Sneaky Tofu and Cheese Stuffed Shells

| 3 Comments | 1 TrackBack
You know, for being called "Tofu Fighting Dot Com", I don't write much about tofu. I blame this partially on my recent obsession with baking - well, baking cakes, cookies, and other things that don't require tofu, that is.

I do like tofu, however, and in a lot of forms. As a generic "meat replacer" in savory dishes, it often does the job. Baked, seasoned and thinly sliced (usually bought from the store pre-made like this), it's one of my favorite ramen additions and sandwich toppings. In soup, it works great just boiled along with everything else.

The reason this comes up (and why it's on my mind) is that I also love sneaky uses of tofu. For example, tonight's stuffed shells with mushrooms and tomato sauce has 1/3 block of the stuff, mixed finely with the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. I've found it adds an interesting nutty flavor while cutting fat and calories in the dish.

Sneaky Tofu and Cheese Stuffed Shells


8 - 12 large "stuffing shell" pastas
2 - 4oz tofu (any firmness)
4 - 6oz ricotta cheese
6oz mozzarella, grated
1 - 3 teaspoons salt
Italian spices, fresh or dry, to taste
1 egg
Tomato, cream or other pasta sauce, jarred or fresh.
1oz Parmesan cheese, grated


Cook pasta shells according to package directions for al dente. Prepare filling, below, while they're cooking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Using your hands, mash the tofu in a large bowl until it has a uniform fine consistency. To the tofu, add ricotta and 4oz of the mozzarella cheese and mix with Italian spices (dry "Italian Spices" are fine, or add fresh basil, finely chopped) to taste. Add salt as needed. Add egg and combine into mixture.

Prepare a non-stick or glass bread loaf pan or small baking dish with a thin layer of your preferred sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water until you can handle it. Using a spoon, fill each shell with the cheese and tofu mixture - overflowing a bit is fine -  and place the stuffed shells (open side down) into the baking dish. When finished, cover the shells with more of your sauce, then top with Parmesan and remainder of mozzarella cheese.

Bake, covered (with foil or glass lid), for 35-40 minutes at 425 degrees, or until sauce is bubbling on the inside walls of the dish. Uncover and cook 5-10 more minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Cool 5 minutes, plate and enjoy! Serves 2-4.

Thoughts and Observations: You can use whatever sauce you like, and add whatever else you enjoy to either the stuffing mix or the pan. I love mushrooms, so I usually sauté a large batch (4-8 oz) along with my pasta dishes. Spinach, garlic and onions all work very well. I also enjoy mixing sauces with this (and all baked pastas) - try a layer of tomato on the bottom and top it with something creamy. 

1 TrackBack

TFSMIF! Picture of the day! The grounds at the Huntington. Went to LA Fitness near my house today to get... Read More


Well, I was skeptical of your food blog because in my humble opinion, and granted this is only my opinion, a good food blog must include meat or at least seafood, but these tofu stuffed shells sound damn good to me. I believe I will have to bookmark this page. :-)

Also, a question about this recipe: I have some manicotti shells that are desperately waiting to be cooked up. Can I substitute the shells for the cylindrical shaped pasta instead?

Vegan stuffed shells (fake ricotta) IS entirely tofu! XD. It's yummmmmy.

Lindsey - there are SO many food blogs out there that I think some more focused ones are entirely acceptable =) As for manicotti, YES! this is actually a great way to stuff larger tube pasta, because you use less cheese (replacing it with the tofu) - it also firms up nicely for a better presentation.

Emily, you can totally do this vegan, especially if you season it well. But there are so many flavors that it's not hard to do at all (especially if you add something melty).

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Doss published on March 5, 2009 6:48 PM.

A post a day? Really? was the previous entry in this blog.

What are you reading? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.