I had actually been putting off making this dish, because I was a little worried about how a meal so heavily dependent on cheese substitutes would taste. But stuffed shells have always been one of my favorite dishes, so I figured I had better start experimenting with some vegan recipes! It was really easy to make.
Tomato Sauce of choice (I cheated this time and used packaged Hunt’s tomato sauce rather than making my own, because I had a coupon for it)
Daiya mozzarella style “cheese”
Vegan butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Powder, to taste (optional)
Vegan Grated Parmesan “Cheese,” to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add jumbo pasta shells, and cook al dente (approximately 9-10 minutes). Be careful not to overcook the shells, as they will break when filling if they are too soft.
While shells are cooking, bring vegan butter or EVOO in a skillet to medium heat. Add spinach and garlic powder and cook until wilted, stirring constantly with a spatula to ensure spinach does not burn or stick to the pan.
Mince 2-3 cloves garlic in a food processor.
Empty entire contents of Tofutti “Better Than Ricotta Cheese” into a medium-large bowl. Mix in wilted spinach and minced garlic (garlic powder could be used as an alternative; I just had some fresh garlic lying around that I wanted to use up).
Once shells are cooked, drain and let cool for a couple minutes. (Not too long, or they will dry out. Just long enough so that you don’t burn your hands when handling them.)
Spread a small amount (about 1/4 inch) of tomato sauce in a baking dish
Spoon ricotta “cheese” mixture into shells (approximately 1 tablespoon per shell) and place stuffed shells into baking dish with the open part of the shell facing down.
Pour remainder of tomato sauce over top of the shells.
Place into oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. When 5-10 minutes are remaining, remove dish and sprinkle desired amount of vegan mozzarella style “cheese” on top, and place back into oven for remainder of time.
So, as I mentioned, I was a bit worried about how this dish would turn out, but my honey absolutely loved it! He said these were some of the best stuffed shells he’s ever had, and that he woke up this morning craving them! The filling was a bit too creamy for my taste, but still good! Next time, I’m going to experiment with a homemade ricotta “cheese” recipe that uses a cashew base.