Easy Vegan Stuffed Shells

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Spoon in a baking dish of vegan stuffed shells

Our EASY Vegan Stuffed Shells give the classic dish a run for its money! Made with a tofu and cashew vegan ricotta, it’s a protein-packed, creamy, cheesy, and OH-SO satisfying meal!

Elegant enough to serve for a celebration or holiday dinner but also great for meal prep (hello comforting lunches all week long). It’s the best of both worlds. Plus, just 9 ingredients required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Spinach, cashews, pasta shells, tofu, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, and marinara

How to Make Stuffed Shells

The star of this vegan (and optionally gluten-free) show is the creamy, dreamy, dairy-free ricotta featuring cashews for richness and tofu for protein. While garlic adds a savory component and lemon juice adds brightness, nutritional yeast gives this creamy combination its “cheesy” flavor.

Food processor with cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic

Next, we stir in spinach for a smidge of color and a nutritional boost.

Bowl of cashew tofu ricotta with spinach stirred in

Then it’s time to stuff those shells!

Using a spoon to add a tofu, cashew, and spinach filling to pasta shells

All that’s left is topping with sweet and savory marinara sauce before baking to perfection.

Baking dish of vegan stuffed shells sprinkled with vegan parmesan cheese and basil

Add a sprinkle of vegan parmesan and they’re ready to serve! Is your mouth watering yet?

Baking dish and bowl of vegan stuffed shells

We hope you LOVE these vegan stuffed shells! They’re:

& SO comforting!

These shells are satisfying on their own but also perfect with The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread, Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad, or Perfect Roasted Broccoli with Vegan Parmesan.

Love Pasta? Try These Next!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of a vegan stuffed shell on a fork

Easy Vegan Stuffed Shells

Rich, saucy vegan stuffed shells with a protein-rich tofu and cashew ricotta filling. Perfect for meal prep or the holiday table. Just 9 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Fork in a bowl of vegan stuffed shells
5 from 34 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 (Servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 6 oz. dry jumbo pasta shells (gluten-free as needed // 6 oz. or 170 g yields ~20-30 shells, depending on size)


  • 1 ¼ cup raw cashews*
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3-3/4 cup water
  • 7 oz. extra-firm tofu (1/2 package yields 7 ounces or 198 g)
  • 1 ½ cups cut frozen spinach* (5 oz. yields ~1 ½ cups)


  • 1 (26 oz.) jar favorite marinara sauce (1 jar yields ~2 ½ cups // we like arrabbiata)

FOR SERVING optional


  • PASTA: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add shells. Stir and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • FILLING: Meanwhile, add cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water (starting with the lesser amount) to a food processor or high-speed blender. Mix/blend, scraping down sides as needed. Add more water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a thick paste forms.
  • Add the tofu and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for brightness, garlic for zing, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or salt to taste. Then add the spinach and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Once the shells are done, drain and let cool slightly. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch (or similar size) glass or ceramic baking dish, then generously stuff the shells with the filling.
  • Arrange shells split side up in the pan and top with remaining marinara — they should be covered but not drowning. Bake for 35 minutes or until warm and bubbly. Serve warm garnished with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese (optional).
  • These go great with Caesar salad (or other salads), steamed or roasted broccoli, and/or garlic bread.
  • Store leftover shells covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a 350 F (176 C) oven or in the microwave until warmed through. Not freezer friendly — the noodles become mealy when reheated.



*We didn’t find soaking the cashews necessary. If using soaked cashews, start with less water in step 2.
*You can use fresh spinach instead of frozen, but we recommend either blanching, steaming, or sautéing it first.
*Adapted from our Vegan Stuffed Shells with Roasted Eggplant.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 381 Carbohydrates: 39.2 g Protein: 16.7 g Fat: 19.7 g Saturated Fat: 3.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 857 mg Potassium: 662 mg Fiber: 6 g Sugar: 7.3 g Vitamin A: 3357 IU Vitamin C: 23 mg Calcium: 214 mg Iron: 5.2 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Cynthia says

    I’ve made this multiple times and it’s soooo delicious! You honestly can’t tell that it’s vegan and GF! I make a double batch so that we have leftovers. Over time, I’ve upped the amount of spinach, and add 1-2 whole basil leaves in the shells before stuffing and a bunch in the sauce as well.

