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Butternut Tofu Stuffed Shells

What you need: 

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
16 to 20 large shell shaped pasta (the big ones you can stuff)
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
vegan cheese or nutritional yeast, to taste, optional

What you do: 

1. Steam squash until it is tender. You can also use other winter squashes. They all taste good. While the squash steams, boil the pasta shells per instructions. You will want them more on the "less cooked" side since they will be baked again. Once boiled, drain and rinse with cool water to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once squash in ready, combine the squash, tofu, seasonings, lemon, and nutritional yeast into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher to break up the squash and tofu. Mix together to incorporate the seasonings into the mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
3. Prepare a 9x11" baking dish by spreading a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Take each shell and spoon in some filling. I like to stuff mine well and usually have leftover shells. More diligent stuffing should make sure all your shells have some filling in them. Depending on your squash, you might have a little more or less than what I had.
4. Once the shell is stuffed, place in pan and continue until all shells are stuffed. Once done, pour the rest of the pasta sauce on top. You can put some vegan cheese on top or nutritional yeast. I use nutritional yeast.
5. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated though and the top is starting to brown. Enjoy!
Source of recipe: My friend used to make something like this for me when I first started eating more vegan foods. I pimped it out.

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes
4 to 6


This was really, really good!  Just like the non-vegan stuffed shells that I used to love.  I did up the seasoning a bit and added some italian seasoning to taste, but the squash gave this a really great flavor.  Awesome recipe!


With a little bit of effort on a weeknight, we had one of the best Italian dinners I have had in a long time.  I followed SnowQueen690's advice on cooking the butternut squash and that made everything so much easier.  While the squash was cooking and I waited for the water to come to a boil, I sauteed up an onion in a little olive oil.  I then added two Tofurkey Italian Style Sausage links that I quartered and diced, garlic, basil, and oregano.  I must have really overstuffed my shells because I was short on the stuffing at the end.  I ended up heating a little extra sauce on the side that I spooned over the top before serving.  My husband and son could not figure out what the filling was and they were completely surprised to hear butternut squash was in it.  So if you are afraid to try this because it might taste too much like squash, go ahead and try it.  Having said that, we all love squash so don't think I am saying squash is a bad thing because it's not.  This dish is fantastic and I will most certainly make it again.  Thanks for a fabulous recipe!  ;)b


This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It's so light and delicious! I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of it before I stick it in the oven.  :)>>>


This was delicious! My dad and my brother both enjoyed it, much to their surprise. Next time I will probably add less lemon and maybe try adding spinach. There will definetly be a next time though.


I did take way longer than 20 minutes to prep, but mostly it was because stuffing all those shells took forever!  I followed a recipe I found online for cooking squash.  I started by cutting the two ends of the squash off, then poked holes in it with a fork, and microwaved for about 3 minutes.  I think peeled it with a potato peeler, and then I halved the squash legthwise, scooped out the seeds and crud, placed them open side down in a shallow pan with about an inch of water,  put EB on the exposed sides of the squash, and baked them for about 45 minutes or so, until I could poke them with a fork easily.  This seemed to work pretty well, it wasn't any harder to peel then a potato. 

I then mashed the squash along with the tofu and spices with a fork, as I don't have a potato masher that works very well.  I think next time however I may add some oil, either EB, or some flax oil, or something just to add some fat.  But it was good.  As for seasonings I followed the recipe exactly, but next time I may add some basil, because that sounds pretty good.  I stuffed these during my lunch hour, and put in a glass casserole dish in the fridge.

When my son and I got home from daycare/work, I put this straight into the oven, baked for 30 minutes, and then enjoyed. 

My 17 mo old son LOVED this.  I set him down with two shells complete with stuffing and before I even had a chance to sit down myself those two shells along with their stuffing were devoured.  He was begging for more.  In total he ate 4 of these with their stuffing  :o!  And they were stuffed pretty full!  So thank you for the recipe, my list of food that my son likes is steadily growing longer and longer.  ;)b


i'm glad everyone enjoys this dish so much. squash is one of those veggies i like to eat in its pure form, so do add spices if you like things saucier (i also use a spicy pasta sauce brand! that helps i guess)

i make this using sweet potato also as a layered casserole. that is also a tasty variation.

Recipe was delightful. Took WAY longer than twenty minutes to prep... but perhaps I have not mastered the art of peeling and dicing squash quite yet.

i don't peel and chop it - i wash it and cut it in hunks. you can steam it like that and then the squash just scoops out


These were pretty good!  I WAS a HUGE ricotta fan, so I don't think these taste exactly like the stuffed shells I'm used to, but this is a healthier, heartier twist.  I made a few modifications:  sauteed some rosemary, onion, and garlic in EVOO, added squash, and heated through before mixing with spices (sans garlic powder, considering I'd sauteed some) and tofu - also, toped shells with buttered (smart balance) breadcrumbs/wheat germ mix (helped to achieve that crunchy, crusty top - finally, in lieu of time and because I had some, I used boxed, frozen cooked winter squash instead of using fresh (next time I'll use fresh for the flavor).  My hubby's not much of a stuffed pasta eater, but he had two servings. 


I love this recipe more and more every single time I make it!  It's officially a house staple :)  I added a bag of spinach (cooked in hot water) to the filling this time... SO GOOD! THANK YOU! :D


;)b Very tasty! Served 4 meals from this. It tasted just like cheese & tomato stuffed pasta! Thanks for the recipe!


Excellent! I used the filling to make lasagna roll-ups, since I had no large shells on hand... turned out really great! I tinkered a little -- added more garlic, some fresh basil/ oregano, a bit of cayenne, & 2-3 Tbsps of Dragonfly's Bulk Dry Uncheese Mix (from this site). It made 9 very-well-stuffed lasagna roll-ups, in a 8X8 pan... next time I'm doubling the filling, & using it (perhaps w/ spinach & artichokes? hmm...) for all-out lasagna... Really, really tasty! After filling the roll-ups, I had no choice but to lick the bowl. (But it's ok, 'cause no one was looking!)  ::)

Oh, yeah-- I had a little trouble with the butternut squash; it was a pain to peel & chop it raw, so I wrapped it in aluminum foil and baked it for about an hour at 350. When it was soft, I let it cool & then peeled/ seeded/ mashed it... that worked pretty well.

Yummy-- thanks for posting this recipe! I'll definitely make it again!



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