These Vegan Stuffed Jumbo Shells are filled with the most amazing spinach ricotta, covered with marinara sauce and baked to perfection! Comfort food that is perfect for feeding a crowd.
When I need a kid friendly meal that everyone will love, I turn to Vegan Lasagna, Vegan Mac and Cheese, Baked Ziti or these amazing stuffed shells.
I’ve served these shells countless times to various groups, and no one ever guesses they’re completely vegan! The ricotta filling rivals any dairy filled cheese, and will keep you coming back for more.
For added richness, add a few cups of non-dairy mozzarella shreds to the top while it bakes. But it’s really not necessary.
Tips for success
- Don’t overcook the pasta. We don’t want mushy shells, and they will continue to cook a little in the oven. Rinse the cooked shells in cold water as soon as they are done.
- Try using a piping bag to stuff the shells. It makes filling the shells a breeze! You can also use a small spoon.
- Frozen or fresh spinach – I use whatever I have on hand, and either is perfectly fine.
- Make ahead – You can assemble the shells in the casserole dish ahead of time, such as in preparation of a holiday meal. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. I would not let them sit longer than 8-10 hours before baking. Give them a few extra minutes to cook since they will be cold going in.
I hope you LOVE these Vegan Stuffed Shells. They are:
- Crowd-pleasing comfort food
- Savory & rich tasting
- Pasta perfection!
- Filling & oh-so-satisfying
Want more vegan pasta recipes to serve a crowd?
- Vegan Baked Ziti
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Vegan Carbonara
- Vegan Alfredo
Vegan Stuffed Jumbo Shells with Spinach
- (1) 12-ounce package jumbo shells
- (1) 26-ounce jar marinara sauce (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups raw cashews
- (1) 14-ounce firm tofu drained from package
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- (1) 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed or 2-3 cups fresh
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Boil the Shells: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the jumbo shells. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Some will likely break, but you will only need about 3/4 of the package so that is okay.
- Make the Spinach Ricotta: Add the cashews to a food processor, and process until fine and crumbly. Now add the rest of the ricotta ingredients EXCEPT the spinach. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Now add the spinach, squeezing out excess water before adding. Pulse to combine.
- In a large casserole dish, evenly spread about 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom.
- Stuff the Shells: Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the spinach ricotta into each shell and place open side up into the baking dish. Repeat until all the filling is used up. I love using a piping bag and large tip for this, it makes filling a breeze!
- Spoon remaining marinara sauce on top of the stuffed shells, and place in the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Leftover stuffed shells will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Simply reheat in the microwave or oven until warm. They can also be frozen.
- Tofu alternative - If you cannot have tofu, you could stuff the shells with my almond based vegan ricotta cheese instead.
- Nut free option - For nut free, use two blocks of tofu instead of one and omit the cashews. You may not need to add as much water, so start slowly. Or substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.
- If desired, cover the shells with a bag of non-dairy cheese shreds before baking, such as Daiya or Violife's mozzarella shreds.
I knew I could count on you when I was searching for a vegan stuffed shell recipe. This was sooo delicious and filling!
How fantastic that you loved it! Thanks for your fabulous feedback and review!
I made this tonight and it was delicious!
Awesome! Thanks for your feedback and review!
This is an outstanding recipe. The filling tastes exactly like you are using real cheese. I used a ziplock bag with the tip cut off to pipe in the filling the second time I made these and it was so much easier.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful review and feedback!
I don’t have a food processor. Would a blender work? Any other ideas?
Hi Jean. Yes, I think a blender would work pretty well. You may need to add a little extra water to get it to blend enough, as the mixture is quite thick. The “pulse” option on a blender should work quite well, especially for incorporating the spinach. Happy cooking!
An immersion blender will work too (inside of your biggest pot or dutch oven so no mess). So many uses for one and so much easier to clean & store than a food processor.
And love this stuffed shells recipe. Have made it at least once, if not twice. With v sausage on the side. 👍 Thanks, Nora!
You are welcome, Constance. Thank you for your wonderful idea and feedback!
I Made this last night for dinner. I’m in Australia and couldn’t find a large jar of marinara sauce, so I used a bottled Italian tomato sauce with herbs instead, (and used fresh baby spinach leaves). I made a little extra of everything so I layered it like a lasagne, alternating the sauce and shells. (Great tip about using a piping bag by the way!!) Absolutely Delicious! EVERYONE LOVED IT. Thanks again Nora, you are my go to first for any vegan recipe! 😋
Hi Donna in Australia! I’m thrilled everyone loved the shells! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and review! I appreciate you using my recipes!
I loved this recipe! There were plenty of left-overs and it was incredibly filling. I opted for more spinach and added fresh garlic to my ricotta and it is amazing!
