This stuffed manicotti (can also be done with large shells) with vegan ricotta and spinach makes for a very easy mid-week meal and the leftovers are even better the second day! The filling is made with cashews and firm tofu so it’s a great meal. Canned tomato sauce makes this very easy and quick.

  • 6 oz. manicotti or jumbo shells pasta (I used a full box of manicotti which was 14 tubes)
  • 1 ¼ cup raw cashews (no need to soak them)
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3-3/4 cup water
  • 7 oz. extra-firm tofu 
  • 1 ½ cups cut frozen spinach
  • Sauce – 1 – 26oz jar of your favourite marinara sauce We love Mezzetta Marinara Sauce
  • Topping – fresh basil
  • PASTA: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add manicotti (or shells). Stir and cook until al dente according to package instructions (@ 8min). Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • FILLING: Meanwhile, add cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water (starting with the lesser amount and then add to taste once all is blended) to a food processor or high-speed blender. Mix/blend, scraping down sides as needed. Add more water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a thick paste forms.
  • Add the tofu and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for brightness, garlic for zing, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or salt to taste. Then add the spinach and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  • ASSEMBLE: Once the shells are done, drain and let cool slightly. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch (or similar size) glass or ceramic baking dish, then generously stuff the shells with the filling. I find putting the filling into a large ziploc bag and cutting off the corner to make a piping bag is the easiest way to fill the tubes/shells.
  • Arrange filled manicotti in the pan and top with remaining marinara — they should be covered but not drowning. Bake for 35 minutes or until warm and bubbly. Serve warm garnished with fresh basil (optional).
  • LEFTOVERS: Store leftover shells covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a 350 F (176 C) oven or in the microwave until warmed through. Not freezer friendly — the noodles become mealy when reheated.

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