Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stuffed Shells

Sorry it's been so long since the last post.  We've had sickness in our house and a little guy who's getting the last of new teeth and everyone is being effected by the change.  I haven't made new things and the things I have made have all been made one-handed or with a screaming 22 month old at my feet.  Last night was no different, except that I attempted something new.

Scot loves Italian food.  Anything that involves noodles, red sauce, cheese and flavor is a top-notch dinner for him.  When we first got married, I would make Spinach Stuffed Manicotti for him and he would act like he'd died and gone to heaven.  Well, I hated making it.  Something about trying to stuff those hard pastas just really turned me off. I tried it with the noodles al dente once and that was worse.  So I stopped making it.  And then we went heart healthy, so I had no need to make it.  And then it dawned on me.  I use tofu in my lasagna instead of ricotta, why couldn't I do that with the manicotti.  Except use shells instead.  And voila!  Dinner was created [in my mind].

This particular dish is vegan, but if you're not holding to a vegan/plant based diet, then feel free to sprinkle a little cheese on top to finish this off.  I served these delicious shells with some garlic bread and a simple green salad and Scot gave it two big thumbs up!

Stuffed and ready to be sauced

All done!  YUM!

Stuffed Shells
Serves 6 (4 shells/person)
  •  1 8 oz box jumbo shells (I used a 12 oz box and had shells left over.  You'll need only 24 shells)
  • 1 24 oz jar of your favorite full flavored pasta sauce
  • 1 16 oz box regular tofu.  Drained.
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 10oz box chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • shredded cheese for top (opt)
-- Boil the shells al dente according to the directions.
-- Preheat your oven to 350 and pour a half cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan
-- In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining ingredients (minus spinach) and puree until creamy.  Stir in spinach.
-- Once shells are done, drain and rinse with cold water.  Once they're cool enough to handle, fill the shells with the tofu spinach mixture.  One large tablespoon scoop worked for me. Place in baking dish seam side down.
-- Cover the shells with the remaining pasta sauce.  Add cheese if you're using.
-- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.


  1. What does the yeast do in this recipe? Can I just leave it out? Is nutritional yeast different from instant yeast?

  2. good question. nutritional yeast IS different than regular yeast. i get mine at whole foods in the bulk isle. it's purpose (besides adding more nutritional value to the meal) is to give the tofu a more cheesy flavor. you do NOT have to use it - you'll just lose a little of the cheesy flavor. :)