There is no ingredient that screams “FALL” to me more than butternut squash. It is one of my favorite ingredients of the season and I use it to make soup, stews, salads, lasagna and now butternut squash stuffed shells.

Butternut squash is such a great ingredient because it is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E. The riper the squash the more orange the flesh will be.

 

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If you are looking for a fall twist on your classic stuffed shells recipe than look no further!

I love this recipe because it makes enough to serve 8-10 people or you can freeze the leftovers to have at another time if you are serving less people. I freeze mine about 6 shells per freezer bag so I don’t have to defrost them all at once. You can also assemble the dish ahead of time and bake later which is always a plus! This is one of those dishes that I find the leftovers to just get more delicious as all of the flavors meld together.

If you wanted to add meat to this dish sausage would make a great addition because it pairs so well with the squash. I would saute it right along with the shallot and before adding the blended butternut squash.

 

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
 
Author:
Serves: 30 shells
Ingredients
FOR THE SAUCE
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, optional

    FOR THE FILLING
  • 1lb box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 15oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and reshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped or dried
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft, approx. 15 minutes.
  2. Remove squash with a slotted spoon into a blender, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.
  3. Blend squash until smooth adding ¼ cup of the reserved liquid to thin out as needed.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, approx. 4 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  6. Add pureed butternut squash. Season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little more of the reserved water to thin out to your liking.
  7. Stir in 2½ tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and nutmeg (optonal) and keep warm over a low heat.

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the shells for 3 minutes shorter than the package directions. They will finish cooking in the oven.

    While the pasta cooks...

  9. Squeeze the defrosted spinach in a clean kitchen towel to drain out any excess water.
  10. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  11. Drain the shells and run them under cold water to stop them from cooking any further.
  12. Ladle ½ cup butternut sauce sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
  13. Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining butternut squash sauce.
  14. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  15. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts and everything is hot and bubbly.
  16. Top with parsley and serve.
Notes
I used pre-peeled, cubed butternut squash from the produce section for a little shortcut
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8-10 people

 

What is your favorite way to enjoy butternut squash? Leave your answer in the comments!

 

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2 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

  1. Kristen

    What would this be for 21 day fix?

    1. emilyjgoodman

      This is how I would personally count it: (2 shells) 1 red, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 spoon

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