Sharing a whole lotta love here in the form of a dairy-free, vegan pasta dinner recipe with a divine sauce the likes of which can only be achieved by cooking with wine. Spinach and artichokes. Mushrooms and onion. Cashew ricotta, a hint of Dijon, and WINE. These Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells ingredients come together for a beautiful, impactful meal that will leave all at the table converted.
Besides, look at all these fat and happy stuffed shells, all nestled in this creamy Dijon-Chardonnay sauce. You wanna tear in there. You know you do.
So, I have made this recipe a couple times now. Once, just as described below. And I LOVED it. I was thrilled with it. I could not get over myself and how good this was, checking all my foodie happy boxes, and that I did NOT even miss cheese or dairy.
But then, there’s family… like my husband. “That’s a strong wine taste, huh?”
Insert biggest eye-roll ever. 🙄
Me: “Uhhh, honey, I think it’s just right.”
But I still made it again, this time cutting back on the wine to check. And I was SO RIGHT the first time. Cutting back made it just boring, because I wanted that wine in yur face in this sauce. Still tasty for sure, but not near as interesting. So, three-freaking-quarters of a cup baby – you add that wine. You add it all.
Alright, having said that, and while I have zero problems with my kids eating my recipes that include wine because the alcohol cooks off …that’s me. I get it. So if you are on the other side of that fence, then just substitute vegetable broth for some or all of the wine. And save the wine for a glass for yourself on the side. Boom.
I’m so smart.
Sooooo, this recipe! It is easy, I pinky-swear. At least no more difficult than stuffed shells ever are. We prep cook our shells, make our filling, and the sauce. In this recipe, I include a Cashew Ricotta – this is a different version than my Basic Cashew Ricotta that I published a while back. This one here is not so basic – we’re going to thin it out with almond milk and water, add lemon and seasoning. But this is along the same lines as to what I always end up doing to my Basic Cashew Ricotta anyway, depending on what I’m making. No matter what, ever, forever, and always, if using cashews to replace dairy you always always always want to add lemon and salt, and probably Dijon too to taste. This is gospel.
Then once we prep our filling with spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onion, and some of that Cashew Ricotta, we stuff our shells. Prepare our Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce, pour that over the shells, and we are ready for a 30 minute bake. Serve this with a lovely salad for dinner, maybe something summery like a strawberry and poppy-seed salad or something. That would work beautifully! And then when you are done, wrap up those leftovers because these Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells REHEAT really really well. Bonus.
So that’s it folks. Gorgeous stuffed Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells in a wine sauce to remember. Serve as a vegan main dish or add to your dinner spread as a side for your vegetarian guests. The filling and Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce can be made in advance, then just assemble with freshly-cooked pasta when ready to assemble and bake. Ciao!
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells in Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce (Dairy-Free, Vegan)
Dairy-free, vegan pasta dinner recipe with a divine sauce the likes of which can only be achieved by cooking. These ingredients come together for a beautiful, impactful meal that will leave all at the table converted.
For the Cashew Ricotta
- 12 oz raw cashews soaked in water overnight and drained
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
For the Spinach-Artichoke Filling
- 1 10 oz box frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
- 1 12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 8 oz pkg baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce
- 1 Tbs vegan butter
- 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chardonnay wine
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk creamer
- 3 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- garnish: chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Place the ingredients for the Cashew Ricotta in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Taste for seasoning - if it tastes dull, add more lemon juice and salt. This can be done in advance (store prepared ricotta in the fridge until use).
- To prepare the filling, heat the 3 tsp olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute, tossing occasionally, until nicely browned. Transfer browned mushrooms to a bowl. Add the other ingredients for the filling plus 1 cup of the prepared cashew ricotta. Combine and taste for seasoning, particularly salt.
- Cook the pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool enough to handle.
- Make the Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour, and cook for a minute or two to make a roux. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the remaining ingredients for the sauce plus 1/2 cup of the cashew ricotta. Taste for seasoning.
- To assemble: ladle ~1/2 cup Dijon-Chardonnay Sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 bake dish. Stuff the pasta shells with the filling, and place on the sauce in the dish. Gently ladle remaining sauce over the shells (most will spill to the bottom of the dish, this is fine).
- Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Cover lightly with foil and bake another 15 minutes or until very bubbly. Drizzle lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle parsley over. Yields: 5-6 servings, at 4-5 shells each.
If you do not want the taste of wine to be so pronounced in your dish, then simply replace half of the wine with vegetable stock.
This recipe can be easily doubled but you do not have to double the cashew ricotta. I would just up that by a half. Unless, of course, you want more ricotta to you can make something super cool like vegan cannoli for dessert.