Vegan stuffed shells are made with vegan ricotta, spinach, and flavorful pasta sauce that’s both heavenly and comforting! This Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe is easy to put together and on the table in about 40 minutes.
Let’s make vegan stuffed shells!
This stuffed shells recipe is a winning medley of carbs, creamy cheese, spinach and your favorite pasta sauce. And don’t forget a slice of bread to get every last bit of pasta sauce, this No Knead Bread is perfect!
They make a perfect weeknight dinner and is 100% kid friendly! Plus, stuffed ricotta shells can be made ahead and are freezer friendly, making them a great recipe to prep and stock in the freezer for later.
If you love comforting Italian pasta dishes, you must try this Ultimate Vegetable Vegan Lasagna, Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells or maybe this Simple Cheese Manicotti, all use the homemade vegan ricotta called for in this recipe. This stuffed shells recipe is another classic Italian dish made vegan!
Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe, cooked jumbo shells are stuffed with spinach ricotta cheese and baked with pasta sauce for a wonderful vegan Italian meal.
Here is everything you’ll need, including tips and variations:
- Jumbo Shells: Source out large jumbo shells, cook according to package directions. The shells were super easy to fill, using a spoon, with none of them falling apart or breaking.
- Vegan Ricotta: Making your own homemade vegan cashew ricotta or tofu ricotta is super easy, and only takes a few minutes. You can make it ahead of time, storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before using.
- Spinach: Use fresh or frozen spinach. Both work well, so use whatever you prefer or is more convenient. If using fresh, simply steam the spinach until wilted, give a good chop to cut it up. Frozen spinach should be thawed and squeezed to remove excess water (you can do this right in the package by cutting the corner, and squeezing the bag.
- Pasta Sauce: Make your own quick and easy Marinara Sauce or use your favorite pasta sauce.
- Final Touches: Finish it off with a little fresh basil or oregano for a pop of color and another layer of flavor. A good dusting of Almond Parmesan is also a perfect garnish for these stuffed shells.
How Do You make Vegan Stuffed Shells
- Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, mix the vegan ricotta with the spinach in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the whole jar of pasta sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread evenly.
- Scoop out rounded tablespoons of ricotta mixture and stuff each pasta shell, placing it into the baking dish (shown above). I was able to get 3 rows of 6. Your results will vary depending on the size of your baking dish.
- Bake, covered, for 15 minutes, sauce should be nice and bubbly. Remove cover and bake for 10 – 15 minutes more.
- Let rest a few minutes and wipe clean the rim of the dish if you like (it will be messy from the bubbly sauce). Lastly, sprinkle with almond parmesan and herbs of choice.
That’s it, these spinach-ricotta vegan stuffed shells make a fantastic family style dish the whole family will love!
- Baking dish. If you don’t have a rectangular baking dish, an oval or round baking dish will work too.
- Top with sauce. Save a little sauce, or only pour ½ of the sauce into the dish, and top the stuffed shells with the remaining portion.
- Adjust the spinach. Use fresh or frozen spinach, or omit it all together.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Shells Before Baking?
Yes! Simply prepare the stuffed shells according to the recipe up until baking, store in a freezer safe container, or cover tightly with cling wrap and foil, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake as directed adding and extra 5 – 10 minutes at each temperature called for in the recipe.
How Long Can You Keep Stuffed Shells In The Refrigerator?
- Make ahead: When making ahead, vegan stuffed shells can be filled and kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in advance. When ready to bake, simply place in the oven and bake as usual.
- Cooked: Cooked, or leftover, stuffed pasta shells can be stored in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container, for up to 5 days.
How Do You Reheat Stuffed Shells?
Reheat leftover stuffed pasta shells by putting them into a shallow oven safe dish, cover, and bake at 350 degrees F. until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and serve. Alternatively, microwave serving size portions using 30 – 60 second intervals, until warmed through (be sure to cover with a microwave safe cover).
Stuffed shells are great alone or can be made into a full course meal. Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Toppings: Add a sprinkle of Almond Parmesan and fresh chopped oregano or basil for a finishing touch.
- Salad: Pair with a simple Classic House Salad or hearty Vegan Caesar Salad on the side.
- Soup: Serve with a bowl of Vegan Minestrone Soup.
- Bread: Serve with a chunk of homemade crusty Artisan Bread or bread sticks for swiping up the last bits.
More Comforting Pasta Recipes!
You can never have too many comfort dishes to turn to. Try these other delicious vegan pasta dishes to comfort your soul and make you feel at home. You may just find a new favorite recipe for the meal rotation!
- Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
- The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna
- Simple Cheese Manicotti
- Easy Mac and Cheese with Peas
- Eggplant Puttanesca
If you try this vegan stuffed shells recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
SPINACH AND ‘RICOTTA’ VEGAN STUFFED SHELLS
Made with simple vegan cashew or tofu ricotta, spinach, and flavorful pasta sauce, it’s both heavenly and comforting! Easy recipe and ready in 40 minutes.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 (3 shells per serving) 1x
- Category: Entree, Pasta
- Cuisine: Vegan, Italian
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pasta: Cook pasta shells according to package directions.
Ricotta Stuffing: Combine the cashew ricotta with the spinach, set aside.
Prep the baking dish: Pour the entire jar of pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spreading evenly to all edges. Alternately, pour half the pasta sauce, fill with stuffed shells, and pour the other half over top.
Stuff Shells: Scoop out rounded tablespoon of the spinach-ricotta and stuff each of the pasta shells, placing them in the baking dish. (I was able to get 3 rows of 6, your results will vary depending on your baking dish.)
Bake: Place baking dish, covered, in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, sauce should be bubbly. Remove cover, reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and cook for 10 – 15 minutes more.
Serve with fresh chopped herbs of choice and a good dusting of almond parmesan.
Serves 6 (3 shells per serving)
Store: Cooked, or leftover, stuffed pasta shells can be stored in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container, for up to 5 days.
Make ahead: When making ahead, stuffed shells can be filled and kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours in advance. When ready to bake, simply place in the oven and bake as usual.
If you’d like to add a layer of vegan cheese over top before baking, I recommend using Myoko’s Vegan Mozzarella. It melts great and tastes fantastic for a vegan cheese!
Updated: Vegan Stuffed Shells was originally published in February 2019. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2021.