Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats

Quinoa mushroom + lentil beetroot hummus stuffed pasta shells


I made our weekly 3-pot deal of soup earlier this week, but forgot to add the mushrooms, and so I was left with a few cups worth that were minding their business in the back of the fridge. Steaming them up is always do-able (and boring), but now that we’re budget conscious I decided to appropriate them as part of my blog baking ingredients, because I must take what I can get!

pastatopplate2Enter stuffed pasta shells! NOM NOM!

I still have a huge packet of jumbo shells left in the house from the last time that we made stuffed black bean, fig + red pepper pasta shells, and after our 10km power walk yesterday for the Occupational Therapy Fun Run, I figured we deserved a little indulgence and protein! The addition of the quinoa to the mushroom gravy helps not only to thicken it but also to add an extra layer of nom. Served on a bed of lightly steamed baby spinach, saucified with a tomato sauce and deliciousness, what could possibly be better?


Ingredients (serves 2 heartily!):

Shells + stuffing:

  • 10 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3/4 cup beetroot hummus
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 TBSP mustard
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP lite soy sauce
  • splashes of white pepper

Tomato base:

  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin, steamed and mashed (measure after steaming)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TBSP onion flakes
  • handful of basil, washed and chopped
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spices
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crushed cashews

Gluten-free mushroom gravy top (serves 2-3):

Inspired by vegan wheat-free country mushroom gravy

  • 3 cups button mushrooms
  • 3 leeks, chopped finely
  • 2.5 TBSP chickpea flour
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 – 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water/tea
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • splash salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 TBSP onion flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBSP Italian spices
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa (remember to rinse your quinoa before cooking as it washes away the bitterness)

To serve: lightly steamed spinach


  1. Prep all your components beforehand: the hummus, lentils, quinoa, and steamed and mashed pumpkin. This will mean less scurrying around! I also made my gravy beforehand, but you can also make it during the process (see below).
  2. Marinate your zucchini strips in the soy sauce and pepper.
  3. Boil your pasta shells with a pinch of salt until al dente, then drain and rinse your shells thoroughly.
  4. Whilst your pasta is cooking, blend together your sauce ingredients briefly in the food processor – it doesn’t have to be total mush, just mixed nicely.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C and spray a 8×8 dish.
  6. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of lentils with the beetroot hummus, peas, as well as 1/2 TBSP mustard + 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar. Add more liquid of choice if you so choose, but remember the saucy top will come!
  7. Loosely press in 1 TBSP of the lentil and hummus mixture into each shell.
  8. In your prepared dish/pan, pour in your tomato sauce and place the pasta shells upright in the mixture. Spoon some sauce from the side over the shells.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, grill for 5, then remove and cover with a tea towel to keep it warm.
  10. Whilst it’s baking you can make your mushroom lentil sauce – I recommend doing this beforehand to save time, but I like a stress-free baking + cooking experience!
  11. Heat oil on medium heat in a pan, then fry your leeks, garlic and onion flakes until the leeks are beginning to brown and soften.
  12. Add the chickpea flour and mix it so that it’s covered by oil. It will form soft bubbles. Add the vinegar and tea until combined.
  13. Add mushrooms and mix with the liquid. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the milk 1/4 cup at a time and stir, then cover with a lid for 3 minute intervals before adding more soy milk.
  14. The sauce should thicken, so cover and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and mix. Cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on.
  15. Pour your gravy over the dish once it comes out and serve hot over a bed of steamed spinach. YUM!

beetrootlentilmush pastasaucenoms leekssimmeringyum mushroomnomsauceLook at that – process pics! :p I’m usually too lazy or my hands too sticky and messy from food, but this collection of sauces was just too awesome not to share, especially the mushroom sauce. Apart from changing the inspirational recipe to accommodate fresh mushrooms, I was also super sad at the 1/4 cup portions, which is why I made more changes. In retrospect, however, considering how full I am, there was probably some sense in the portion sizes. Whoops! :p The tomato-pumpkin sauce was also incredibly delicious – I have a bit of a pumpkin fetish so it was wonderful to have those undertones masquerading as a tomato pasta-ish sauce.

postcookedpasta postcookedpasta1How delicious is this? A lot of different elements but when it comes together it’s all worth it! Healthy, hearty, mushroom-y, and there’s even pasta! I tend to shy away from pasta these days and rather leave it for special occasions (rather than relying on it as my #1 source of food as I once did in the past when I finally figured out how to boil water in a pot). Jumbo shells don’t come wholewheat, unfortunately, so this is even more of a ridiculous creation, but sometimes one just has to accept that nom comes at a price. :p

gravypasta gravynoms pastadelishnomsSjoe, this is a super filling meal, however. I only managed 3 pasta shells before I gave up, but I just loved the combination of sauces and the spinach provided welcome greenery. You know those meals that you’re just happy to eat, as in, you’re chirpy and full of glee with every bite? That’s this.

topmunchplate2 topmunchplate

Happy Sunday! Oh, and I simply had to share my lunch for today, because it was another meal I was incredibly excited to eat – roasted apple, cruciferous veggies, carrots and tomato salad with pan-fried bok choy and mushrooms with lettuce. Yummmm! We had to eat lighter than usual today to prepare for the pizza fest later with the in-laws, but considering 90% of my meals are an explosion of veg it’s hardly a hardship…especially if it’s mostly roasted. Nature’s candy! Also, you’re staring down the barrel of a 2 litre container, because that’s the only appropriate size for salad. No restrictions! 😀


What’s your favourite pasta dish?

5 thoughts on “Quinoa mushroom + lentil beetroot hummus stuffed pasta shells

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