If you are looking for down home comfort food at its finest, then this Vegan Stuffed Shells Soup totally fits the ticket. Deconstructed jumbo shells, zesty garlic, earthy mushrooms and onions bathing in a delicious Italian flavored tomatoey broth that is sure to please. It’s so easy, utterly delicious, and full of amazing flavor and texture. It’s makes for a great meal presentation as little kids and big kids alike love those jumbo shells.
Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Ohhh boy!!! We all fell in complete and total love with this deconstructed Vegan Stuffed Shells Soup. This soup is brimming with deliciousness that had us grinning from ear to ear with the first bite. And those jumbo shells, don’t even get me started, so yummy!
It’s incredibly easy to make. The broth has amazing flavor, and it’s got that down home cooked all day feeling, but it can be made within 30 minutes. It’s low fat, but still gives that the impression that it’s indulgent.
Why do we call it a “Stuffed Shells” soup when the shells aren’t stuffed?
Good question, it is more of a deconstructed stuffed shells soup, but the shells swim and fill with amazing broth, mushrooms and other deliciousness that makes up the broth, so in essence the shells are still kinda “stuffed.”
Now, if you really want to take things to the next level, you could put Vegan Cheese Dollops on the soup. We used these dollops in our Veggie Skillet Lasagna. We aren’t showing them in our photos, but they could totally work here.
You can also add some nourishing baby spinach if you like, but just keep in mind that spinach is a natural flavor neutralizer so you may have to ramp up some spices/herbs after you add it.
You can also swap out the lentils for your favorite white beans. We think cannellini beans would be a great substitute.
Dad & Michael
When I served this soup to Dad, he totally flipped out. He was back in flash looking for more. He absolutely loved it. He thought it had amazing flavor.
Annnnnd guess who else totally devoured this soup?! Michael, that’s right. Michael is a very picky eater, we all know that by now about Michael. We have a select group of WFPB recipes that are on rotation just for him. This soup is now added to the list – YAY!!! He loved every bit of it, except for the mushrooms that I picked out just for his bowl lol 😉
We ALL love this soup, and I’ll let Mom tell you more.
Hi! Robin here!
Sooooo delicious! I never thought to just put those jumbo shells without being filled into a soup, but let me tell you, it adds a heartiness to the soup. Monkey had her spices and herbs down on this one! I literally could have eaten the whole pot by myself. LOL
If you try this cozy soup, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.
- Ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven, or similar large stock pot
- Stock pot to boil the pasta
Vegan Stuffed Shells Soup
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- Total Time: 30 Minutes (+Rest Time)
- Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
Healthy, low-fat, and flavorful, this Vegan Stuffed Shells Soup is brimming with hearty pasta, protein-packed beans, and wholesome ingredients.
- 1 cup yellow onions, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 oz. to 8 oz. mushrooms (of choice), sliced *
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari *
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 2 ½ cups water (or broth)
- 2 teaspoons white miso *
- 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] brown lentils, drained and rinsed *
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- Pinch dried crushed fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 oz. GF jumbo shells pasta *
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the jumbo shell pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Boil the pasta until almost el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside, then transfer the cooked jumbo shells into the soup in Step 6.
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or non-stick skillet, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 9 minutes to soften, then add the finely minced garlic and sauté over medium heat for several minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and tamari (see notes for amounts) and sauté for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute.
- Next add all the remaining Base Ingredients, stir well, then increase the heat to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer, add the Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Next add cooked pasta, stir well to combine. Simmer on low for 2 minutes. Then remove from the stove, stir in the red pepper flakes, and allow to sit undisturbed for 6 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and the pasta to absorb the flavors.
- Serve topped with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, nutritional yeast or Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
- Optional decadence: Serve with Vegan Cheese Dollops (see notes).
*Tips for Success:
- Pasta Amount: While it is very tempting to use more pasta then 6 oz.; it is important to understand that the more pasta you use, the less broth will be available for this dish. We found that 6 oz. of jumbo shells is the perfect pasta to sauce ratio for this dish.
- Cooking the Pasta: We suggest cooking the pasta separately to avoid losing too much of the broth (as the pasta will soak it right up) and to avoid a cloudy soup as the pasta releases it starches.
- Mushrooms and Tamari Amounts: We loved using 8 oz. of mushrooms. If you use 8 oz. of mushrooms, then use 2 Tablespoons of tamari. If you use 4 oz. of mushrooms, then use 1 Tablespoon of tamari.
- Baby Spinach: Although we did not use baby spinach, you can totally add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach in Step 6. Just note that spinach is a natural neutralizer and is known to mellow out flavors so you may find you need to ramp up spices if you use spinach. (Not shown in photos).
- Recipe for Vegan “Cheese” Dollops (Not shown in photos): To make the optional “Cheese” Dollops by placing all the “Cheese” Dollops ingredients into a small bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside until ready to use. When ready to use simple place a dollop of the mixture on top of the hot soup and serve.
