“Ricotta” Stuffed Cabbage

This is my gluten free (and pasta-free) version of stuffed shells. This “cheesy” cashew filling tastes just as indulgent as the real thing.

vegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.com vegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

This is my gluten free solution to last week’s stuffed shells. You’ll notice it’s also pasta-free but trust me, this “cheesy” cashew filling tastes just as indulgent.

This little creation was a total happy accident… while I was shopping, I had filled my cart with everything necessary for the stuffed shells, with one ingredient left to go: the shells. And just my luck, no shells. I figured, I’d go searching for them somewhere else the next day. But when I got home I noticed a lonely cabbage in my fridge and voilà.

vegan ricotta stuffed cabbage (grain free & gluten free) / loveandlemons.com

When I remade these (for this post) I found this beautiful savoy cabbage, but regular large green cabbage leaves worked just as well. Large halves of chard leaves (without the stems) were also delicious. In the summer, I’ll roll this filling with thin strips of zucchini or eggplant.

I grated a little bit of pecorino on top for a bit of a cheesy crust (but if you’re vegan just leave that off).

“ricotta” stuffed cabbage

Serves: serves 4 (3 leaves per person)
vegan “ricotta”: (can be made ahead)
  • 1.5 cups cashews, soak overnight & drain
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ume vinegar (or sub more lemon + salt)
  • ¼ cup water (just enough to get the blade going)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup finely chopped raw kale (or spinach)
  • handful of chopped chives and/or other fresh herbs
  • salt & pepper, to taste
for the cabbage rolls:
  • 12 medium savoy cabbage leaves
  • a few cups of marinara sauce
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • (optional) - top with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree together the cashews, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add only enough water to help the blade along. Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking.
  3. Scoop cashew cream into a medium bowl and add the crumbled tofu, oregano, red pepper flakes, kale, chives, and another few pinches of salt & pepper. Stir & taste.
  4. Blanch cabbage leaves for a few seconds each (Dunk into boiling water, then chill in ice water. Dry them thoroughly before using). Trim off the tough part of the stems.
  5. Prepare a baking dish with a good slathering of marinara at the bottom.
  6. Scoop a few tablespoons of filling into each leaf. Gently tuck in the sides and roll them. Place them seam-side down into the baking dish. Top each with a generous spoonful of marinara and a drizzle of olive oil (and a grating of cheese if you're not vegan). Bake for 25 minutes.
pictured above is a ½ recipe, the recipe will make approx. 12 leaves full as written. If you're serving less, I suggest storing the filling separate from the leaves and rolling/baking them to serve.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Sarah

    I can’t eat soy, but I might try this with real italian riccota.

  2. Keena

    Hi, I’d like to try this recipe too. I do not know what is marinara sauce? Can it be made at home. If I don’t find it in the store, could you suggest any other sauce for this recipe?

    Thanks 🙂

    • jeanine

      It’s simple tomato sauce (what people put on pasta). Make your own using plain crushed tomatoes, add 1 clove of minced garlic, a splash of olive oil, salt & pepper.

  3. Ella

    These have 5 more minutes left in the oven! So excited to try- thanks for the recipe! Will report results later…

    • jeanine

      ha – hope they were delicious 🙂

      • Ella

        They were! Thanks for the recipe, the tofu ricotta was seriously delicious!

    Sorry for the CAPS…but it had to be said.

    • jeanine

      ha, thanks! hope you like 🙂

  5. Pang from circahappy.com

    This is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!! And I am thankful for your lonely cabbage 🙂

    • jeanine

      ha, thanks Pang 🙂

  6. What a great idea! I’m gluten sensitive so I try to avoid it as much as I can in my own cooking. I’ll give this a try next time I’m wanting a baked pasta dish!

  7. Laura D

    I have serious cabbage envy. I am always on the lookout for such beautiful cabbage but I rarely find any organic or locally grown around DC.

    • jeanine

      this one was a lucky find, for sure 🙂

  8. Sometimes I can’t find all the ingredients I need as well. This is a very nice solution and plus, you discover a new recipe.

  9. MB from bourbonandbrownsugar.wordpress.com

    Your photography is stunning… I’ve never seen a cabbage look quite so beautiful! I have to say, I’ve learned never to stress when I’ve forgotten to buy an ingredient at the market, because I’m usually able to concoct something interesting with what is squirreled away in the kitchen… but I can’t remember a concoction ever turning out quite as fabulous as this! Yum.

    • jeanine

      thanks! Oh, I know, I’ve learned to not stress about it – I forget everything all the time. There’s always a way to wing it 🙂

  10. cheri from mysavoryspoon.blogspot.com

    The cabbage looks amazing, it is so green. Great recipe!

    • jeanine

      you could (I did it that way the first try)… it’s just going to be not as fluffy as real ricotta, but it’s still tasty. It’s also not going to make as much. I would suggest adding in some cooked mushrooms to bulk it up.

  11. Laura from thefirstmess.com

    Ah, it’s a happy union of cabbage rolls and stuffed shells! This is beautiful, Jeanine. Total cool weather comfort. Love that your ricotta is mostly cashews too. The all tofu ones never really do it for me.

    • jeanine

      thanks Laura 🙂

  12. A Vegan’s dream come true for pasta lovers. Absolutely love that Savoy and your filling has got to be so creamy and delicious…..on my dinner list now for this weekend! Thank you ♥

  13. Georgina from bakeitblonde.blogspot.co.uk

    I love this recipe – It looks delicious. I’m considering becoming a Vegan for lent as it has been on my mind a lot lately to introduce a lifestyle change. Where do you get your inspiration?

    Georgina x

  14. Your photographs are so beautiful! You turn cabbage into couture. So inspiring. The recipe looks delicious, too! 🙂

  15. Emma from coconutandberries.com

    I think I prefer this to the pasta version! Believe it or not I’ve never made cabbage rolls but a cashew/tofu ricotta filling sounds just the thing. I’ve made the ricotta recipe from veganomicon, which also uses cashews and tofu, and really liked it.

    • jeanine

      I do too – hardly missed the pasta, these wrapped up so nicely 🙂

  16. Asha from forkspoonnknife.com

    Love the photo of the savoy!!! I love that variety of cabbage but can’t find it here for the most part 🙁 Is that from the farmers?

    • jeanine

      I got it at the bluebonnet farmers market last weekend (I forget the name of the farm but I’ll check next time I’m there so I can give them a little credit here).

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.