Hi Mariah. I’m thrilled you loved the recipe! I appreciate you taking time to share your great feedback and review!
Made this today delicious!
Excellent recipe! My vegan-avoidant son didn’t know it was vegan and said it was delicious (along with everyone else).
That’s so wonderful to hear! Thank you for your review!
😂 That is one of my favorite things. To make food for a vegan adverse person and have them rave about it and ask for seconds. It never dawns on them until after the meal that it must have been vegan.
Absolutely delicious recipe. We’ve made it a number of times for guests and also made it for Christmas dinner. I definitely recommend extra sauce though!
Hi Jess. Thank for your terrific feedback! I’m glad you guys enjoyed the stuffed shells!
I just wanted to come here to say that you can absolutely make these ahead by boiling the shells, stuffing them and then freezing them on a sheet tray and then transferring to a gallon ziploc after they have frozen. I did this so that I would be prepped a few days ahead and so that I could transport them easily. No thaw necessary. When ready to put in the oven, lay down some sauce in a 9 by 13 pan and then cover the shells in sauce evenly as well. I baked at 375 for 30 minutes and all three trays that I made were gobbled up at the party. DO ITTTT.
What a fantastic tip to share with all of us, Katiekins! I’m so glad the shells were a hit at the party! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and idea!
5 stars on this recipe!!!
Made a pan of these for Christmas dinner for myself and step-son ( we are the only 2 vegans in our family). I only wish I had made 2 pans because all the non-vegans ate almost all of them!!! Lol!!!. I am def glad the recipe makes a large batch. Family wants them to be included at every Christmas meal!!!!
I’m so happy the stuffed shells were a hit for your Christmas dinner! Thank you for sharing your terrific feedback and review! I agree that this is a great meal for Christmas dinner! Happy cooking!
I made this recipe to use up some items that had been languishing in my pantry and frig: jumbo pasta shells, tofu, and marinara sauce. So glad I did! My husband loved it, too, and had seconds. Two tweaks that I did: I added a little olive oil on the bottom of the baking dish, and I added much more garlic powder. (We LOVE garlic!) I will definitely make this again. Thanks!
Hi Anita. Your jumbo shells sound absolutely delicious! I’m glad you and your husband loved the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!
Believe it or not, this is going to be our main dish for Thanksgiving this year (just me and the hubs so we’re doing what we want ;). Can I make the filling a day in advance and keep them in the fridge before stuffing shells tomorrow? I’m so excited to make these. I haven’t had stuffed shells since I went vegan 13 years ago. I’m adding vegan hot Italian sausage too. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have no doubt it’ll be deeeelicious!
Hi Sherry. Yes, you can keep the filling in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, or even assemble the stuffed shells in the casserole dish 8-10 hours ahead of baking. This is going to be a wonderful main dish for Thanksgiving, I just know it! Happy holidays! 🙂
Oh Nora! Homerun!!!! I can not believe that I found a receipe where I love tofu! Thank you! I love it!
Hi Colleen. You are welcome! I’m thrilled you love the recipe! Thank you for your great feedback and review!
these were an absolute HIT with my non vegan friend. i had enough shells and filling for a large casserole dish plus a smaller one. i added a little of miyokos liquid mozzarella and did vegan pesto instead of basil in the ricotta and it turned out incredible. i’ve never written a review under a recipe before but these were just phenomenal
Hi Jessica. I’m so glad your shells were a hit! They sound really delicious! I am honored that you took time to write such a wonderful review for my recipe. It means a lot to me. Thank you!
If I’m using fresh spinach, do I cook it first or just add it to the food processor?
Hi Lyn. For fresh spinach, put the spinach in the food processor until it’s chopped up. You could also chop it first to make it blend easier. You do not need to cook it first. Hope this helps!
Yes, that helps. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to make this. I’m going to a dinner party where animal protein shells are being made so I wanted to bring vegan ones so I have something to eat. I’m sure mine will be just as good if not better.
You are welcome! Enjoy the stuffed shells!
Could I make just the ricotta in advance and freeze it or would that change the consistency too much?
I haven’t tried freezing it, but I’m afraid the texture would be off if it was frozen, then thawed. My almond-based ricotta is freezer-friendly!
Yum! This was a hit in my household. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen. Definitely making this again! I love your recipes.
Hi Ann-Marie. I’m thrilled the recipe was a hit with your family! Thank you for using my recipes! I appreciate your wonderful feedback and review!
Wow! This is a great recipe!! Made for my husband’s birthday dinner. So yummy!! I used manicotti
Hi Stephanie. I’m so glad you loved the stuffed shells! Thank you for sharing your positive feedback! Happy birthday to your husband!
I can’t respond to your reply today, but thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! I want make this weekend and freeze, so I am very appreciative for your fast response!