- Vegan Cheese Dollop Ingredients: ½ cup vegan cream cheese *, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 to 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
*Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
*Mushrooms: You can use your favorite mushrooms. We used both cremini and white button in multiple kitchen tests.
*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
*Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
*Lentils: We used Delallo Imported Italian Lentils. They come in a 14 oz. can. Most grocery stores carry them in the specialty aisles. If using dry lentils, select lentils that hold their shape after cooking. Cook dry lentils separately, adjust time accordingly. If cooking dry lentils, use 1 ¾ cups of cooked lentils. Or you can use your favorite white bean.
*Jumbo Shells Pasta: Use your favorite Jumbo Shells pasta. We used Tinkyada Jumbo Shells. Or you can use your favorite pasta of choice like ziti, rigatoni, ditalini, small shells, etc.
*Vegan Cream Cheese for the Optional Indulgence Vegan “Cheese” Dollips: You can use our Vegan Cream Cheese recipe, or you can use your favorite vegan cream cheese. We used Kite Hill Cream Cheese because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant and for simplicity – Optional Indulgence Vegan “Cheese” Dollops. Not shown in photos.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: 4 – 5 Servings (makes 8 ½ cups)
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.
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Lunch was dang delicious!! Even the hubs said he liked it and thought it tasted meaty. (That was when I knew it was safe to tell him there were mushrooms in it. He’s doesn’t “like” mushrooms.) I just small dice them. ?
I added the spinach and it was great. Not just for the flavours but also visually. Love to see the greens.
And it’s so funny but I’d never thought of adding shells to soup?!? I loved spooning up a shell to see the bounty it held. ?
Well done, ladies!!
Hi there Sandra 🙂
Total win!! We are SUPER thrilled to hear that the hubs enjoyed it this recipe too! Great idea to dice the mushrooms small, they add such great flavor, but with the small dice they are almost undetectable 😉 Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and feedback – always a joy to read <3
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
We loved this recipe. I added cooked lentils, instead of canned, and 1/2 cup of smoked sundried tomatoes to the sauce. The broth had a lot of flavor. Thank you.
Hi there Renae 🙂
Wooooot! We are so thrilled that you love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your adjustments with us. We appreciate you sharing your awesome feedback and for taking the time to write.
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
The stuffed shells soup was good, I have the following comments, stuffed jumbo shells looked good in the photos and in our bowls but how do you eat a stuffed jumbo shell? You have to cut it up. Next time I will use medium shells. Total prep time 30 min? My store doesn’t carry canned lentils so I prepared them, good luck with dry lentils and the pasta making this in under an hour, which is not a problem but 30 minutes was not possible for me when the dry lentils alone take 20 minutes.
Hi there David 🙂 Awesome, we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed this soup! This recipe is mimicking a stuffed shell dish in soup form. Stuffed shells are typically cut with a fork as you eat it. Most people don’t shove an entire stuffed jumbo shell into their mouth lol. Using the same logic/concept, we used our spoons to cut pieces of the jumbo shell when eating this soup, and we thought it added an element of fun. However, if that isn’t for you, the jumbo shells can be easily replaced with any pasta of your choosing as… Read more »
That’s why I cook & freeze large quantities of lentils, and freeze in 1.5 cups portions. It’s made making so many meals so much easier .
Made this soup tonight….didn’t have lentils, and the hubby is not a fan, so just left them out – soup was DELISH!! Also used penne pasta instead of shells, and it worked great! We are going to make this often this winter!!
Hi there Marietta 🙂
Yaaaay!!! We are so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and plan to make it regularly. We appreciate you sharing your awesome feedback and adjustments! Thank you so much for taking the time to write.
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
Looks yum!! Assuming mushrooms should be sliced?
Hi there 🙂
Thank you so much for your kind words about our dish. Yes, the mushrooms should be sliced. We just updated the recipe to include it. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention.
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
Loved, loved this recipe. It is definitely a keeper. I made a few changes: added 3/4 cup of small diced carrots (will add more next time), more miso, South African Smoked Seasoning from Trader Joe’s as well as their Umami seasoning and pumpkin shaped zucchete pasta made with butternut squash. I also added spinach at the end and heated until it started to wilt. I precooked the pasta until just prior to al dente, rinsed and put aside. When I am ready to serve, I add the pasta to the broth shortly before adding the spinach. I store the pasta… Read more »
Hi there Bettysip,
WOOO HOOOO!!! We are so happy that you gave this recipe a try and made it your own! Thank you so much for taking time to let us know how you modified it and with great results. We appreciate it.
-Ameera and Robin
We made this for the first time tonight. Great for cool weather. This soup is amazing. We added thinly sliced kale which was lovely. The flavours of this souo are so rich and deep, I honestly can’t get over how good it is. Adding it to my favourites. Thanks for posting.
Hi there Sharon,
WOOOT!!! We are thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you so much for the awesome review of this recipe.
-Ameera and Robin