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Spinach and ‘Ricotta’ Vegan Stuffed Shells

Vegan stuffed shells are made with vegan ricotta, spinach, and flavorful pasta sauce for a comforting meal that’s easy to make and ready in about 40 minutes!

top down view of vegan stuffed shells in a baking dish.

With a winning medley of carbs, creamy vegan cheese, spinach, and your favorite pasta sauce, this spinach-ricotta stuffed shells recipe is the ultimate comfort food!

And don’t forget a slice of bread to get every last bit of ricotta and sauce—this No Knead Bread is perfect!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s a simple Italian meal that’s both versatile and on the table in no time.
  • Vegan stuffed shells are 100% kid-friendly, and dairy lovers will never guess they are completely plant-based!
  • These 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!

Without further ado, let’s make stuffed shells!

top down view of ingredients used to make ricotta and spinach vegan stuffed shells recipe.

Ingredient Notes

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 and 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, and 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.
side by side photos of cooked jumbo shells and vegan spinach ricotta.

How To 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.
top down view of baking dish with vegan stuffed shells ready for the oven.
  • On the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, evenly spread a whole jar of pasta sauce.
  • Fill each pasta shell with a rounded tablespoon of the ricotta mixture and place it into the baking dish (shown above). I was able to get 3 rows of 6. The amount may vary depending on the size of your baking dish.
side angle view of vegan stuffed shells in a baking dish with items surrounding.
  • Cover and bake for 15 minutes (the sauce should be nice and bubbly). Remove the cover and continue to bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.
  • 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 stuffed shells make a fantastic vegan family-style dish that everyone at the table will love!

Top Tips

  • Baking dish. If you don’t have a rectangular baking dish, an oval or round baking dish will work just as well.
  • Top with sauce. Instead of pouring the whole jar of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, save a little sauce, or pour only half 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 altogether.

top down view of vegan stuffed shells in a baking dish.

Common Storage Questions

Can you freeze vegan stuffed shells before baking?
Yes! To freeze vegan stuffed shells before baking, prepare the recipe as directed up until baking using a freezer-sage container. Store in the freezer tightly covered with saran wrap and foil for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, bake as directed, adding an 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 it 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 spinach-ricotta stuffed shells?
Reheat leftover stuffed pasta shells by putting them into a shallow oven-safe dish, covering, and baking at 350 degrees F. until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove the 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).

Serving Suggestions

Stuffed shells are great alone or can be made into a full-course meal. Here are a few of my favorite options:

top down view of plated serving of spinach and ricotta vegan stuffed shells.

More Vegan Pasta Recipes!

You can never have too many comfort recipes on hand. 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!

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.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 15 reviews

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.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • 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


Units Scale
  • 18 jumbo shells
  • 2 cups vegan ricotta (Cashew Ricotta or Tofu Ricotta)
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained or 5 oz. box of fresh spinach, steamed
  • 1 jar (25oz) pasta sauce (or homemade Marinara Sauce)

To serve


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!

I love and recommend using this Le Creuset baking dish (<< affiliate link) with lid when making these stuffed shells or lasagna.

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  1. Christina B says:

    This was delicious and was eaten happily by everyone, even my picky eater. I made it with the tofu ricotta and added a bit of chopped basil. It’s definitely going in the dinner rotation!

  2. Family favorite, go-to for potlucks and gatherings

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! I made this for my family for Thanksgiving and doubled the recipe and it was a big hit thank you so much! We will be making this again and again!

  4. Patricia Landolt says:

    What a terrific recipe! The ricotta was ahhmazing! I took it to a dinner party, vegans as well as non vegans loved it!

    1. Yes! These are the TRUTH. I followed the recipe exactly. Everybody in my house (vegan and non) loves them. They’re so quick and easy. This is a new staple for me. Thank you!!!

  5. YUM!! These were unbelievably yummy! We couldn’t find any large shells in any grocery stores near us for some reason, so we improvised and made lasagna rollups instead. They were delicious!! I found myself craving more even days after we finished them all!

    1. Amanda Snider says:

      I have the same problem! Giant Eagle is the only place I am able to find the jumbo shells

  6. Terri Fenwick says:

    I’ve only just found you and I’m so excited to try your recipes starting with your ricotta “cheese” can I use the same recipe but for cannelloni tubes instead ?

    Terri xx

  7. The best stuffed shell recipe and instructions ever!

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