Vegan Tofu Manicotti

manicotti
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Ratings (7)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
526 Calories
15g Fat
68g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 526
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 97mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 34g
Calcium 614mg 47%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are so many Italian recipes that include cheese, especially those that are baked stuffed noodles. This makes it challenging for a vegan to enjoy these types of traditional dishes as most include ricotta cheese. Luckily, this recipe for manicotti uses tofu in place of the ricotta cheese, ideal since both ricotta and tofu are very mild in flavor, creating a similar texture and taste.

The tofu "cheese" filling includes garlic, soy milk, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley, making a fresh tasting filling that no one may suspect is vegan. 

Tips

  • If you would like a bit more flavor in your manicotti filling, try this vegan ricotta cheese substitute which is similar to the filling in this recipe but with a few more ingredients. Whether you are making stuffed shells or lasagna (such as a low-fat vegan eggplant lasagna), the vegan ricotta substitute is great to have on hand in the fridge. 
  • If you would like to make this vegan manicotti ahead of time, you can prepare it the night before and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake. It can also be frozen; just keep in mind the tofu may change its texture a little bit as it can get chewier when cooked after being frozen.

Recipe Variations

  • Although manicotti is traditionally a dish made just with noodles, cheese, and sauce, it is also a great vehicle for holding plenty of healthy vegetables. To add more nutrition and heft to this dish, fold some roasted vegetables into the tofu filling before stuffing the pasta tubes. It's super easy if you have leftover roasted vegetables, but if you don't, try eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
  • If you prefer a different shaped pasta, feel free to switch. This filling would also work well for stuffed shells or even baked ziti. If you are making baked ziti, mix the cooked pasta with the filling and then put the mixture in a baking dish and bake.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound manicotti
  • 2 pounds firm or soft tofu (patted dry and mashed)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Prepare the manicotti according to package directions. Drain and rinse the noodles; gently pat dry.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the mashed tofu, garlic, soy milk, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, parsley, and spinach, if using.

  4. Spread a 9x13-inch baking pan with 2 cups of the spaghetti sauce. Gently spoon the tofu mixture into each manicotti until they are all full. Place the filled manicotti noodles in one layer on top of the spaghetti sauce.

  5. Pour the remaining 2 cups spaghetti sauce over the stuffed noodles. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce bubbles.