Temperatures are getting colder, meaning it’s time for hearty bakes!
These shells are stuffed with spicy crumbled tempeh and cooked in a buttery buffalo sauce! It is warming, a bit spicy, meaty, and saucy, making it perfect for Fall. It’s the ultimate comfort food!
This warming dish starts with the sauce. Soaked cashews are blended with nutritional yeast and water to create a rich and cheesy sauce.
We reserve about 1/3 cup of the cashew sauce, add some lime juice and salt to create a simple cream cheese that we will use on top of the shells. To the rest of the cashew sauce, we add buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot), vegan butter, maple syrup, garlic, onion, and smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. Blend blend blend, and you’re done with the sauce!
By the way, have you ever tried to make your own buffalo sauce?! If you are up for a small challenge, check out this Homemade Buffalo Sauce from Scratch recipe!
For the shells, we are going with tempeh that is finely crumbled to create a meaty texture. It is then sautéed with onions, garlic, ground chili, and soy sauce.
Once this is done, simply fill your cooked pasta shells with the tempeh mixture. Top with a teaspoon of cashew cream cheese and repeat with the remaining shells. Add your shells to a baking dish (or iron skillet) with the buffalo sauce and bake!
Just 20 minutes in the oven is all it needs to get golden brown and slightly crispy on the top! Top with fresh cilantro, some vegan parmesan, and serve piping hot!
This stuffed shells bake is an amazing Fall/Winter dish, it’s warming, delicious, and so satisfying (think stick to your ribs)!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Tempeh Stuffed Buffalo Shells
- Drain the cashews and add to a high-speed blender with the 1/2 cup of water and the nutritional yeast. Blend on high-speed until you get a smooth cream. Transfer 1/3 cup of the cream to a small bowl and leave the rest in the blender.
- To the bowl, add the salt and lime juice, and mix to combine. Taste and adjust saltiness to your liking. This will be the “cheese” we will put on top of the shells. Cover with plastic film and set aside.
- To the blender, add 3/4 cup of water, buffalo sauce, vegan butter, maple syrup, garlic, onion powder, and smoked paprika to the rest of the cashew cream. Blend on high-speed until smooth and combined. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet. Once hot, add onion and garlic and sautée for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Next, add the crumbled tempeh and sautée for another 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, chili, and chopped cilantro and stir to mix. Sautée for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer the tempeh to a bowl and let it cool a few minutes.
- In the meantime, boil a large pot of water. Once boiling, add the pasta shells and cook according to the package instructions (usually about 8 minutes). Drain the shells and rinse under cold water to remove some of the starch that could make them stick together.
- To assemble: lightly oil a 10×8-inch baking dish, or an iron skillet. Pour about 1 cup of the buffalo sauce into the bottom of the dish.
- Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp of the crumbled tempeh mixture and place in the baking dish, open side up. Spoon some of the reserved cream cheese on top of each shell. Add the rest of the buffalo sauce on top of everything.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. For a crispy top, place under the grill for a couple minutes. Let it cool a few minutes before serving!
- These stuffed shells will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, cover with foil and reheat in 350°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.