Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells

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Pav bhaji stuffed shells sounds intriguing right?!!? Pav bhaji stuffed shells has all the elements of a pav bhaji + a luscious ricotta filling that is mixed with the veggies. The sauce that the stuffed shells bake in is SO heavenly, its creamy, tangy, and spicy. All the flavors marry so well with each other. Each element of the dish elevates the dish up. 

For those of you that follow me on IG may have seen me make this a few weeks ago, but honestly I have been so lazy to write the post lol. My b, but sometimes it’s just gotta be like that. The Pav bhaji stuffed shells idea was actually my cousins, she had a lot of pav bhaji leftover and she wanted to use it up. Her shells turned out so well so I decided to take the concept and create my own version. 

Even though I don’t really like pav bhaji, my mom has always made boiled bhaji growing up and it’s my absolute favorite. I ran with that idea and made the pav bhaji stuffed shells dream come true. 

Our entire family loved the pav bhaji stuffed shells sooooo much!!!!It’s such a great meal to make when you are hosting since you can prep everything way in advance. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. If you make this please tag me @zheelicious so I can see and share on my page 🙂

Stay happy, stay hungry!

If you like this recipe you might also like: Masala Lasagna Roll-ups, Campanella Masala Pasta,Masala Pav.

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells
Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells
Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells
Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells

Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 40 minutesTotal time: 55 minutesMakes: 35 Shells


  • 1 box jumbo shells, cooked according to packaged directions

 Vegetable stuffing:

  • 3 cups cauliflower, Food processed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced 
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup peas, thawed if using frozen 
  • 1  cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups of ricotta cheese 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic paste 
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala 
  • 2 tsp red chili powder 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste 
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 
  • ½ lemon 
  • Shredded cheese 
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji chutney (optional)


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 cup cheese
  • 2 cups red pasta sauce of your choice

Pav bhaji Chutney:(optional)

  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tbsp oil 
  • ½ tbsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. Pav bhaji chutney:

    In a blend blend together the tomato & garlic. Heat oil in a pan, once hot add in the blended tomato & garlic. Add red chili powder and salt, mix well and turn off the heat. Set aside until ready to use. 

  3. Heat a pan and add butter, once butter is melted add onions, add garlic paste.

    Let everything cook for a couple of minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

  4. Add the cauliflower and cook until it starts to release water.

    Add bell pepper and half a cup of chopped green onions.Add in tomatoes, pav bhaji masala, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Add the peas and mix.

  5. Turn off the stove and add cilantro and green onions.

    Squeeze lemon juice on top.

  6. Ricotta mixture:

    In a bowl add ricotta cheese, cilantro, 1/4 cup of green onions, 2 tablespoons of Pav bhaji chutney. Mix well.

  7. Mix the ricotta mixture with the cauliflower mixture.

    Set aside until ready to use.

  8. For the sauce:

    In a pan heat butter, once hot add ginger garlic paste, then add in the flour and cook until the flour is fragrant and slightly golden brown. Slowly add milk to the mixture, mixing constantly. Add cheese and mix well. Add the red sauce and pav bhaji masala, mix well. 

  9. Assemble:

    Stuff the cooked jumbo shells with the ricotta & cauliflower mixture. In a pan ladle some sauce, put the stuffed shells in the sauce. Cover with more sauce and cheese. 

  10. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted/ golden brown

    Top the shells with green onions & cilantro. (optional)

  11. Serve hot & enjoy!


  • You can freeze the leftover stuffed shells (without sauce), defrost as needed. 
  • You can prep the pav bhaji chutney 5-7 days in advance. 
  • You can prep the sauce and the stuffed shell mixture a couple of days in advance.
  • This dish is perfect for entertaining. 
  • You can use riced cauliflower to make your life easier.
  • You can use the same mixture and sauce and make lasagna from it as well. 
  • Pav bhaji chutney is completely optional but recommended.
  • If you don’t want to make the pav bhaji chutney use the bomba sauce from Trader Joe’s.
  • You can use the sauce for it and make regular pasta with it as well. 
  • You can use leftover pav bhaji and mix it in the ricotta filling and make this as well. 

Pav Bhaji Stuffed Shells

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