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These easy vegan shells are stuffed with spicy tempeh and cooked in a buttery buffalo sauce! Plus, it’s topped with tangy cashew cheese! This dish is warming, a bit spicy, meaty, and saucy, making it perfect for Fall. It’s the ultimate comfort food!

Slicing stuffed shells filled with tempeh and buffalo sauce.

Temperatures are getting colder, meaning it’s time for hearty bakes!

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • Quick and simple, it requires just 12 ingredients plus a few spices.
  • Delicious and warming: this pasta bake is creamy, cheesy, and so hearty! Plus, the extra cashew cheese sauce browns to perfection and brings a subtle tanginess.
  • High in protein: thanks to the addition of tempeh, each serving packs 23g of plant-based protein.
Ingredients like pasta shells, tempeh, buffalo sauce, and garlic.

🥣 How to Make Vegan Shells

Buffalo Sauce

This warming dish starts with the sauce. Here is what you will need:

  • Cashews – Soaked raw cashews make the base of this sauce, bringing creaminess and richness.
  • Nutritional yeast – For a cheesy flavor and umami.
  • Lime juice – To add tanginess. You can also use white vinegar if you don’t have lime on hand.
  • Buffalo sauce – Use Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce or make your own by checking the link below!
  • ButterVegan butter adds richness and a delicious buttery flavor.
  • Maple syrup – To balance with the spiciness of the buffalo sauce. You can also use coconut sugar or brown sugar.
  • Onion and garlic – I went with fresh garlic and onion powder here. If you don’t have onion powder, sauté 1/2 onion before adding it to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.

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! It’s super fun to make and just as delicious, if not better, than store-bought buffalo sauce!

To make the sauce:

  1. Blend the soaked cashews with nutritional yeast and water.
  2. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the cashew sauce, and add the lime juice and salt to create a simple cream cheese. Set aside; we will use it to top the shells later.
  3. Next, to the rest of the cashew sauce, add the buffalo sauce, vegan butter, maple syrup, garlic, onion, and smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. Blend until smooth, and you’re done with the sauce!
Filling cooked shells with tempeh scramble.


For the filling, scramble the tempeh and sauté with onions, garlic, ground chili, and soy sauce for a few minutes. We will use this meaty tempeh scramble to fill each shell.

To Assemble

  1. Pour about 1 cup of the buffalo sauce into a baking dish or iron skillet.
  2. Cook the pasta shells in boiling water according to the package instructions. The shells should be tender but al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  3. Fill each shell with about one tablespoon of the tempeh scramble and arrange them in the baking dish or skillet.
  4. Top each shell with a teaspoon of the reserved cashew cream cheese.
  5. Pour in the remaining buffalo sauce over the shells and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. Place under the broiler for a few minutes or until the cashew sauce is golden brown and the shells slightly crispy.
  7. Top with chopped cilantro, and enjoy!
Stuffed shells topped with buffalo sauce and cashew cheese sauce.

📔 Tips

  • You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta shells.
  • Do not overcook the pasta shells; you want to cook them until just al dente as they will cook a bit more in the oven.
  • As with most pasta dishes, these stuffed shells are best served on the same day.
Stuffed shells with buffalo sauce in an iron skillet.

These vegan stuffed shells are an amazing Fall/Winter dish. It’s warming, delicious, and so satisfying!

Stuffed shells with buffalo sauce in an iron skillet.

🫕 More Hearty Dishes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Update November 2022: Recipe, photos, and post have been improved.

Vegan shells filled with tempeh and buffalo sauce on a plate.
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Tempeh Stuffed Buffalo Shells

Vegan Tempeh Stuffed Buffalo Shells

Author: Thomas Pagot
Warming and satisfying pasta shells stuffed with meaty tempeh and cooked in a rich buttery buffalo sauce! A delicious dish to enjoy on cold days!
Prep Time : 25 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 55 minutes
Servings 20 shells (about 4 servings)
Calories 579 kcal


Buffalo Sauce

Tempeh Shells

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 7 ounces tempeh finely crumbled
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 18-20 large pasta shells about 2 cups / 130g


Buffalo Sauce

  • Drain the cashews and add to a high-speed blender with 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 the 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.

Tempeh Shells

  • 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 for 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 them 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 of minutes. Let it cool for 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 a 350°F preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.


  • You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta shells.
  • Do not overcook the pasta shells; you want to cook them until just al dente as they will cook a bit more in the oven.
  • As with most pasta dishes, these stuffed shells are best served on the same day.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 579 kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.8 g | Protein: 23.3 g | Fat: 32.9 g | Fiber: 4.5 g | Sugar: 9.5 g
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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