Spinach Tofu Ricotta Stuffed Shells

As promised, here is my recipe for stuffed shells. It was a major hit this weekend with my family. I love to make extra as they taste even better the next day or make the perfect packed lunch πŸ™‚ I incorporate tofu into this recipe – you can’t even taste it and it provides extra protein so it’s a win win! You can use any marinara sauce or use my homemade recipe linked below.

ingredients

  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • One 16 oz package organic super firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced into small pieces (can use an entire zucchini if you’d like more veggies)
  • 9 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3-4 cups marinara sauce (use my homemade version!)
  • ~2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Optional toppings: crushed red pepper flakes, freshly chopped basil

instructions (makes 24 shells/~5-6 servings)

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  • Cook jumbo shells according to directions on the box. Note: I’ve found that if the box calls for 9 min of boiling time, it’s not enough and the shells end up tasting raw in the final dish. I like to cook mine for 5-6 min longer. When fully cooked, set aside in strainer after rinsing with cold water.
  • SautΓ© the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pan – cook for 3-4 min until onions are translucent. Add crumbled tofu and cook for 10-12 min on medium heat until tofu is slightly browned. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add basil & zucchini to the pan and cook for another 3-4 min. Mix well, add baby spinach. Stir until combined and cook until spinach is slightly wilted yet still bright green.
  • Turn gas off, and add ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  • Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Stuff the boiled pasta shells with the filling and arrange in rows in the dish. Top each stuffed shell with more marinara sauce and generously top with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake COVERED in foil for 25 min. After this time, remove foil and bake for another 5-10 min uncovered.
  • Top with crushed red pepper flakes and basil if desired.

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