Learn how to make the best Vegan Stuffed Ricotta Shells with an unbelievable dairy-free almond ricotta and spinach mixture! Nobody will believe this is oil-free or vegan. It is the epitome of delicious comfort food!
VEGAN STUFFED RICOTTA SHELLS WITH SPINACH
We all needed a delicious dish to use up that fabulous Vegan Ricotta Cheese I just posted, right? Of course, I shared it on pizza, but my goal all along was for these Vegan Stuffed Ricotta Shells.
FAVORITE MEAL BEFORE GOING VEGAN
Without a doubt, one of my husband’s favorite dishes I used to make years ago before we went vegan, was stuffed ricotta shells. Now, of course those were dairy-filled and we haven’t had stuffed shells in almost 6 years now. It. Was. Time. Not only do these taste just like the dairy version but my husband absolutely loved them and said “this is fantastic!” He also suggested this was the perfect dish to impress guests with. Not only is it beautiful and colorful, but it is so good and filling. Hey, it’s pasta! I asked for any suggestions on changes and he said, “not a thing”. Then I had my daughter taste it, she gestured 2 thumbs up and said “super yummy!” so there you have it. Of course, when I had a taste, I was ecstatic at how delicious it was.
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN STUFFED RICOTTA SHELLS?
First, make my Vegan Ricotta Cheese.
Next, make the pizza sauce (see directions).
Spread 1 cup of the sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.
Add the cooked spinach to the bowl of the ricotta cheese.
Mix the ricotta cheese with the cooked spinach, salt and Italian seasoning until it is well mixed like this.
Fill the pasta shells with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture.
Spread the remaining 2 cups of sauce in and around the pasta shells. Drizzle the centers across all of the shells. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh basil. Devour and come back and tell me that isn’t one of the yummiest dishes ever!
I’m telling you, this dish is so filling, delicious and healthy. Yet, it is totally vegan and oil-free!
Next time guests come over, prepare this dish. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser both visually and for making very happy tummies.
This dish is the very definition of comfort food. You know me and comfort food go hand in hand. Speaking of comfort food, have you tried this Vegan Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake?
MORE VEGAN PASTA RECIPES
- Best Vegan Garlic Alfredo
- Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Creamy Chili Sauce with Zucchini, Spinach and Pasta
- 20 Minute Alfredo
- Pimento Cream Sauce
- Creamy Vegan White Wine Sauce
Vegan Stuffed Ricotta Shells
- 16 jumbo pasta shells
- 10 oz package fresh spinach (do not use frozen!)
- 3 cups (720g) of my homemade pizza sauce (you'll have to double the recipe, see NOTE)
- 1 batch of my homemade ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- fresh basil for garnish
- I used my homemade pizza sauce for this because it really has so much more flavor than jarred marinara and only takes 5 mins to make, but use what you like, knowing that the dish will take on the flavor you choose. If using my pizza sauce, you'll need to double the recipe and will be left with 1 extra cup of sauce and just use that for a pizza or another pasta dish.
- First, make the ricotta cheese. You will need a day in advance for this or to start soaking the almonds in the early morning to make this for dinner the day of.
- Add 5 quarts (20 cups) water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt and the pasta shells. Give it a stir and cook until almost aldente, about 9 minutes. You want the shells just slightly undercooked since they will finish cooking in the oven and don't want them mushy or falling apart.
- Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water and set aside for a minute.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and get out a 9x13 baking dish.
- While the pasta is boiling, add the spinach to a large pan over medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring constantly until it is just wilted-you don't want to overcook it, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cooked spinach to a strainer and let it cool a couple of minutes. Pick the spinach up with your hands and squeeze to strain the excess water, trying hard to get as much out as you can.
- Add the ricotta cheese to a large bowl with the spinach, Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix very well.
- To the baking dish, add 1 cup of the pizza sauce and spread it out across the bottom. Stuff all the shells with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture carefully and place into the dish, giving a bit of space in between each one.
- Spoon the remaining 2 cups of sauce in between and around the edges of the shells and a drizzle of it over the center of the shells (see photo). This allows the beauty of the shells to still be seen but still soak up some of that yummy sauce.
- Place a piece of foil over the dish and bake for 30 minutes until piping hot and bubbly. You won't technically see the bubbling, but you will hear it. Remove and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.
Prep time does not include the soaking of the almonds for the ricotta cheese.