I really outdid myself with this one. A cozy pasta bake that is also super nutritious? Yes please! If you’re not normal a tofu lover, I am confident this Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe will change your mind.
Tofu is the MVP of this recipe for a few reasons:
Tofu is the key ingredient in this recipe. If you aren’t familiar, tofu is a vegetarian diet stable because of its high protein content. It is versatile and takes on the flavour of whatever else you add to it.
Plant-based diet staple:
- It is a complete protein, meaning it has the same amino acid profile as the animal based counterparts. This means it provides your body with all the ingredients it needs to create protein.
- It is a great source of the essential minerals calcium and iron.
- It’s very inexpensive!
Tips for making Tofu “Ricotta” Stuffed Shells:
Although Tofu Ricotta may sound intimidating, it is actually very easy to make. You’ll need a food processor or good blender to make the tofu ricotta. The only difficult part is stuffing the shells, which is more messy than it is hard. Keep reading for a tip to help stuff the shells easily!
Make ahead options:
- Precook the pasta shells to al dente up to a night or two before you plan to make them. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking and store covered in the refrigerator.
- Make the tofu ricotta ahead. Add all ingredients for the tofu ricotta except for the egg to a food processor and blend. Store covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day ahead of when you plan to make it. Whisk the egg in right before you plan to use it.
- TIP: Add the tofu ricotta mixture to a large ziplock bag or piping bag. Snip off a small piece of one of the corners to creating a piping bag. You can use this to pipe the mixture into each shell. This will end up being much less messy!
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Looking for more healthy comfort foods? Check out:
- Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili
- Hemp Heart Crusted Chicken Strips
- Italian Turkey Stuffed Peppers
- Vegan Tempeh Bolognese
- Chicken Shawarma Bowl
Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- 25 jumbo/large pasta shells (cook extra incase some break)
- 4 cups fresh spinach
Basil Tofu Ricotta
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
- 2 blocks (350g each) firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast *Optional but adds more cheesy flavour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (divided)
- 1 cup shredded mozarella cheese (divided)
- 1 jar (650ml) tomato basil sauce
Make the Jumbo Shells
- Start by cooking the shells to al dente according to the package instructions. Once cooked, strain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside to cook.
- While the shells cook, heat a pan with a drizzle of oil to medium heat, add the spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
Make the Basil Tofu Ricotta
- To a food processor or blender add the roughly chopped garlic cloves and shallots. Pulse a few times until they are chopped into small pieces.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the tofu ricotta and blend until smooth.
- Mix in the parmesan cheese, cooled wilted spinach and 1/2 cup each of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Stuff the Shells
- Set your oven to 375F and get a 12 x 8 baking dish ready.
- Add a thin layer of tomato sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Next, stuff the shells, placing each one seam side up in 5 x 5 lines. You could use a spoon to stuff each shell, or to reduce mess, add the mixture to a large Ziploc bag, cut off one corner and use like a piping bag to stuff the shells.
- Top with more tomato sauce to your liking (I like lots of sauce), the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with more fresh parmesan, basil, and tomato sauce with a simple side salad. Enjoy!