer and bake– layer your shells in a baking dish coated in marinara sauce, then top them off with more sauce and some pesto- you can use store bought or homemade!
vegan stuffed shells

Tips & tricks for vegan stuffed shells

Prep the ricotta ahead of time

If you wanted to save time in the kitchen, you can prepare the ricotta mixture up to 3 days in advance. This will save you some dishes (and time!) when you’re ready to make the dish

Freeze your stuffed shells

These shells can be stuffed and frozen for up to 2 months. Cook your pasta, prep the ricotta, stuff the shells, and freeze them in a freezer-safe container without any sauce! They may need a little extra time in the oven when you’re ready to bake them, or can be defrosted the night before.

Use lasagna sheets

If you wanted an easier, but still delicious, approach, you can replace the shells with lasagna sheets. This could be a good option if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to the shells.

vegan stuffed shells

These vegan stuffed shells are delicious, packed with nutrients, and sure to be a hit with the whole family. Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you try them!

More vegan comfort food:

Vegan Pesto Pasta

Vegan Lentil Meatballs

Cashew Cheese Fries

Vegan Stuffed Shells

5 from 4 votes
Course: Main, Vegan


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Cooking time


Total time




  • 6 oz 6 jumbo pasta shells, about 18 shells

  • 3 cups 3 fresh spinach

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, crushed

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 marinara sauce

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 dairy-free pesto- store bought or homemade

  • Chopped basil, to top

  • Pinch of salt

  • Tofu Ricotta
  • 1 block firm tofu (14 oz), drained

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tbsp 2 nutritional yeast

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 clove 1 of garlic

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  • Boil your pasta: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in your pasta shells and cook them for about 10 minutes- they should be al dente. Drain your pasta and set it aside.
  • Prep the spinach: In the same pot, heat the garlic clove with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute your spinach for 4-5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Make the tofu ricotta: For the tofu ricotta, add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the ricotta into the bowl with the spinach and mix well.
  • Stuff your shells: In a large baking dish- I used a 9″ pie dish, but a 9 x 13 dish would work- spread a layer of marinara sauce to coat the bottom. Begin stuffing your shells with the tofu mixture, and layering them over the marinara base.
  • Once all your shells are stuffed, pour the remaining sauce over the top. Add spoonfuls of pesto around the dish, and sprinkle with the chopped basil.
  • Bake the shells: Cover your dish with foil, and bake for 15 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered. You can add vegan cheese if desired before baking.
  • If you want to prep this dish ahead of time, I would follow all the steps up until the baking part. You can refrigerate the shells for up to 3 days, and bake them right before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. Adriana K

    Absolutely loved this recipe and so did the entire family! It’s incredible and a must try!! The tofu ricotta is so creamy!

  2. These were delicious! To accommodate the family, I made one with dairy ricotta and one with the tofu ricotta. I made a homemade pesto using sheep parmesan, olive oil, and pecans (didn’t have pine nuts). Everything turned out great! Will definitely make again.

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