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tofu ricotta pasta bake with jumbo pasta shells

Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Andrea Toole
A cozy pasta bake that is also super nutritious and packed with plant-based protein. The perfect decadent yet healthy dinner!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6


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


  • 25 jumbo/large pasta shells (cook extra incase some break)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (Plus extra for topping)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 jar (650ml) tomato basil sauce Or homemade!


Make the Jumbo Shells

  • Start by cooking the shells to al dente according to the package instructions. While the shells cook, wilt the spinach. Heat a pan with a drizzle of oil to medium heat, add the spinach and stir until completely wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Once the shells have finished cooking, strain and add to a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside and let cool. You could also stick the shells in the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool more quickly.

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. You do not want large chunks of garlic or shallot remaining. Set aside.

Stuff the Shells

  • Set your oven to 375F and get a 12 x 8 baking dish ready. To your tofu ricotta mixture, add the parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the wilted spinach, and the egg. Mix together until ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • 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.
  • Once the shells are all stuffed and in the baking dish, add a layer of tomato sauce on top and the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 22-25 minutes. Remove the foil, and place back in the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes unitl the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with more fresh parmesan, basil, and tomato sauce with a simple side salad. Enjoy!


Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up tp 4 days. 
Pairs perfectly with a simple side salad!