This stuffed shells recipe is made with vegan ricotta and spinach and is herby, creamy, cheesy, and drenched in rich tomato sauce! The whole dish takes just 30 minutes to assemble, then just pop the baking dish in the oven. Soon you’ll have a tasty meal to share with friends and family. Alternatively, save some portions for later in the week for quick and easy lunch and dinner! Stuffed shells are one of my favorite dishes to make. They look impressive, but are actually super easy to cook up. This recipe uses a rich tomato sauce from Otamot, which is a rich and flavorful organic tomato sauce (more on that later) and a homemade vegan ricotta cheese filling flavored with spinach, fresh herbs, garlic, and onion. Yum!
This stuffed shells recipe was cooked in an 8×24 inch / 20x35cm baking dish and yielded around six portions. You could scale this up by doubling the ingredients and using a bigger dish. If you do cook extra don’t worry – it stores really well in an airtight container!
We love to serve ours with a green salad, but it also makes a great side dish, meal prep option, or a tasty addition to a potluck.
How to make Stuffed Pasta Shells
The first step is to cook your large pasta shells. The trick here is making sure not to let them get too soft, as they will continue to cook when we bake them later.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add your pasta shells and cook until they are al dente. When done, drain and set them aside to cool.
While the pasta shells are cooking, start preparing the vegan ricotta with spinach and fresh herbs. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook these until softened. Next add spinach, herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until the spinach and herbs are heated through and excess water evaporates. Remove from the heat, set aside to cool for 15-30 minutes, and then stir in the vegan ricotta cheese.
Tips: frozen spinach works well in this stuffed shells with ricotta recipe, but you could easily replace this with 8oz/225g of fresh spinach. Just throw the fresh spinach in the skillet alongside the fresh and let it wilt.
We think basil and parsley are the perfect accompaniment to tomato sauce, but feel free to experiment! Oregano, thyme, and marjoram are also a great match.
Preheat the oven to 400F/205C. Add 3/4 cup of Otamot Organic Essential Sauce to your baking dish, and spread over the base with the back of a spoon.
Holding the pasta shell in your palm, fill with a scoop of vegan ricotta with spinach + fresh herbs. Place the filled pasta shells into your baking dish on top of the tomato sauce. When all your pasta shells are filled, add 1/2 cup of water to the remaining sauce, stir and then drizzle over the stuffed shells.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 10-15 minutes so the pasta browns a little on the edges.
Remove your stuffed shells from the oven and sprinkle with some fresh herbs. Serve while hot, or allow to cool before storing in an airtight container for up to three days. You can also freeze your stuffed shells in portions, ready for a rainy day.
Otamot Organic Tomato Sauce
Otamot Essential Sauce is my secret weapon for quick, healthy, cooking. It makes a fantastic tomato base for a host of recipes, this Stuffed Shells recipe, an improvised version of this easy lentil bolognese, or even as a pizza sauce!
I’m not going to lie, I am generally apprehensive about jarred sauces. Often they don’t have much flavor and are packed full of sugar and preservatives. Not Otamot! Otamot’s tomato sauce contains ten different vegetables, some olive oil, and not much else. The ingredients get one tick for being organic, and another for being delicious. The consistency is pretty thick, which I love because it’s soo rich and flavorful! If you’re feeding kids or fussy eaters then Otamot is an easy way to smuggle vegetables onto the plate, and a time saver to boot.
Snag some jars of Otamot’s Organic Essential Sauce to make this recipe (the spicy sauce also works nicely)! You can save 20% when you use this link or simply enter the promo code THEPLANTRIOT at checkout. Alternatively, you can grab some jars next time you’re at Whole Foods Market.
Looking for more pasta recipes?
Here are a few of our readers favorite Plant Riot pasta recipes:
Easy Lentil Bolognese with Walnuts
Mac n Cheese with Roast Beets
Basil Pesto | Great For Quick and Tasty Meals
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce | Simple + Delicious
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Stuffed shells recipe with vegan ricotta, spinach, and fresh herbs | Creamy, Cheesy + Tasty! | Perfect for lunch, dinner, meal prep and potlucks!
16 large pasta shells
Pinch of salt
Vegan Ricotta with Spinach + Fresh Herbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely
3 garlic cloves, minced
5oz/140g frozen spinach, defrosted
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup vegan ricotta cheese
1 x 16oz / 454g jar Otomot Organic Essential Sauce (tomato sauce)
1/2 cup water
Fresh herbs, roughly chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the large pasta shells to the pot and cook until al dente. Drain and set the cooked pasta shells aside to cool.
- Into a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and garlic, and cook until softened. Then add spinach, herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until spinach and herbs are heated through. Transfer to a bowl and allow spinach mixture to cool for 15-30 minutes. Then add the vegan ricotta cheese and stir until well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.
- Into a 8×24 inch / 20x35cm baking dish, add 3/4 cup of Otamot Organic Essential Sauce (tomato sauce). Using the back of a spoon, spread the tomato sauce over the base of the dish.
- Place a cooked pasta shell in the palm of your hand and fill with a scoop of Vegan Ricotta with Spinach + Fresh Herbs, then place in the baking dish on top of the tomato sauce. Repeat until all pasta shells are filled.
- Add 1/2 cup water to the remaining tomato sauce, stir to combine. Then drizzle over the stuffed shells. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 10-15 minutes so the pasta browns a little on the edges.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle the stuffed shells with some fresh herbs and serve while hot. We like to eat ours alongside a green salad. Enjoy!
- We use frozen spinach in this stuffed shells with ricotta recipe, but you could easily replace this with 8oz/225g of fresh spinach. Just throw the fresh spinach in the skillet alongside the fresh herbs and let it wilt.
- After cooking, allow the spinach mixture to cool for at least 15 – 30 minutes before adding your ricotta.
- We think basil and parsley are the perfect accompaniment to tomato sauce, but feel free to experiment! Oregano, thyme, and marjoram are also a great match.
- This stuffed shells recipe yields around six portions. You could scale this up by doubling the ingredients and using a bigger dish – it stores really well in an airtight container.
Keywords: stuffed shells recipe, stuffed shells with ricotta, stuffed shells spinach, The Plant Riot
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