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vegan stuffed shells with red sauce and basil in white baking dish on marble background

The Best Vegan Stuffed Shells

These vegan stuffed shells are made from simple ingredients but don't fall short on creamy, cheesy flavor! Perfect for a special occasion or holiday meal. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword dairy free stuffed shells, egg free stuffed shells, gluten free stuffed shells, healthy stuffed shells, vegan stuffed shells, vegan stuffed shells oil free
Method Oven
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 229kcal
Author Caitlin Shoemaker


For the Stuffed Shells:

  • 8 oz jumbo pasta shells gluten-free or regular
  • Vegan Ricotta below
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil chopped
  • 25 ounce jar pasta/marinara sauce of choice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup dairy-free parmesan optional

For the Vegan Ricotta:

  • 1 block organic firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest about ½ small lemon
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Par-cook the pasta: Most jumbo shell packages will have cooking instructions for stuffed shells, but if not, cut the cooking time of the pasta in half, then add two minutes. Make sure to cook the shells in a large pot with plenty of (salted) water and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once the noodles have finished cooking, carefully drain them and rinse with cold water, then lie each shell out on a clean baking tray to prevent sticking.
  • Make the Ricotta by adding all ingredients to a food processor and processing until smooth and creamy, 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and fold in the freshly chopped basil, reserving a few leaves to sprinkle on top after the shells bake.
  • Stuff the Shells: Add 1 cup of marinara sauce to the base of a 9 x 13" pan and spread it around evenly with a spatula. Use a spoon, cookie dough scoop, or piping bag to fill each shell, gently close it, then place it cut side-up in the pan. The amount of ricotta needed will vary on the size of the shell; I used gluten-free shells and used around 2 tablespoons for each shell.
  • Cover the shells with the remaining marinara and parmesan cheese, if using, then bake in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Top with additional fresh basil, then serve warm.


  • This recipe doesn't call for many ingredients, so purchase the highest quality ones that you can.
  • If you'd like to you can also add up to 6 ounces of frozen spinach to the mix for extra veggies! Just be sure to thaw it completely and squeeze as much of the extra liquid out as possible


Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 484IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg