Vegan Ricotta, Basil and Sausage Stuffed Shells

entrees | March 15, 2017 | By

I was not a huge fan of ricotta when I was young. I didn’t love lasagna or stuffed shells. As I got older, I thought I would try again, and started using ricotta for various things when I was a vegetarian. I slowly fell in love with ricotta, and then became a vegan, and that abruptly stopped. My husband is part Italian and grew up eating stuffed shells and other dishes that are ricotta heavy. We both decided, we needed things that include ricotta back in our lives. These vegan ricotta, basil and sausage stuffed shells are life!

I made this start to finished in about 30-40 minutes, ricotta and all. It is incredibly easy and a great week night meal! You could even make this ahead of time, place in the fridge and pop it in the oven when you get home, then you only need 15 minutes until dinner time! That is my kind of meal! 

If you have never made stuffed shells before, I think this is the place to start! I fell madly in love with this tofu ricotta! Healthy, easy, quick and totally delicious. You can use this vegan tofu ricotta for many different things, but damn if these stuffed shells aren’t one of the best things I have ever tasted! I love the addition of basil for this ricotta, but you can always skip that if you want to make something a little different!

I browned vegan sausage in a cast iron skillet, because cast iron is the greatest! Then mixed that into the vegan ricotta. You just stuff some jumbo pasta shells with the mixture, lay them in a bed of crushed tomatoes, top with some vegan Parmesan and bread crumbs if you like, and then bake when ready! Warm, bubbly and amazing! 

I have had regular stuffed shells many times, but these are better, and no animals were harmed in the making! I hope you love this perfect meal as much as I do, and it helps you with meal prepping and having an amazing week night meal ready in a flash! 

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Vegan Ricotta, Basil and Sausage Stuffed Shells

Basil tofu ricotta mixed with browned sausage stuffed into jumbo pasta shells, baked with crushed tomatoes. 

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Lauren Hartmann

Ingredients

Basil Tofu Ricotta

  • 1 Block Extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 3 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 C. Fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper

For the Shells

  • 1 box Jumbo shells
  • 1 C. Vegan sausage, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Can Crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Vegan Parmesan(optional)
  • Bread crumbs(optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Boil the jumbo shells for 8-9 minutes until they are almost done. Drain and let cool on a baking sheet.

  3. In the mean time, make the ricotta by squeezing as much liquid out of the tofu as possible, then add all the ricotta ingredients to a food processor, and pulse for a minute until everything is combined and smooth.

  4. Cook the crumbled sausage in a skillet with the olive oil until nice and brown. Let cool a minute and then stir into the ricotta.

  5. Mix the crushed tomatoes, salt and garlic powder together. Spread at the bottom of a large baking dish. Place the cooled jumbo shells in a single layer, in rows on top of the crushed tomatoes. Stuff the shells with the ricotta and sausage mixture. 

  6. Top with vegan Parmesan and bread crumbs if you would like. Bake at 400 degrees for 15- 20 minutes. Until nice and hot and bubbly! Serve!

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