Monday, July 25, 2011

Stuffed Shells

Up until now I have had an aversion to using tofu as a cheese substitute. I am not sure why but somehow I thought it would end up being  some sort of rubbery mass.  Well, I have been proven wrong!

I have been thinking about making stuffed shells for a while and I realized that it was almost inevitable that I would need to use tofu as a ricotta substitute.  As usual, when in in search of ideas and information I headed straight to Twitter to consult my Tweeps. As usual they did not fail me!

I got great suggestions from @PoshVeganMom, @vegangoodthings and @VganJules.  I also consulted @TheChubbyVegan's blog as I recall he made stuffed shells recently.  In the end, I came up with my own spin on the filling and it was really good! Not rubbery at all!

I also must tell you that I have omnivore extended family visiting and I decided to serve this, untested, for dinner.  Either they are ridiculously polite or they liked it! I am thinking the latter as even Mr. Meat and Potatoes was looking for another serving after they were all gone.

This is something I will make again and I would not hesitate to tell you to serve this to your omnivore family and friends. I am sure they will devour it just like mine did!

Stuffed Shells

12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
1 lb firm tofu, pressed to remove water
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 bulb roasted garlic
Juice of one lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
5 oz shitake mushrooms, chopped fine
1/2 leek (white part only), chopped fine
24 oz marinara sauce (I cheated and used a jar sauce)
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp fresh chives, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crumble tofu into a food processor or powerful blender.  Add the the cashews, roasted garlic, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper  Pulse until incorporated (you do not want this "too" smooth). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In a saute pan heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the leeks, mushrooms, basil and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about three minutes.  Add to the tofu mixture and stir to incorporate.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish (I used a 9x12) with a thin layer of marinara sauce.

Stuff the cooked shells with the "ricotta" mixture using a spoon.  Place each shell face up on the marinara sauce.  Place 2/3 of the remaining sauce on top of the shells (reserve the remaining marinara and serve with the meal for those that desire more sauce).

Ready for the oven!

 Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


  1. The shells look great. I have had rubbery-ness issues with dishes like this in the past. I will have to try your recipe.

    Mary Squires

  2. You've come to the rescue again! This sounds delicious, and I am making it for dinner tonight! I think that maybe you just need to move into my house. ;)

  3. Gail- I hope you like it! I felt like it was a gamble but one that really paid off! I would be happy to come cook for you any time!!

  4. Stuffed shells are always so good and the extra crunch from the cashews sounds wonderful