I had been seeing recipes for this dish floating around and decided to try make my own vegan version. You might not think to combine pasta and Mexican food, but it’s not unlike my Mexican Pasta Casserole. Easy and delicious!
1 Tbs olive oil
1 (12-oz) pkg. LightLife veggie crumbles (or other ground “meat” of your choice)
1 C onion, diced small
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 C cilantro, minced
2 Tbs lime juice
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp Ancho chili powder (or other chili powder)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic
2 jarred roasted red peppers
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies
1 box jumbo shells (approx 45 shells)
1/2 C green onions, sliced
1 (4-oz) can sliced black olives
Vegan shredded cheese
Optional: vegan sour cream, salsa
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and bell pepper. Saute until they begin to soften and brown. Add the veggie crumbles and cook another 5-7 minutes. I mixed the taco seasoning with about a 1/2 C of water and poured it into the skillet and combined it with the veggie mixture. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and remove from the heat. Let it cool.
Meanwhile, boil the water for the shells and prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the tomato sauce and seasonings. In a food processor, puree the garlic cloves and roasted red peppers. Add the puree to the sauce, along with the green chilies and cook over medium heat. Once the shells are ready, drain, rinse and place them on a large baking sheet. (It keeps them from sticking together).
Place about a 1/4 C of the sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish. Stuff each shell with about a tablespoon of filling; place in dish. I ended up with about 42 stuffed shells with a few leftover. Top with remaining sauce, green onions, olives, and cheese.