These Creamy Vegan Cajun Stuffed Shells are the ultimate casserole dinner. Lightened up by using cauliflower…
Have a fancy dinner with minimal work – Vegan Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Creamy Pesto. A baked pasta dish that everyone will love.
Earlier this week I showed you how to make a Simple Vegan Bechamel Sauce – you know, that buttery, delicious white sauce?
In that post I mentioned that while this sauce is great on its own, it is also the perfect base for any creamy sauce your mind desires.
I also let you know that I would be sharing such a sauce with you later in the week.
Well, the time has come.
And creamy pesto sauce is what we’re making today.
While that sounds good enough as is.
We’re taking it to a WHOLE other level and we’re spreading that creamy pesto sauce all over some ricotta & spinach stuffed shells.
VEGAN ricotta and spinach stuffed shells.
I will pause while we all wipe up the drool coming down our chins. 🙂
Ok, all better?
Now let’s get into this recipe.
The creamy pesto sauce is pretty simple.
Start off with some of that bechamel sauce we talked about and add in some pesto. That’s it.
Sounds easy enough, right?
This time I opted for buying pre-made pesto. Less prep makes me a happy girl. And Trader Joe’s makes a vegan kale and basil pesto that is to die for.
Now that we have our sauce taken care of, we can talk about these stuffed shells.
I again opted for buying vegan ricotta rather than making my own. Kite Hill makes a super tasty one that I get at Whole Foods. But if you are feeling adventurous there are plenty of homemade vegan ricotta recipes out there.
And with just a little more pesto and some spinach, your filling is done.
Now, just load up your cooked shells with the filling, put them in a baking dish and smother them in the creamy pesto sauce.
Throw it all in the oven, sit back, relax and wait 20 minutes while everything gets bubbly and hot.
Pull them out and serve with more pesto sauce (if you haven’t eaten the rest with a spoon) and a big green salad.
This meal is so comforting and delicious. PLUS it is super easy AND impressive at the same time.
This would be a perfect Christmas dinner to impress your vegan and non-vegan family and friends!
More of a visual person? Check out the video:
Vegan Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Creamy Pesto
FOR THE CREAMY PESTO SAUCE
- Bechamel Sauce*
- 1/4 cup pesto
FOR THE STUFFED SHELLS
- 12 large shells**
- 8 oz vegan ricotta
- 1/4 cup frozen spinach thawed
- 2 tbsp pesto
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp vegan parmesan optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, combine ricotta, spinach, pesto, salt, pepper and parmesan in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Make bechamel sauce according to instructions. Add pesto to the sauce and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add water to thin.
- Drain pasta and run under cold water until cool enough to handle.
- Spread 1/2 cup of creamy pesto sauce on the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of ricotta filling and place in the baking dish.
- Pour pesto sauce over the stuffed shells.*** Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and filling is warmed through.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
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