  2. Tracy says

    I have made this several times–it is delicious!! It is hard to find gf shells, so I often use a different kind of pasta and make it into baked pasta. Today as I was making this, I was reminded of a show I recently watched, where they used “liquid mozzarella” on pizza, and it occurred to me, that this “filling” recipe, might work nicely that way! I’m going to try it the next time I make homemade pizza, but wondered if you have ever given this, or some version of this, a try that way? Would love to know how it works!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Tracy! We haven’t tried it on a pizza, but it might work! Let us know if you do some experimenting.

      • Tracy says

        I used this filling as a pizza topping: liquid-ish mozzarella cheese, and it was yummy! Please experiment with this, as I know you can get just the right consistency! I put the “cheese” in a plastic bag, and squeezed it out on top of the pizza. It stayed a little too solid, so maybe I need to add more liquid to the mixture? The taste was wonderful, though! Store bought vegan cheese is blech! This made my pizza delicious!

  3. C says

    This was absolutely delicious! Definitely worth getting a high-quality marinara for this recipe. The only change I’ll make for next time is to double the filling so that I can stuff all of the shells that come in the box. Highly recommend this for a comforting pasta dish.

  4. Vanessa says

    I’m thinking about subbing this tofu and cashew ricotta into your lasagna recipe. Do you think about 1.5x would be enough filling? Guessing solely off of pasta :) This calls for 6oz of pasta shells and your lasagna calls for 10oz.

  5. Angela says

    LOVED THIS SO MUCH!!! Even my non-vegan household members loved it…and had no idea it was vegan! #WIN Definitely has become one of our favorite recipes.

  6. joe grech says

    I make this in one pot. Just fill with water about 3 cm above the layered shells in the pot. Cover and cook (in the MW in my case).

  7. Alexa says

    So delicious! I served this to my 11yo niece and 9yo nephew, who refuse touch anything called “vegan” – but I didn’t tell them this dish was vegan. They raved about it, and asked for thirds!!

  8. Andrea says

    I’m working from Italy for a few months and asked my boyfriend to go to the grocery store and “come back with an interesting pasta shape.” He came home with lumaconi (giant snail shells), which was definitely a surprise. I had no idea what to do with them, so tried them using this preparation. They’re huge, so this recipe/filling made 15 stuffed lumaconi. Everyone loved them!!! The cashew/tofu filling is delicious and so easy. I made arrabiata-style tomato sauce at your suggestion. We’re already planning to buy more lumaconi and make this for friends when we get home 😁 Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Abbey says

    Obsessed! These were SO good…I followed the recipe exactly, except I accidentally started soaking my cashews. Turned out amazing! I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers the next day and share them with my vegan co-worker! Super Yumm

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Abbey. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  10. Cassidy Tinkoff says

    Amazing! I prepared this meal without oil and with oil-free tomato sauce to keep it WFPB, and MAN this was good! I also ran out of cashews so I used some macadamia and almonds. I also added mushrooms into the sauce. SO SO SO GOOD.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Cassidy!

  11. Celine Reskovich says

    Oh my goodness this recipe is SO good! I’ve made it every single week since I got the email… sometimes even twice ! It’s fast, easy, delicious and relatively inexpensive. My whole family loves it ( toddler. Child, teen. Adults) and I feel good knowing it’s a pretty much complete meal

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you and your family are enjoying it, Celine. Thank you for sharing! xo

  12. Stacey says

    These are so delicious! I made them as is, but also added sauteed mushrooms and tempeh sausage to the sauce. Amazing!

    Thank you for another great recipe!

  13. Tracey Adams says

    We are not vegan, but we do keep meat and dairy very low, but have been doing so for only a few months. I say that because we have different palates to please while we adapt. I was skeptical about the filling ingredients; I have made stuffed shells for years with ricotta. However, it has been two days since I made this and my husband and I both keep bringing it up…we’re amazed by how good it was. Thank you. I’m all over this site now for more!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alie, we’re not sure what you mean by standard noodles? Wheat-based pasta? If so, yes that works too! Or if you need a gluten-free option, other readers have mentioned using manicotti style noodles for a similar result. You want a pasta shape large enough that the filling can be stuffed into it.

  14. Emily says

    I made a double batch of this recipe. I used half to make the dish to bring to a potluck. This was so so delicious! The next day, I used the other half to make family dinner. It was easier to fill the shells, so I think next time I’ll prep and have the filling ready a day ahead. This recipe was very easy to follow and make, and tastes great! I’m very happy with it.

