Basil Tofu “Ricotta” Stuffed Shells


It’s no secret that we LOVE tofu! It’s one of our favourite ingredients. To date, we’ve posted over 40 tofu recipes to ilovevegan.com.

Tofu is our go-to ingredient when we’re veganizing a recipe. We love veganizing recipes by substituting tofu for meat, eggs, or dairy in our recipes. Some of our favourite ways to use tofu are:

  1. Extra-firm tofu instead of eggs in quiches, scrambles, and breakfast sandwiches
  2. Extra-firm tofu instead of meat in curries, stews, pasta sauces, salads, and sandwiches (like BLTs!)

Most of the time I use extra-firm tofu in my recipes. It’s nice and firm with a dense texture. It’s great for marinating, crumbling or slicing, and baking, frying, or grilling. It’s flavour is delicate and mild, so it’s perfect for soaking up any flavour.

Extra-firm tofu is absolutely perfect for making this dairy-free ricotta. You can use this tofu basil “ricotta” for lasagnas, pizzas, and stuffed pastas like these jumbo shells.

Customization ideas:

  1. Before adding the marinara sauce to the baking dish, add 1 cup of vegan “ground beef”. Top with marinara sauce and stuffed shells. Continue with the recipe as directed.
  2. Top the stuffed shells with vegan cheese shreds before baking.

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Ingredients :

  • 15 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (plus extra for topping – optional)
  • Optional: ½ cup vegan mozzarella cheese, for topping
  • 1 block (350g) extra-firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup /80ml (40g) vegan mozzarella shreds
  • ⅓ cup / 80ml (30g) fresh basil
  • ¼ cup / 60ml (35g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp / 30ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp / 15ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp / 5ml salt
  • ½ tsp / 2.5ml garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions :

  1. In a food processor, combine extra-firm tofu, mozzarella, nutritional yeast, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Pulse, pausing to scrape down the sides of the processor as needed, until the mixture is almost smooth and the basil is chopped and evenly distributed. Do not overprocess, the tofu should still have a slightly grainy texture.
  2. Makes 2 cups (enough to fill 15-18 jumbo pasta shells.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
  4. Cook jumbo pasta shells according to instructions.
  5. Pour 2 cups of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9” x 9” casserole dish. Fill cooked jumbo pasta shells with tofu ricotta. Place stuffed shells on top of marinara sauce.Optional: Spoon shells with extra marinara sauce and vegan cheese shreds.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

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