Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

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Today is the day!!! 🙌 Starbucks has officially released their Pumpkin Spiced Latte for the season which means it is socially acceptable to start sharing all the fall recipes we *cough* may or *cough* may not have already been eating for the last few months 😆 Don’t get us wrong, summer is great and all, but we are READY for fall to arrive! The cooler weather, change of colors, and most importantly, fall FOODS!

Recently, we took one of our favorite fall staples (butternut squash soup) and incorporated it into another fam favorite (cheesy stuffed shells). The result? Rich, caramelized squash surrounded by pillows of savory stuffed shells 🤯 To say we love this recipe is an understatement. Friends, this may be our favorite recipe to. date. Sbux, you can keep your PSLs, we’re going to be hanging here all season long.

While there are a few different components to this recipe, each step in extraordinarily simple. To cut down on the prep time, you can make the “soup” and shell filling in advance and simply assemble and bake when the time is right.

The star of this show is, of course, the squash. To start, we roast it along with garlic and onions, until tender, golden, and perfectly caramelized.

Next, we puree the squash, garlic, and onions with milk or broth to form a rich, creamy base.

Now it’s time for the filling! We blend spinach, cheese, and spicy sausage for the shells, which is a perfect contrast to our squash sauce.

Lastly, it’s time to assemble.

A final sprinkle of cheese and it’s off to the oven!

Finally, serve and enjoy.

Close-up of cheesy, butternut squash stuffed shells with spinach.
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5 from 2 votes

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

A rich and creamy dish to get you ready for all things fall.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 540kcal
Author: Elise Compston, RD, LD


  • 1 each butternut squash approx. 24-30 oz., peeled and cubed into 2" pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb crumbled Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend
  • 3 cups fresh spinach


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss cubed squash with olive oil and a few pinches of salt and place onto a sheet pan. Using aluminum foil, create a small pouch for sliced onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and close the top of the pouch.
  • Place butternut squash and pouch on a sheet pan and roast for 40 mins, tossing squash once, until vegetables are golden and caramelized. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, and transfer squash and roasted garlic and onions into a blender or food processor along with milk. Puree until smooth and creamy. Consistency should be thick but pourable, slightly thinner than mashed potatoes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. 
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook sausage until golden. Carefully drain fat and add cheeses (all of ricotta and 1/2 cup shredded cheese) to skillet with sausage and stir slowly until cheese melts and becomes creamy. Finally, add spinach to skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted down. 
  • Cook shells until just al dente (careful not to over cook!). Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.  Pour half of butternut squash puree into the bottom of a oven safe baking dish. Generously stuff shells with cheese mixture and place shells face up on top of puree. Pour remaining puree over the top of the shells and garnish with additional 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 mins. Remove foil and bake for a final 10-15 mins or until cheese is golden and bubbly.


Calories: 540kcal

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