Serve these vegan stuffed shells with a homemade spinach ‘ricotta’ made from tofu and a hearty tomato sauce for a wholesome, comforting dinner. They’re easy to make from scratch with simple ingredients, and freezer-friendly too. Great for weeknight meals and special occasions alike!

Vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta

It’s no secret that I love pasta, and at the moment I can’t stop making stuffed shells. They’re just so fun to make, and even more fun to eat! There’s just something so special about chewy jumbo shells with a delicious homemade filling. And I can guarantee that even non-vegans will love this recipe! It misses absolutely no flavor, despite being completely dairy-free.

If you’re a pasta lover like myself, I recommend you run to the kitchen and make these ASAP. You won’t regret it at all, and will likely want to make them again straight after!

Stuffed conchiglie in a baking dish with tomato sauce and fresh herbs

Delicious vegan stuffed shells with ‘ricotta’

When describing what’s to love about these amazing stuffed shells, I don’t even know where to start! The pasta variety used here is conchiglie, which is the best for stuffing as the shells are so large and don’t fall apart easily. 

These vegan ricotta stuffed shells are pretty much the definition of comfort food and like my butternut squash risotto, look and taste fancy despite being very easy to make. That’s considering the fact that the ricotta and tomato sauce are made from scratch!

Baking dish with conchiglie and tofu ricotta

The star of the show here is the homemade tofu ricotta. You need just 5 simple ingredients to make this dairy-free ricotta from scratch. Then, you mix it with spinach in a pan, and it’s ready to be added to the vegan stuffed shells. Despite the simplicity, it’s so incredibly flavorful and goes super well with the pasta.

We’re also making a homemade tomato sauce. I would 100% recommend making your own from scratch, because it requires very little extra time and effort, and simple ingredients. I’m sure you will love it as much as I did!

Plate of vegan stuffed conchiglie with tofu ricotta

How to make vegan stuffed shells from scratch

Prepare the conchiglie

Cook the conchiglie for around 2-3 minutes less than the packaging instructions. Drain and rinse when done.

Meanwhile, lightly grease a rectangular baking dish with olive oil or vegan butter, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.

Make the tomato sauce

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Now add onion, garlic and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

Next, add canned tomatoes, dried oregano and salt, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Make the tofu ricotta

Add extra firm tofu, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, tahini and plant based milk to a blender or food processor and blend on a low speed for a few seconds. Make sure not to overblend, so that the tofu retains some texture. 

Next, transfer the ‘ricotta’ to a frying pan over a medium heat and add the spinach. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the spinach wilts, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble and bake

Add a layer of the tomato sauce to the baking dish. Next, add around 1-2 tbsp to the ricotta to each pasta shell and arrange them in an even layer above the tomato sauce. If you wish, you can add some more tomato sauce on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until crispy and golden. 

Tips for success

  • Make sure not to overcook the pasta shells. It’s really important that they are al dente, because this will make sure that they don’t fall apart when you add the filling. They will also continue cooking in the oven.
  • Use extra firm tofu for the best crumbly texture. 
  • Either fresh or frozen spinach works well in the filling for these stuffed shells. 
  • If you want to, you can use store-bought vegan ricotta, and a store-bought tomato/marinara sauce.
  • You can add other vegetables of your choice to the tomato sauce. For instance, I love adding diced carrots and zucchini. 
  • In order to save time, you can make the tofu ricotta while the onion and garlic for the tomato sauce are cooking.
  • You can add either grated vegan cheese, or homemade vegan parmesan on top of the pasta shells either before baking, or when you’re ready to serve.
Plate of dairy-free stuffed shells in a homemade tomato sauce

Can you make vegan stuffed shells ahead of time?

Yes, these are really easy to make ahead of time. Simply make the pasta shells as instructed up to the point of baking, arranging them in the baking dish. Then, cover and leave in the fridge for up to 8-10 hours. Then, proceed to bake as normal, but with an extra 5 minutes.

Stuffed shells with dairy-free tofu ricotta in a baking dish

Instructions for storage and freezing

  • You can keep these vegan stuffed shells in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, until warmed through. Or you can reheat in a baking dish in the oven for around 10 minutes. 
  • I would recommend freezing them before baking. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, allow to thaw fully in the fridge for around 8 hours, then bake at 180 degrees C/350 F for 30 minutes. 

Other delicious vegan pasta recipes

Vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta

If you give these vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your remakes, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!

Vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta

Get the Recipe: Vegan Stuffed Shells With Spinach Ricotta

These vegan stuffed shells with tofu spinach ricotta and a homemade tomato sauce are perfect for a comforting dinner! Make them using simple, wholesome ingredients for a meal you won't believe is entirely dairy-free.

Ingredients

The pasta shells

  • 10 oz conchiglie, (around 15 large shells)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, (or vegan butter) to grease the baking dish

The tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can canned tomatoes, (14 oz can)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt

The tofu ricotta

  • 10 oz extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup plant based milk

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Rectangular baking dish
  • Conventional oven
  • Frying pan
  • Blender or food processor

Instructions 

  • Cook the conchiglie: Cook the pasta shells for around 2-3 minutes less than the packaging instructions. Drain and rinse when done.
  • Preheat the oven: Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish with olive oil or vegan butter, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F.
  • Make the tomato sauce: Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Now add onion, garlic and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Next, add canned tomatoes, dried oregano and salt, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Make the tofu ricotta: Add extra firm tofu, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, tahini and plant based milk to a blender or food processor and blend on a low speed for a few seconds.
  • Add spinach: Transfer the ‘ricotta’ to a frying pan over a medium heat together with the spinach. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the spinach wilts, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the pasta shells: Add a layer of the tomato sauce to the baking dish. Next, add around 1-2 tbsp to the ricotta to each pasta shell and arrange them in an even layer above the tomato sauce. If you wish, you can add some more tomato sauce on top.
  • Bake the shells: Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until crispy and golden. 

Video

Notes

Recipe tips for best results
  • Make sure not to overcook the pasta shells. It’s really important that they are al dente, because this will make sure that they don’t fall apart when you add the filling. 
  • Use extra firm tofu for the best crumbly texture. 
  • Either fresh or frozen spinach works well.
  • If you want to, you can use store-bought vegan ricotta, and a store-bought tomato/marinara sauce.
  • You can add other vegetables of your choice to the tomato sauce.
  • In order to save time, you can make the tofu ricotta while the onion and garlic for the tomato sauce are cooking.
  • You can add either grated vegan cheese, or homemade vegan parmesan on top of the pasta shells either before baking, or when you’re ready to serve.
Instructions for storage and freezing
  • You can keep these vegan stuffed shells in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, until warmed through. Or you can reheat in a baking dish in the oven for around 10 minutes. 
  • You can freeze the pasta shells before baking. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, allow to thaw fully in the fridge for around 8 hours, then bake at 180 degrees C/350 F for 30 minutes. 
Calories: 460kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 569mg, Potassium: 801mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 368IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 137mg, Iron: 4mg
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Vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta