broccoli & cheese stuffed shells

broccoli and cheese stuffed shells_hot for food

Are you ready to be shown once again that you do not need dairy based cheese in your life?!

It’s so easy to make cheese sauce out of lots of vegan-friendly ingredients. It blows my mind every time! That’s how this idea for broccoli cheese stuffed shells came along in an episode of RECIPE?! where I just started with a can of pumpkin puree! It’s similar to how I make the nacho cheese, but how amazing that you can use pumpkin. Or you could use sweet potato, butternut squash or kabocha squash too!

If you want even more scrumptious stuffed pasta, try out my recipe for lasagna roll ups with almond ricotta! See? Once again, no need for dairy based cheese. What a wonderful world we live in! 

broccoli and cheese stuffed shells_hot for food
4.15 from 7 votes
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broccoli & cheese stuffed shells

Who can say no to pasta shells stuffed with gooey vegan cheese and savoury brocolli? This has a secret ingredient that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Course Main Course
Keyword broccoli, pasta shells, vegan cheese
Prep Time 26 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 54 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lauren Toyota


  • 1/2 C raw whole cashews (soaked in water for at least 3 hours)
  • 1/2 C pure organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 C nondairy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 15 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/2 C finely chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Rinse and drain cashews from the soaking water, then add to a high powered blender with pumpkin puree, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tomato paste, tapioca starch, garlic and onion powder, sea salt and white pepper. Blend until really smooth.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (lightly salt the water if desired). Pasta will take 14 minutes to cook to al dente. Add in broccoli florets with 4 minutes left.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and chili flakes, turn heat down to medium-low, and cook for another 1 minute until the mixture is softened and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Drain pasta and broccoli. In a 9″ x 9″ baking dish, pour a little bit of cheese sauce in the dish to coat the bottom. Place shells in 3 rows of 5.

  6. Mince broccoli florets and combine in the pan with onions, garlic, and chili flakes, along with half of the remaining cheese sauce. Stir to coat everything well with sauce. Then stuff into shells. Pour remaining cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika. Bake uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

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14 thoughts on “broccoli & cheese stuffed shells”

  1. This looks fantastic! I only have about 3 hours to make Christmas dinner. My sister BEGGED for this once I mentioned it. This is kind of a stupid question, but do you think I could make this without the shells? Yes I know that defeats the purpose of stuffed shells but I don’t have any. Maybe I could make it with penne pasta or something?

  2. I made this and my cheese was so thick. I tried everything to thin it out, Once I had it to the consistency I wanted and put it in the oven, It came out as just as thick. I don’t think I’ll be using the cheese sauce recipe for this one again.

  3. Alejandra Talamantes Ramirez

    I made this tonight! ohhh it was soo good! I added some mushrooms and sauteed them with the onions and garlic and it was tasty!

  4. AMAZING! I made this tonight and added some cauliflower, too. It was delicious! I cannot wait to make this again.

  5. So considering I’ve been vegan for a brief time and I still recall the taste of cheesy pasta bake very well…This was epic! Actually so much better than any cow cheese sauce I’ve ever made, and really easy to do! I made this with your "perfect Mac and cheese" sauce cause we don’t have canned pumpkin here. Amazing!

  6. Just made these for dinner tonight… they were the BOMB! I didn’t want to waste any of the cheese sauce so I was using the broken pasta shells I didn’t use to clean the blender HAHAHA… so good! Even my meatatarian husband enjoyed them! This cheese sauce has changed my life LOL! <3

  7. Allison Stefanich

    OMG, I made this tonight. My husband and I were blown away! We’ve only been vegan for 5 months, but as a professional chef, it’s been challenging and FUN trying out new things. This is vegan comfort food at its finest. Your process was fun to watch too, seemed familiar! 😉

  8. your recipes are no longer viewable in Chrome I can see the headings but not the recipes Please have your team fix?

    1. I’m not really sure. I see everything fine? And I’ve asked a number of people to check and they all see the recipes? I’m also using chrome. try clearing your browsers image cache

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