Vegan Conchitas or Mexican Small Shells Recipe

By Published On: November 12, 2013Categories: Main Course, Mexican, Pasta, Recipe
conchitas recipe vegan mexican

Although you can’t tell by looking at me, I am Mexican. And, since I LOVE Mexican food so much I’m going to post another vegan Mexican food recipe! This one is an old family favorite. Maybe I should change the name of the blog to Easy Not Queso-y!

Before my grandma stopped cooking she used to make Conchitas all the time for almost every family gathering! Conchitas mean “small shells” in Spanish and it’s very similar to the Spanish rice recipe but it uses shells instead of rice! It’s such a simple recipe with only a few ingredients and ooooh so good!

Make it a meal by adding diced carrots, peas, and vegan crumbles. Add extra broth and tomato sauce to turn it into a soup or eat it as a side dish.


No-Stick Cooking Spray
1/4 small sweet onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 box small or medium shell pasta (Use Tinkyada mini shells for gluten-free)
3 cups Water
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce
1 cube Vegan Bouillon Cube Vegetable or Chicken Flavored. I preferEdwards & Sons Not-Chik’n Bouillon (find it at Krogers, specialty stores, or order on their web site.)
Salt & Pepper to taste



1. Generously spray large, high-sided pan with non-stick spray. Add 1/2 box of uncooked shell pasta to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until browned making sure not to burn the pasta.

2. The last few minutes of cooking the pasta, add diced onion and minced garlic and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat or until onion becomes translucent making sure not to brown or burn them or the pasta by stirring continuously and adding extra spray if needed.

3. Add the water, tomato sauce, and bouillon cube. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until pasta reaches desired consistency. You can add more water, 1 cup at a time, if needed. I like my pasta with little sauce so I cook mine down more. My family likes to have extra sauce on theirs so they cook it less. Your choice!

4. Salt & pepper to taste



  1. Mandy-Lou Dumesny-Blahut June 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    ThIs sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never ever sautéed pasta to begin the cooking process. I’ve done it with rice tho. I can see myself loving this. Thank you for sharing

    • Veggie Girl June 8, 2015 at 6:55 am - Reply

      I hope you love it Mandy. My grandma used to make them all of the time when I was growing up. They are one of my favorite dishes! Let me know what you think!

  2. Shannonlee July 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I’m making this tonight for supper. My mom use to make this when I was little. One year as an adult visiting home for my birthday, I begged her to make this for ol times sake :) I can’t wait to share it with my husband.

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