Meatless Monday Recipe Idea: Vegetarian Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tofu Marinara

What is on your Meatless Monday dinner menu tonight?  Cheesy stuffed shells are a family favorite—and with this tofu marinara sauce—these pack all of the flavors of stuffed shells and meat sauce for the "meat lovers" in your life.  My girls love them, my husband loves them—and I know that I’m serving a healthier, meatless Monday meal.  These also make a great "meatless" potluck dish--because the whole crowd will eat them and never miss the meat!

 We updated this post from 2013 to show the ingredients and products that we currently use and recommend for this recipe.  

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Ingredients for Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tofu Marinara
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Butter
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 c. Fresh Portabella Mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 Pkg. Extra Firm Organic Tofu—completely drained and crumbled
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/8 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 24 oz. Jar Marinara Sauce (Plain, Tomao Basil or a Garden Vegetable Style)

Cheese Filling
1 15 oz. Container Low Fat, Small Curd Cottage Cheese or Ricotta
2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Reserve 1/4 c. to sprinkle over the filled shells during baking)
1/2 c. Shredded or Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
1/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning

24 Jumbo Pasta Shells, cooked and drained

Instructions for making Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tofu Marinara

Saute the Vegetables. Heat butter and olive oil in large saute pan until hot. Add the tofu and onions and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Add the marinara sauce.  Stir and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Prepare the filling. In a blender or food processor, combine the cottage cheese, the parmesan cheese, the mozzarella cheese, and the egg. Pulse until the mixture is nearly smooth.  Stir in ½ tsp. Italian seasoning.

Prepare the baking dish and the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon ½ c. Tofu marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out evenly.

Fill the cheesy stuffed shells. With a large tablespoon, add 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese filling into each shell. Place the filled shells into the baking dish with the opening facing upward or tilted slightly to the side.

Top the filled pasta shells and bake. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top of the filled spinach stuffed shells. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella over the top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

We almost always serve with garlic breadsticks and salad. 

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