I’m here to help you do Veganuary your way. Cooking vegan meals might seem daunting, but egg-, meat- and dairy-free recipes can be easy and delicious. From alternative versions of your family favourites to new veg-packed ideas, I’ve got plenty of vegan recipes for you like this amazing “Pasta Shells Stuffed with a Lasagna Filling” that we will make together today:

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INGREDIENTS:

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  • 4 servings (~20-24) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 package plant-based Italian style meat alternative
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 14 oz can fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano and basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups extra creamy oat milk
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 cup frozen spinach

Optional:

  • 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan parmesan
  • Fresh basil

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare pasta shells according to package directions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water, and let the shells cool on a sheet pan.

Finely dice onion, carrot, and celery, and mince garlic. Sauté veggies with olive oil until fragrant and lightly browned for about 10 minutes, and set aside. Add the plant-based meat to the pan, break it up with a spatula, and cook until lightly browned as well.

Add veggies back to the pan, as well as tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, and stir for a minute. Add tomatoes, water and herbs, then let everything simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The filling should not be too liquid, so you can easily fill the shells with it. Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.

For the white sauce, heat up vegan butter, then whisk in flour and stir for a minute. Add oat milk, vinegar, nutritional yeast, and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add spinach and cream cheese (if using). If the sauce is too thick, add more water or oat milk. Pour sauce into a baking dish, fill shells carefully with the lasagna filling, and place them into the sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Optional: Uncover, top with vegan parmesan, and broil for 5 minutes to crisp up the top!

Credits: plantbased.traveler