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Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells with an Herbed Cream Sauce

Written by Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Vegan Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells with an Herbed Cream Sauce

It's fall so naturally we're making pumpkin everything. And is there anything that screams fall comfort food more than vegan pumpkin stuffed shells?

Pumpkin provides a subtly sweet, unique flavor that pairs deliciously with in-season herbs like sage and thyme. With a creamy texture and a tangy finish, pumpkin really is the perfect addition to vegan ricotta for stuffed shells. And this protein-packed version is rich, but doesn't leave you feeling heavy because it's oil, cholesterol, and dairy-free!

Oh, and it's the ideal date night dish; easy to make and presents beautifully. So light some candles and enjoy!

Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes 

Ingredients

Pasta:
Large whole grain shells
Sub option: Whole grain Spaghetti of your choice

Pumpkin Sage Vegan Ricotta:
½ a block of firm tofu
1 cup of cashews 
3 cloves of garlic 
1 ⅓ tablespoons of lemon juice
1 cup of pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon of sage
1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste 

Garlic Herbed Cream Sauce:
1 cup of cashews
½ a date
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
2 1/2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar 
¼ cup of fresh basil
¼ cup of fresh parsley
½ teaspoon of thyme
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon of sage
¾ cup of non-dairy milk 
¼ cup of water
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 handful of spinach 

Directions

Directions for Pumpkin Sage Vegan Ricotta:

  1. Blend ingredients together in a food processor until it reaches the texture of ricotta. Set aside.

Directions for Garlic Herbed Cream Sauce:

  1. Soak cashews and the ½ date in warm water until soft. (For faster soaked cashews: microwave in water for 1 minute, let sit for 10, and then strain.)
  2. Saute shallots and garlic in a little water until soft. 
  3. Add apple cider vinegar to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Put cooked shallots and vinegar, cashews, and all other ingredients except for spinach into a high speed blender and blend until smooth (texture of cream sauce). 
  5. Mix sauce with ¼ a cup of steamed spinach.

Assembly:

  1. Boil pasta until al dente and strain. 
  2. Heat ricotta and cream sauce separately in the microwave or on the stovetop. 
  3. Pour ¼ a cup of cream sauce into the bottom of a shallow bowl or plate, and top with about 5 shells stuffed with the pumpkin ricotta.
  4. Top with a leaf of fresh basil, sea salt and crushed black pepper. 
  5. Repeat until you have 4 servings, or save the leftovers for later.

**

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. 

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