BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS — Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a savory mixture of butternut squash puree, ricotta and mozzarella, then topped with a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce in this easy but elegant recipe.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite savory fall flavors, and these Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells might just be my favorite autumn inspired pasta recipes of all time!
If you’ve ever had butternut squash filled ravioli, you have some idea of what this delicious dish tastes like–creamy, decadent and indulgent. Except this stuffed shell recipe is so much easier to make than homemade ravioli!
This dish is what I like to call “easy but elegant.” It’s definitely fancy enough to serve for a special occasion or dinner party, or even a holiday feast, but it’s simple enough to serve as a weeknight meal.
The recipe makes enough to feed a small crowd, but if you’ll be serving less people, you can put half of the shells in your freezer and enjoy them on another day.
And even my husband, an avowed squash-hater, went back for seconds! Even more surprising, he warmed up the leftovers and ate them the next day. These stuffed shells were still delicious on day two.
If you don’t want to cut and cook an entire butternut squash, but would rather by precut squash, you’ll need about three cups of diced squash to make the filling for this recipe.
Obviously butternut squash varies in size, so you’ll have a little more or less filling based on the size of your squash. You might end up with a few extra pasta shells, or a bit of extra filling, in which case you should eat it with a spoon because it’s absolutely heavenly.
And if the creamy squash and cheese filling wasn’t delectable enough, everything is covered in a rich, indulgent Parmesan garlic cream sauce that you’ll want to put on everything.
This really is a restaurant quality meal, but one that you can easily make at home. It’s sure to impress your family and friends. Even the ones who don’t like squash.
If you’re looking for a truly special way to serve butternut squash this season, then these beautiful Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells are a must make!
Be sure to save this Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
- Pasta Pot
- Baking Sheets
- Baking dish
- Measuring cups and spoons
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- Produce: butternut squash, garlic, fresh thyme
- Jumbo pasta shells
- Olive oil
- Spices: nutmeg, salt and pepper
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Sour cream
For the shells
- 1 large butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs.)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 (16 oz.) box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoons sour cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheets and brush with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for about one hour, or until soft. Let cool to room temperature, then scoop cooked squash into a food processor or blender.
- To the squash, add 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic, fresh thyme, nutmeg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Add more cream as needed until squash puree is the consistency of thick mashed potatoes. Add squash puree to a large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and drain. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil; set aside.
- To the butternut squash puree, add the ricotta and mozzarella cheese, egg, sour cream, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- To make teh sauce, add the butter and garlic to a medium saucepan and cook until garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and cook a few minutes more, until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
- Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Fill the cooked pasta shells with the butternut/ricotta mixture and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells.
- Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until sauce is hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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