  15. Kelsey says

    I have probably made this recipe about 5 times since this recipe was released… it is amazing! It tastes just like ricotta and is great to serve to folks who aren’t vegan. And despite being easy to prepare, it looks very fancy which also makes it a fabulous holiday meal. I find the recipe makes a lot of filling so when I used the Farabella gluten-free conchiglioni large shells (highly recommend!) it was enough to actually fill up two baking dishes. Which worked out perfectly since I just saved one of the dishes in the fridge for a later dinner! Thank you for another smash hit and my new go-to recipe for when I’m having guests over :)

  16. Kimberly says

    My boyfriend, mom, and I LOVE this recipe! But unfortunately I can’t eat tofu or soy anymore due to a medical problem. Please help us save this dish! What can I do instead to omit the tofu?

  17. Beth says

    This was a completely outstanding and delicious Christmas Eve dinner! I loved it, and it was judged an absolute hit by my non-vegan husband, who went back for seconds and hoovered up every bite. I paired it with a simple caesar salad using your five-minute vegan caesar dressing (on just some chopped romaine with some walnuts tossed in) and topped both with your vegan parmesan (which I already knew rocks). Instant classic.

    I made the stuffing and prepped the shells one day in advance. Both held up gorgeously. Boiled the shells, rinsed and chilled them, tossed them in the fridge with just a coating of oil. I used fresh baby spinach (microwaved with a Tbs of water for about a minute or so, then squoze dry) and added some fresh chopped basil in the filling as well. I also assembled the whole dish a few hours ahead on the day. It all came out fab.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      YAY! We’re so glad to hear it, Beth! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

      • Mary Smith says

        Can you make this the day before or the morning of and refrigerator?
        If so, how far ahead of baking would you take it out of the refrigerator?

        Thanks in advance.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Mary! We haven’t tried it, but we think you could fully assemble it ahead of time and bake it for an extra five minutes to fully heat through!

  18. Cindy says

    This was deelishous! I actually made manicotti (jovial gf). I froze a casserole because I had so many shells leftover. I just saw the note about it not being freezer friendly. I guess I’ll find out when I pull that casserole out of the freezer and finish baking it!
    Thank you for all your recipes. I’m enjoying finding my non-vegan/ gluten filled, favorite recipes in a vegan and gluten free version. Makes going plant based a cinch!

  19. Veronie says

    Absolutely delicious recipe! The filling is super tasty..I added some oregano too. On the second day the flavours had really infused..I’ll definitely make this again and try not to eat it all on day one!
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes, they have made becoming plant based so much easier!

  20. Kay Marie says


    This looks so delicious and the reviews agree, so I am excited to try it. But I have a quick question.

    My daughter is allergic to nuts, is there a nut-free workaround that you could suggest for me?

    Thhanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kay, some readers have mentioned using raw, unsalted sunflower seeds in place of cashews to make dairy-free cheese. It won’t be quite as rich and the flavor will vary, but it should work! Another alternative would be to make a tofu ricotta without nuts (similar to this recipe), but the flavor of the tofu will be slightly noticeable. Hope that helps!

  21. VICKY says

    Great dish once again! I made a double batch and then we got covid :( so we were not able to eat it all :(((( I had so much left pre baking, wish it was freezer friendly! But Im hoping its still good after 2 days in the fridge?
    Anyhow really creamy and delicious!

  22. Angela says

    SHOCKED my non-vegan family with this one last night! Easy, delicious, and they were floored to learn it was vegan. I added cooked mushrooms with the spinach and will do that every time – so good. They want me to make it again tonight!

    Tip: If you’re newer to nutritional yeast, Frontier Co-op Nutritional Yeast is waaaay better than Bragg’s and most other brands. It really has that delicious, cheesy flavor for cooking.

  23. Anna Balkena says

    This was so good! I made it with gluten pasta as not gluten free and I soaked the cashews, I just prefer it that way.
    It was super yummy and filling, I will definitely make it again! 🙂

  24. Sara says

    I made this for my non-vegan, tofu adverse husband… and he loved it. He said it was one of the best Italian meals he has ever had. It was warming, comforting, rich and satisfying.

    The best moment was when he paused, looked at his empty plate and said, “I never in my life thought I’d ever be eating vegan. This is good @&$#.”

