Spinach and Cashew Cheese Stuffed Shells
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
Italians (and everyone who likes Italian food), listen up!
You won’t even know this isn’t your grandma’s secret stuffed shell recipe. I grew up on Italian food and can say this recipe can stand up to any traditional Italian style stuffed shell. Take it one step further by making it extra special with homemade sauce. This is the quick and easy version with store bought sauce, but if you make a killer sauce and have the time then go for it!
The cashew cream is super creamy and compliments the pasta, sauce and basil perfectly. Full recipe below.
Makes approximately 16 shells. If you want more then simply double this recipe.
1/2 12-oz box of whole wheat or other lasagna noodle of choice, cooked
1 15-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce
3 packed cups raw spinach or kale
1/2 cup basil, chopped
Cashew cheese ingredients
1 cup cashews, soaked for four hours or more
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus water or veggie broth as needed to keep onions and garlic from sticking
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup green onion
1 Tbsp mellow white miso
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional, taste test first)
How to make
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the noodles as instructed, run under cold water and separate onto a plate to prevent sticking.
Heat olive oil in a stove top pan on medium heat.
Add yellow onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and place onion and garlic in a small bowl.
In that same pan, add a bit of water or veggie broth and heat on medium. Add the spinach and cook until tender (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and place in a bowl, set aside.
To a food processor, add cashews, the cooked garlic and onion, raw green onion, miso. Taste to see if salt is needed and add 1/4 tsp then taste again. Add small amounts until desired saltiness.
Test the mixture for moisture and creaminess. If you’re happy with the cheese texture then it’s ready! If not, add two Tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk of choice. Mix again and test. Mine was ready at this point, but if you need more, add 1-2 Tbsp of milk at a time until desired consistency.
Make the shells!
In a large baking dish, roll out pasta noodles.
Add cashew cheese and spinach on one side and cashew cheese and spinach on the other. (See video)
Cut noodles with a spatula and roll with the cashew cheese/spinach at the beginning end of the roll.
Pour the entire jar of sauce over the top of the shells.
Add chopped basil.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Add your fave vegan parmesan, crushed red pepper and more basil for serving.
If you try it please let me know what you think and what else you would add to stuff the shells!