The following post was originally featured on Delish Knowledge and written by Alex Caspero, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.
Get #soyinspired with these vegan stuffed shells with butternut sage cream sauce! Tofu ricotta stuffed into jumbo shells and baked in a creamy butternut sauce.
Day by day, our little house is slowly coming along. My in-laws were kind enough to drive down this weekend to help us with the chores that no one wants to do: painting the downstairs, organizing the basement, and endless amounts of yard work. After condo living for the past decade, it’s easy to forget how much effort goes into maintaining a yard. While I’m ready to try my black thumb at gardening this Spring, I sometimes miss the simplicity of having concrete for a front yard. No overgrown bushes, leaves, and weeds to constantly wrestle with.
The highlight of their trip down was bringing our longly awaited farm table, a massive eight-foot oak table that is sure to be the gathering point of our family. My father-in-law has graciously spent his weekends and free time crafting our handmade table and to say it’s a thing of beauty is a gross understandment. I can’t wait for the coming dinner parties, holidays, and events that will happen around that table in the years to come.
Now that we have our table in place, I’m anxiously ready to entertain. I know that the way into most people’s hearts is through a full belly and I’m hoping that this is true with the few friends we’ve made this far. I’m always slightly nervous when I invite people over to dinner for the first time. Should I tell them in advance that we’re vegetarian? Are they going to be OK with our meatless dinners? Deep down I know that everyone is always more than satisfied, but it’s still a lingering question that pops in my mind when I ask new friends to join us for a meal.
Over the years, I’ve relied on a few showstopper dinners that I know will win over any crowd. As the holidays slowly creep toward us, I want to make sure I’m prepared with gorgeous, seasonally-inspired dinners that are not only delicious ¡ª but healthy as well. I want our guests to focus on how yummy the food is instead of what’s missing.
These butternut-sage stuffed shells are worthy of any holiday table. Tofu ricotta stuffed into jumbo shells and then baked in a savory butternut cream sauce, garnished with fried sage and toasted pecans. They are elegant, fairly easy to assemble, and beautiful.
Ironically, tofu ricotta was the very first thing I ever made with tofu. This was way back in high school when I was a newish vegetarian and still experimenting with meat-free swaps. My mom and I bought a container of tofu at the grocery store in hopes of creating a silky ricotta filling, minus the dairy. We opened the package, stuffed it directly into the shells and hoped for the best. Needless to say, it wasn’t our finest cooking moment.
Thankfully, I now know how to make a killer tofu ricotta that actually tastes similar to its dairy counterpart. Crumbled, firm tofu with a bit of spices, lemon juice and nutritional yeast make for a healthy, protein-packed swap this holiday season.
If you want more holiday vegetarian ideas, follow the #SoyInspired campaign on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
12 ounces jumbo shells1/4 cup toasted pecans, finely choppedButternut Sage Sauce:1 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage3 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped3 garlic cloves, chopped1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes2 cups vegetable brothTofu Ricotta:1 lb. package extra firm tofu, drained and rinsed1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon nutritional yeast1 teaspoon dried parsley1/2 teaspoon dried oregano1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon salt