These Vegan Sausage & Eggplant Shells are the perfect weeknight dinner. Cooked in one pot, veggie-packed and super saucy. So delicious!
We're inching our way into Fall, which is one of my favorite times of the year! But let's be honest, it's still super hot out, so one pot recipes like this are perfect. Super comforting, but no need to turn on the oven. These shells have a simple tomato sauce, tender eggplant and crispy vegan sausage. Cooked with chopped kale and topped with plenty of fresh basil. The perfect pasta night!
How to Make the Sauce
The process for the sauce is the most important part of this recipe. It is done in layers to build the most delicious flavors. To keep this a one-pot recipe, you will need to cook the shells first. Be sure to save some pasta water and drizzle them with oil after draining - this will keep them from sticking.
Place the empty pot back on the stove and heat some olive oil. Add the sliced vegan sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from the pot and leave all of that fatty goodness in there.
Add the chopped eggplant and cook down for a few minutes. You want the eggplant to get slightly tender. Add in the shallots, dry oregano and red pepper flakes. Once tender, add in the garlic, fresh thyme and tomato paste. Pour in a can of crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of broth. Bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer. The longer you can simmer this, the better. The eggplant will get super tender the longer it cooks.
How to Serve the Pasta
Right before serving, add the chopped kale, the sausage and the shells. Pour in pasta water until the sauce has the right consistency.
I like to serve this will plenty of fresh basil. You get a little bit of everything in each bite - fresh herbs, tender eggplant, wilted kale, crispy sausage and jumbo shells. It is the perfect weeknight dinner!
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Did you Make this Recipe?
If you made these Vegan Sausage & Eggplant Shells I would LOVE to hear what you thought. Be sure to drop a comment and a rating below! You can also tag me on social media if you snapped a photo. I LOVE seeing your recreations!
Vegan Sausage & Eggplant Shells
- 1 pound large shells
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces vegan sausage cut in rounds, I used Beyond Meat
- 1 eggplant cut in cubes
- 2 shallots chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- red pepper flakes optional
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes I used fire roasted
- 1 cup broth I used vegan chicken broth
- 2 cups kale chopped
- salt as needed
- fresh basil for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the shells until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and drizzle with oil so they don't stick.
- Place the empty pot back on the stove and heat the olive oil. Add the vegan sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the eggplant and cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping every couple minutes.
- Add the shallots, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the shallots are tender. Add in the garlic, thyme and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes.*
- Add the kale and toss until wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the cooked sausage and shells back to the pot. Toss until combined, adding pasta water as needed. Serve hot with fresh basil.