Ready for an Italian-inspired dish that includes a delicious twist? Swiss Chard and Tofu Stuffed Shells makes a great Meatless Monday meal that will please everyone gathered around your table.
Each time I’ve opened my refrigerator over the past week I’ve come face to face with an unopened package of tofu. It was like the tofu was taunting me, knowing that before long, it would pass its expiration date. It’s not tough to find something tasty to do with tofu, but I guess I had been feeling uninspired.
Finally, I had a lightbulb moment! I would blend it to use as a filling to make Swiss Chard and Tofu Stuffed Shells. I’ve never not used ricotta cheese in stuffed shells, but I thought this might be a good time to see what happens. With Swiss chard and pine nuts on hand, I figured those would be excellent ingredients to add to the mix.
The blended tofu was basically the same creamy consistency as a ricotta cheese and egg mixture used for traditional stuffed shells recipes. Even as a cheese lover, I was confident that dropping the dairy from this dish wouldn’t be a big deal.
If you love your cheese and feel like Swiss Chard and Tofu Stuffed Shells wouldn’t be quite right without it, you’d be wrong! If you don’t trust me, go ahead and get your cheese on by adding some grated Parmesan over the tops of the shells during the final minutes of cooking. It’ll brown up nicely and add a touch of saltiness to your first few bites.
[bctt tweet=”Go dairy-free on a #MeatlessMonday with Swiss Chard and #Tofu Stuffed Shells. Delicious!”]
If you use the right ingredients, this makes a great vegan dish. If you’re a Swiss chard fan, check out my recipe for Italian Potato Salad with Swiss Chard.
This Italian-inspired dish is dairy free, and you won't miss it! The tofu blends up nice and creamy, and makes the perfect filling for these shells.
- 20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup pasta sauce, more or less, to taste
- 16 ounces tofu, drained, and pressed for about 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 4 large leaves of Swiss chard, blanched and torn (liquid squeezed out), stems cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus one tablespoon
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs, divided
- Aluminum foil
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions, then drain them and place on a baking sheet or dish so they don’t touch each other.
- While the pasta shells cook, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until they soften (3-4 minutes). Add the garlic, and turn off the heat.
- Blanch the Swiss chard in boiling water, just for a few minutes or until the leaves turn bright green. Drain, and submerge in cold water. Drain again, and squeeze out any remaining liquid.
- Add the pressed tofu to a food processor along with the 3 tablespoons olive oil, Swiss chard, onions, and garlic. Blend until smooth.
- Place the tofu mixture in a large bowl and season with 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine. Add the pine nuts and mix again.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pasta sauce across the bottom of a baking dish.
- Spoon the tofu mixture into each of the shells until full. Place the filled shells in the baking dish so they are snug against each other.
- Spoon the tomato sauce over the shells and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the tops of the shells with 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and a few pine nuts. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs turn golden.