I’m Italian, and I love pasta. However, I try to limit the amount of carbs I eat throughout the week so I tend to save some of my favorite Italian meals for special treats and holiday dinners. I usually make a hearty vegan lasagna for Christmas dinner, but this year I have been planning to make vegan stuffed shells.
Today was my lucky day. The item I had be searching for high and low for weeks was finally in stock at my local Whole foods. So what is this item? It’s vegan ricotta cheese made by kitehill, and it was worth the search. Their almond milk ricotta is worlds above any tofu ricotta I’ve made in the past. The first time I made this dish I fooled omnivores and vegetarians alike with my vegan take on stuffed shells.
The recipe results in a true Italian dish full of fresh herbs with rich flavors and spicy marinara sauce all topping the perfect faux ricotta mix which includes kitehill ricotta, mozzarella Daiya, fresh basil, shallots and green peppers.
I hope you enjoy it! Cheers!
Vegan Stuffed Shells
Time: 50-55 minutes, cook time – 25-30 minutes; prep time – 25 minutes
Yields: 30 shells or six servings
- Two jars pasta sauce (alternatively you can make you own sauce; I tend to buy a pre-made sauce and add extra flavors)
- Jumbo shells (30 shells, varies depending on company)
- Vegan Ricotta:
- 2-3 packages of Kitehill vegan ricotta
- 1 package, Mozzarella Daiya
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 large bell pepper dived
- 2 shallots, minced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh basil leaves, sliced
- Fresh oregano, minced (1 tbsp)
- Fresh thyme, minced (½ tbsp)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp, sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ½ tsp, cayenne
- Grease a very large casserole dish or a few smaller casserole dishes, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Boil a large pot of water, lightly salted. (I also add a splash of olive oil so the shells don’t stick).
- Once the water is boiling, add the shells. (Note, you will need to cook more than 30 since some will break during cooking.)
- Boil for about 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.
- Drain the shells, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, drain again, and set aside to cool.
- Sauté the minced shallots and garlic in a well oiled sauté pan. (About 5 minutes.) Set aside.
- Sauté your sweet onion and green bell pepper and set aside. (About 7 minutes.)
- While you are sautéing your veggies, mince and shred your fresh herbs.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, empty the contents of the Kitehill vegan ricotta packages.
- Add 1 package Daiya mozzerella and mix well.
- Next add the fresh herbs, nutritional yeast, cayenne, sea salt, black pepper, and the minced garlic and shallots. Mix until well combined.
- Cover the bottom and sides of the baking pans with marinara sauce.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into your stuffed shells and place in a single layer in the baking dishes.
- Cover with the remaining pasta sauce (be heavy handed) and sprinkle any remaining nominal amounts of the fresh herbs.
- Loosely cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.