Recipe: Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

stuffed shells.jpg

A few weeks back I created a poll on my Instagram (@lifeatthemesa) asking you guys if you would be interested in my tofu ricotta stuffed shells and the vast majority of you said yes and it is finally here! It took some extra time but after making a few additional tweaks this recipe is perfection. I once made this for my mom without telling her what the shells were stuffed with and she didn’t even detect it. For those of you who voted no for the recipe, I highly encourage you to abandon the assumption of tofu being bland and give this recipe a go. I promise you will not be disappointed.  Now, without further ado here is my pesto tofu ricotta recipe.

Ingredients:

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  • Box of large shells
  • 6 oz pasta sauce (I used store-bought)
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 6 oz. chopped mushrooms
  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup pesto (I used store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast**
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • optional: 1 teaspoon salt

**Although nutritional yeast isn’t likely something you already have in your pantry, it is an item I highly recommend to make a pantry staple. Nutritional yeast is used in many recipes to substitute for cheese as cheese is high in saturated fat and salt.  It also contributes an abundance of vitamins and minerals but without the extra calories, salt, or fat. Nutritional yeast can be found at your local Walmart or health food stores or if you want to make life easier, it can also be ordered online through Amazon.

Directions

  1. Begin by removing all the excess water from the tofu by pressing in between two paper towels. *This step is extremely important to ensure no excess water gets into the tofu mixture so do not skip
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta of choice
  3. Once all the water has been removed from the tofu,  place the tofu, pesto, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice in the blender. Continue to blend until combined.
  4. Set aside the tofu mixture and saute the mushrooms on medium heat to release all the excess water. Meanwhile, microwave your frozen spinach to defrost.
  5. After the mushrooms have released their water, drain them on a paper towel and set aside. Just like the mushrooms, once the spinach has defrosted squeeze any additional water out with a paper towel.
  6. Add the spinach and mushrooms into the tofu ricotta and mix to combine.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350° and place about half of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
  8. Add the shells to your baking dish and pour the remaining pasta sauce over the shells.
  9. Place the shells in the oven and set a timer to bake for 20-25 minutes.

The serving size is about 5 shells and provides approximately 35-40 grams of complete protein. I hope you try out this simple and protein-packed meal! It is a delicious substitute for traditional ricotta cheese without all the guilt.  Pair it with a side salad and maybe a slice of garlic bread and you have yourself a filling and delicious meal.

If you would like to see how I make the Pesto Tofu Ricotta click the link below:

 

8 thoughts on “Recipe: Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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