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This Plant-Based Version of Italian Stuffed Shells Is The Definition of Comfort Food

Indulgent, satisfying and vegan? Yes, please.

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As part of The Gardein Extra Indulgent Plant-Based Recipe Challenge, we dared some of our favorite foodies to create the most decadent plant-based versions of classic comfort foods — all with the help of Gardein and their delicious range of plant-based alternatives.

Here’s Chris Petrellese and Jasmine Briones, the pair behind @sweetsimplevegan. They created their platform to share delicious vegan recipes and plant-based food content with their audience of like-minded eaters. For this challenge, Chris and Jasmine made a plant-based version of classic Italian stuffed shells, using Gardein Beefless Ground.

Watch the video to see how it all came together in the kitchen. Then, check out the recipe below so you can make this drool-worthy recipe for yourself at home. Feel free to swap for your favorite vegan or dairy cheese products.

Recipe: Stuffed Shells & Beefless Ground With Vegan Ricotta


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the flax egg by mixing together the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and setting it aside for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken.
  3. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Once the shells have cooked, strain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the frozen spinach according to microwave directions, and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Make the vegan ricotta filling: Add the flax egg, spinach, and the remaining filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir until combined and set aside.
  6. Make the meatless sauce: In a saucepan, bring the marinara sauce to a boil. Cook the Gardein Beefless Ground according to package directions.
  7. Take a 9x13” baking dish and pour in half of the meatless sauce, spreading it evenly to all edges. (The remaining sauce will be poured over the shells.)
  8. Stuff the shells: You can either fill them by hand with a spoon, or place the vegan ricotta filling in a piping bag and pipe the filling into enough shells to fill the baking dish. Evenly arrange the shells on top of the meatless sauce in the baking dish.
  9. Make the vegan cheese sauce: Add all of the cheese sauce ingredients to a small pot. Heat on medium and whisk frequently until everything is melted and fully combined.
  10. Pour the remaining meatless sauce over the stuffed shells. Then, drizzle the cheese sauce evenly on top.
  11. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove the dish from the oven and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and/or basil. Serve warm.

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