vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells on a white plate landscape shot

This Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe is so delicious and comforting! Easy to make with just 5 ingredients and can be ready in about 45 minutes. The perfect plant based dinner to share with your friends and family this holiday! Gluten free, make ahead & freezer friendly.

vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells clos up

Say hello to the BEST Vegan Stuffed Shells. Okay okay, not to brag but really… these vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells are crazy delicious. I was brain storming some holiday dinner recipes to make this year for the blog and since I have a vegan white lasagna last year, stuffed shells just felt so right. Comforting, satisfying and easy to share. Not to mention, it’s just really easy to make, can be made ahead and all you need are 5 ingredients. Yes, you heard right- 5 ingredients to make these vegan stuffed shells. I know you’re ready so let’s get right into it!

vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells ingredients

Ingredients for Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

So what are the 5 ingredients you’re going to need to make this delicious vegan pesto stuffed shells dish?

  • Vegan Tofu Ricotta: Or any other Vegan Ricotta. I find tofu to be less heavy in this dish as a main vs. plant based ricottas made with nuts but if you’re enjoying as a side this may be a good option!
  • Basil: Italian or Thai. YES THAI. My boyfriend actually prefers it with Thai basil… it’s strangely good.
  • Pine Nuts: Whats pesto without pine nuts? In a pinch, cashews will work though.
  • Jumbo Shells: Jumbo! We gotta stuff ’em up. I used gluten free brown rice shells but any will work!
  • Marinara Sauce: Store bought or homemade.
how to make vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells

How to Make Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Despite how elegant stuffed shells look, they’re actually so so easy to make. Easier than lasagna in my opinion. Just follow these 5 simple steps and you’re on your way to stuffed shell heaven!

  1. Cook the pasta until al dente
  2. Make the pesto ricotta
  3. Pour marinara in baking dish
  4. Stuff the shells and place them into the baking dish
  5. Bake for 25 minutes!

Serve hot and DEVOUR. Oh, and yes- definitely don’t forget to garnish with some more fresh basil and some kind of vegan cheese! Melt-y vegan cheese or vegan parmesan are both fine choices 😉

vegan pesto ricotta stuffed shells side shot with marinara and vegan parmesan

How to Make Stuffed Shells in Advance

Simply prepare everything the night before as instructed but do not bake. Cover with cling wrap or a lid and when ready, bake as directed.

How Do You Freeze Stuffed Shells?

These vegan stuffed shells are very freezer friendly! Prepare the stuff shells as directed but do not bake. Cover it with a lid or cling wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake as instructed +8-10 minutes until heated through.

Best Way to Store Leftover Stuffed Shells

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

How Do you Re-Heat Stuffed Shells?

  • Oven Method: Place leftovers in a oven safe plate or dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 12-15 minutes, until heated through.
  • Microwave Method: Place on a microwave safe dish and heat on high for 1 minutes, or until heated through.

Additional Tips for Making Perfect Vegan Stuffed Shells:

  • Cook Shells Until Al Dante: Make sure NOT to over cook your pasta because 1. they might break and 2. it will cook further in the oven and you don’t want soggy mushy pasta!
  • Cover Dish With Foil Before Baking: This is important to prevent the stuffed shells from drying out. The last few minutes of baking will help slightly crisp up the shells and make them extra delicious!
  • Mix It Up With Spices: Especially if you’re using a regular marinara with not a lot of flavour to it, add some dried garlic, onion, oregano, cayenne, red pepper flakes and/or parsley to jazz it up.

Helpful Tools to Make to Make Vegan Stuffed Shells

vegan stuffed shells with tofu ricotta and marinara closeup shot

I really hope you give this Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I do. It’s amazing for weeknight dinners and meal prep- and I think it would be such a perfect holiday dish to make and share with your friends and family!

vegan stuffed shells with tofu ricotta and marinara closeup bite shot

More Delicious Vegan Pasta Recipes to Love!

vegan stuffed shells with tofu ricotta on a white plate and fork

If you recreate this Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


This Vegan Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe is so delicious and comforting! Easy to make with just 5 ingredients and can be ready in about 45 minutes. The perfect plant based dinner to share with your friends and family this holiday!


Units Scale

Pesto Ricotta

  • 1 batch of Vegan Tofu Ricotta (or your choice of plant based ricotta)
  • 2 handfuls of basil (Italian or Thai for a twist)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts

Stuffed Shells

  • 25 jumbo shells (a total of 20 should be used, 5 extra just incase the shells break)
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (625ml // 1 22oz jar)


  1. Cook the pasta in salted water following the instructions until al dente (be sure not to overcook!). 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, into a food processor make the pesto ricotta by adding all of the ingredients into a good processor until combined and smooth. 
  3. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). 
  5. Pour all the marinara into a 9×10 inch baking dish (or divide the marinara if using 2 8×8 inch baking dishes). Alternatively, you can save some to top your shells but just be sure to cover your baking dishes with marinara.
  6. Stuff about 1 heaping tbsp of the pesto tofu ricotta into the shells and place in baking dish. If you reserved some marinara, pour it on top. 
  7. Cover the baking pans with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, rotate the tray and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Serve hot and garnish with fresh basil, vegan cheese or some vegan parmesan. 



Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 5 shells
  • Calories: 454
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 1107mg
  • Fat: 16.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 52.6g
  • Fiber: 8.7g
  • Protein: 27.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: pesto stuffed shells, jumbo pasta shells, vegan stuffed shells


vegan pesto tofu ricotta stuffed shells pinterst image

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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