Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Vegan Shells and Cheese


This vegan shells and cheese recipe uses an easy cauliflower sauce for maximum creaminess. You won’t even miss the dairy!

Vegan Shells and Cheese

Shells and cheese. Without cheese. Something is wrong with this picture, no? I beg to differ.

This cheese-free version of a classic comfort food is lower in calories, involves no dairy, and incorporates healthy cauliflower via the creamy, “cheesy” sauce.

Vegan Shells and Cheese on Spoon

And starring as the shells in this recipe, we have Banza’s chickpea pasta! This nutritious alternative offers more protein, more fiber, and fewer carbs than traditional pasta. What that means is that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating this pasta. This magical stuff arrived as part of September’s Vegan Cuts box of goodies along chocolate treats, healthy bean chips, a cacao drink, fruit snacks, and a new meat alternative called Neat. When Vegan Cuts asked us to review their service, we were like, “Uh, yeah!”

Vegan Snacks

Banza Chick Peas

Since a lot of you are vegans, I’m assuming there are a few readers who are already subscribed to Vegan Cuts. Or that you’ve at least heard of it. I’ve never subscribed to any kind of service like this before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I loved what they sent! Everything in the box was brand new to us – most of the items were from brands I’d never even heard of. It’s a great way to try new products that I might not normally seek out in the grocery store. There was a good mix of sweet and savory snacks, as well as a couple of ingredients  – like this pasta! – that we were able to use while cooking. At $19.95 a month, it’s a fantastic deal, especially considering how generous they are with what’s included. Most importantly, it’s like getting a present in the mail once a month so it’s basically Christmas year-round! If you’re interested in trying it out, click here to learn more about Vegan Cuts’ philosophy and then make your way to the subscribe button.

As I write this, I’m switching back and forth between tabs and I’m working with the attention span of a fly. I’m writing my speech for my best friend’s wedding – my first ever matron of honor speech. Nerves, much?! After we finish bowling tonight, we are heading westbound to Oklahoma. We should arrive tomorrow around noon, after driving all through the night. And then, the celebration begins! Rehearsal dinner, hotel stay in OKC, getting dolled up, and finally, the big moment they say “I do.” All of the sudden, we’re both going to be all grown up and married. It seems like just yesterday we were playing with our American Girl dolls and rolling around in muddy neighborhood ditches after rainstorms. Time flies when you’re having fun.


Vegan Shells and Cheese

This vegan alternative to shells and cheese uses a creamy cauliflower sauce and healthier ingredients.

  • Author: Jordan Cord
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish


  • 4 cups pasta
  • water

For Sauce

  • ½ head of cauliflower, chopped into smaller florets
  • 24 cups water (enough to cover cauliflower)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (what’s nutritional yeast? i’ll explain! click here.)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of water saved from boiling cauliflower


  1. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, boil cauliflower in a separate pot. Boil until fork tender. Drain and empty into a blender.
  3. Add nutritional yeast, tamari, sea salt, and water to the blender. Blend until very smooth. If necessary, add more water until the consistency is to your liking. It should be thick enough to coat the pasta.
  4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir together to combine.


  • Calories: 176
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 1407 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • fred
    October 10, 2015

    just made this for breakfast, used 1/4 cup unflavored, unsweetened almond milk instead of the water, no added salt.
    amazing how creamy and warm and filling this sauce is.
    thanks for the recipe.
    unkel fred

    • thefitchen
      October 17, 2015

      Hi Fred –

      Adding almond milk is a great idea for the sauce, thanks for mentioning that! Glad you enjoyed. :)

  • Liz
    October 8, 2015

    Thank you. This sounds interesting and nice.

  • […] well aware that pasta can be done without cheese, see exhibit A and exhibit B – but sometimes, a girl just wants some cheese in her life. I mean, just look at that stringy […]

  • […] a whirlwind weekend, we are back at it. We drove 13 hours to western Oklahoma on Wednesday night, drove an hour and a […]