Last week, I cooked a batch of Vegan Stuffed Shells for the boys when I went to a party. When I came home, the pan was empty, and they even did the dishes. Yes, they ate every last stuffed shell in the pan and didn't leave me one. The vegan stuffed shell recipe I made included not only Bocca Crumbles but also Field Roast Italian Sausage. Although I am not a fan of alternative meat, my boys love it, so I indulge them every once in a while, this time with a Veggie Stuffed Shells Recipe.
For this veggie stuffed shells recipe, I decided to use lentils and veggies instead of alternative meat. Of course, I didn't tell the crew my plan. Instead, I just made the veggie stuffed shells, served them, and waited to see if they were welcomed with the same enthusiasm as the Vegan Stuffed Shells Recipe. And guess what? Again, the pan was empty!
A VARIETY OF VEGGIES AND LENTILS ARE STUFFED INSIDE EACH JUMBO SHELL
One of the best things about this recipe is I prepped everything beforehand. First, I chopped all the veggies when I was making my Hungarian Mushroom Soup for the week. Then, I took a shortcut by buying Trader Joe's steamed, prepared lentils, and store-bought marinara sauce. When it was time to make dinner, all I had to do was saute the veggies and the lentils, stuff the shells, and bake for 30 minutes.
Veggie stuffed shells not only include lentils, but I added mushrooms, yellow and green zucchini, onions, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil and oregano. Believe it or not, all that fits inside each jumbo shell.
JUMBO STUFFED SHELLS OR OTHER COOKING OPTIONS FOR BAKING
For example, the lentil and veggie filling can be used for a variety of other recipes. Since I had a leftover filling, I baked a few potatoes and filled each one for lunches the next day. Another idea is to use the lentil and veggie filling for layers in a Vegan Lasagna. Furthermore, the filling can be frozen for other recipes later.
To bake the jumbo pasta shells for veggie stuffed shells, you first need to cook the noodles for 9 minutes. It is then important to remember to rinse the noodles in cold water, separate those noodles, and let them dry before filling. The noodles, for instance, will feel firm and a little undercooked. The noodles finish cooking in the oven, so don't worry about undercooked pasta.
Now, make sure your filling is cool because you need to touch both the noodles and the filling to maximize the amount you can stuff in each shell. Because I didn't use any oil or spray in my pan, I first pour some pasta sauce into the bottom of my 9x13 inch glass pan to prevent sticking.
USING A SPOON AND YOUR THUMB FILL EVERY VEGGIE STUFFED SHELLS TO THE MAXIMUM AND PLACE OPENING SIDE UP IN THE PAN
Actually, this is a fun activity for the kids to help cook. So, get everyone involved, and let the stuffing begin. If you want to add vegan cheese, feel free to do so. I chose to skip the cheese, though, since I served the meal with Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
Let's say the rest is a piece of cake. Cover the veggie stuffed shells with the remaining pasta sauce, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
Let's say the boys didn't know the difference between the Vegan Stuffed Shells Recipe with the Bocca Crumbles and Field Roast Sausage and the veggie stuffed shells recipe. Did I trick them? Kind of, but my mom used to hide veggie in my food when I was little, so I guess it's okay.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