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Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are packed with a spicy spinach and ricotta filling and nestled in a cozy roasted butternut Alfredo sauce.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Add the squash, shallot and garlic to a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the thyme, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and toss again. Roast until the squash is tender and light golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool.  
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and let cool. 
  4. Squeeze the roasted garlic into a small food processor or blender, add the squash, shallot and vegetable broth and puree until smooth. 
  5. Mix together the spinach, cream cheese, ricotta, red pepper flakes, 2/3 cup of the Parmesan and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Stuff about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture into each shell; set aside. 
  6. Add the pureed squash mixture, heavy cream and butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the remaining 1 1/3 cups Parmesan. 
  7. Spread the cheese sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells in the baking dish seam-side up, shingling them so they all fit (you should have 5 shells along the short side and 6 shells along the long side). Top with the mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with more Parmesan and sage before serving.
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