I can't believe its not cheese! Vegan ways to indulge in nachos and stuffed shells

Dairy-free ways to indulge in nachos and stuffed shells. (ABC7)

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, or simply want to mix it up in the kitchen, we’ve got you covered this Taste Test Tuesday. Kristie Middleton, author of “MeatLess,” shared dairy-free ways to indulge in nachos and stuffed shells. Learn more at

Italian-Stuffed Shells with Tofu Ricotta

If you’re new to tofu or introducing someone else to it, this is the gateway recipe. You and your dinner guests won’t believe the ricotta in this recipe is actually a blend of tofu and herbs. Make an extra serving: you’re going to want leftovers. Some may even argue that it’s even better the next day!

Serves 4

Time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained or 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed
  • 1 pound firm water-packed tofu
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 25-ounce jar of your favorite tomato sauce or use Quick and Easy Pasta Marinara (page XX)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free cheese, optional


  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside. If using fresh spinach, blanch in boiling water for about a minute, strain well and set aside.
  • Place the tofu, sugar or agave, milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir (don’t blend) in the spinach.
  • Cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the tofu filling into each shell and place in the baking dish. Top the stuffed shells with remaining tomato sauce and dairy-free cheese, if using. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Garnish with a chopped fresh basil or oregano.

Nacho Cheese


  • Boil potatoes and carrots until tender; about 20 minutes.
  • When done, drain and reserve liquid.
  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • If cheese is too thick, add a little of the reserved liquid.

Serving Information

  • Cook elbow noodles and pour cheese over noodles for mac and cheese.
  • Nutrition Information *From USDA Nutrient Database
  • Calories: 123 Total Fat: 7.5g Saturated Fat: 1g Carbohydrate: 12.5g Protein: 5g Sodium: 400mg
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