  25. Terry Scalzo says

    Absolutely amazing! My Italian grandmother would be impressed. I used Pumfu, fresh spinach, and extra garlic, and I omitted the nutritional yeast. I’ll be making it again as a vegan main dish on Thanksgiving. The Minimalist Baker never lets us down. Thanks!!

  26. Rozzi says

    This is SUPER delicious!! Added extra spinach, and toned down the garlic a little. Also made it in cannelloni rather than shells, and it worked a treat. Will definitely make it again!

  27. Michele says

    This sound amazing!! Do I need to squeeze out the water from the spinach? I have a 10 ounce block of spinach I can use. I’m doubling the recipe. I have a 16 ounces package of tofu. Can I use all of it? Also, I only have a 24 ounce jar of pasta sauce. (2 for doubling). Will that be enough? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michele, we didn’t find it necessary to squeeze out the spinach, but it wouldn’t hurt and may help if it’s been in the freezer for a while and has some freezer burn! For the tofu, it should be okay, but the flavor of the tofu might be noticeable. We chose the ratio in this recipe for a perfect balance between richness of the cashews and minimal tofu taste. Two (24 oz.) jars of marinara will be fine! Hope that helps!

  28. Heather says

    Oh my gosh, so yummy! My 8-year-old and I had fun making this together. My store didn’t have jumbo shells, so I used manicotti noodles, which worked well. This is definitely going to be made again and again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thank you SO much for the lovely review, Heather! We’re so glad you both enjoyed them! xo

  29. Sarah says

    WOW! Seriously. So. Good!

    My husband and I both said, you wouldn’t even know the difference. IMO these are the best stuffed shells I’ve ever eaten. Great for vegans and non-vegans alike!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Sarah. We are so glad you both enjoyed the recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  30. CaitT says

    Yum! This cashew tofu ricotta is so good. We loved this recipe in its simplicity and execution. It was fast to make and delicious to eat! Highly recommend and will be adding to my regulars list of recipes. Will likely double this next time for more leftovers.

  31. Curt says

    Oh my gosh. When I saw this recipe, i took the day off work to make it.

    I only made the filling but made it exactly as written. Next time i might add a little nutmeg. I put it in homemade ravioli (not vegan).

    There is a restaurant in my neighborhood that makes spinach ricotta ravioli, and i eat them at least once a week. I am moving to a new country in a few weeks, and i was seriously so sad i’d have to leave my ravioli behind! Now i’ll always have these in my freezer; I love that the filling is veganized. Thank you again and again.

    • Curt says

      Okay, i just made this filling again. (The second batch is for the freezer; don’t judge me. 😅) i added some fresh nutmeg and some white miso for more umami. Be careful with the salt if you add miso, obviously. I could eat this every day, methinks.

  32. Cedella says

    Eating this delicious meal as we speak, great for leftovers, such a quick meal to heat up for lunch! I looked in my cabinet when making it and I didn’t have enough cashews but I had walnuts, I just boiled them in water to soften them a little bit before putting it in the food processor and it worked out perfectly! I also had fresh mushrooms so I sautéd them and added them into the tofu mix, which added some chewyness! The only thing I would say is if you are making this for a family I would do double the recipe! (Great for thanksgiving) THANKS SO MUCH 10/10❤️

  33. Luci says

    This was very easy to make. I did not soak cashews or cook the fresh spinach ahead. It provided a nice texture. I sprinkled extra fresh basil on top before serving. Delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Lucy! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

      • Shivani says

        I’m curious why it’s recommended to cook fresh spinach ahead of time in the notes? Good to hear people found it was just fine without, I’m so excited to try the recipe but don’t want to mess with the taste so just curious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Nope! You can add it to the ricotta directly from frozen. Just break it up in the bag a bit first.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lahey, if they aren’t gluten-free noodles they will be better after freezing. But the filling also gets a little watery when reheated. It’s okay after freezing, but best when fresh.

  34. Jenny Pompilio says

    I made this last night but used it for lasagna since I didn’t have shells handy. My 16yo son hates anything vegan that pretends to be dairy so I called it “spinach tofu ricotta” and just didn’t mention the cashews or nutritional yeast. He loved it (no bias against tofu I guess 😂) I’ll use it again w/shells & future lasagnas, thx! 🙏

  35. Tracy says

    Can you direct me to a place to buy or a brand of gf shells? I have always changed recipes to lasagne noodles because I have not been able to find gf shells anywhere. Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! Tinkyada is the brand we’ve used. We haven’t seen them in stores, but they’re available online.