Our incredible stuffed shells recipe in savory pumpkin sauce is the perfect addition to your Fall menu. Would you like a different sauce and filling? Continue reading for more suggestions.
Ingredients for Stuffed Shells in Pumpkin Sauce
Jumbo Shells. Store-bought shells are perfect for this recipe. This recipe makes approximately twelve stuffed pasta shells. We recommend you cook extra pasta shells in case some of them break while cooking.
Ingredients for the Filling
- Extra Firm Tofu. A beautiful protein with the perfect texture for a filling. You may also use ricotta cheese if you prefer.
- Fresh Rosemary. Substitute fresh basil, if you aren't a fan or rosemary.
- Large Sage Leaves.
- Fresh Parsley.
- Nutritional Yeast. This adds a cheese-like flavor.
- Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest. You'll need one lemon.
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Sauce
- Fresh Ginger.
- Fresh Rosemary.
- Fresh Sage Leaves.
- Tomato Paste.
- Maple Syrup. For a touch of sweetness
- Balsamic Vinegar.
- No-Chicken Broth. Or vegetable broth
- Pumpkin Puree. Buy a can or make your own.
- Full-Fat Coconut Milk.
How Do You Make Stuffed Shells?
Begin by boiling the jumbo pasta shells. Follow the instructions on the package for an al dente finish. Make sure they are well-drained and set them aside in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent them from sticking.
Preheat the oven while you are making the sauce. To prepare the sauce, heat some olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until they become translucent. Add the ginger, rosemary, and sage, and cook for three more minutes. Stir to prevent the onions from burning.
Add the tomato paste, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking for three more minutes, then add the broth slowly, salt to taste, and cook for two more minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and coconut milk well. Simmer for five minutes, stirring as needed. Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
To prepare the filling, mix the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes creamy. Carefully fill each shell with the mixture and place them on top of the sauce in the baking dish. If you have one, a deep casserole dish is perfect. Cover everything with foil and bake it for thirty to thirty-five minutes.
Tips for the Perfect Pasta
Boil extra shells in case some break, but it is also helpful if you cook the shells al dente (to the tooth) for best results. Al dente means the pasta is still slightly firm and chewy as you sink your teeth into it and doesn't fall apart.
Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water. Make sure you don't skip this step this is your only chance to season the pasta.
Can you Freeze Stuffed Shells?
Yes. Place your leftover stuffed shells in an airtight container and freeze them for up to three months. You can freeze it with the sauce or separately. Reheat in a skillet or microwave. The filling is non-dairy, so the texture should not change.
Stuffed Shells Serving Suggestions
What goes with stuffed pasta shells?
Serve this amazing meal with any variety of garlic bread or ciabatta bread with olive oil for dipping. Add a light caesar salad or Greek salad for a nice contrast to the flavors of the stuffed pasta.
What Else Can I Use for The Filling?
Use a ricotta cheese mixture with parmesan and mozzarella cheese for the filling and serve it with marinara sauce to enjoy the classic ricotta stuffed shells. If you don't love ricotta you can use cottage cheese instead. This mixture will require an egg to help it cook correctly.
Use a vegetable or squash-based filling such as sweet potato or butternut squash and serve with alfredo sauce. You can also make a lovely sauce simply by sauteeing diced butternut squash in butter with garlic and onions. Add a little heavy cream off the heat and pour this over the pasta.
Make spinach stuffed shells using a blend of fresh spinach and ricotta and parmesan cheese for a highly nutritious filling.
If you want to add more protein to your stuffed shells, you can add imitation veggie ground beef or vegan Italian sausage to your filling.
Make Ahead or Freeze Stuffed Shells
If you need this meal on a busy weeknight, prepping this stuffed pasta dish a couple of days ahead of time is perfect. Don't bake it. Keep it sealed in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it, and add a few minutes of baking time since it won't start out hot. Meal prep saves so much time in the long run!
You can also freeze this dish uncooked or cooked and heat it up in the oven when you are ready to serve it.
Store leftovers in individual containers in the freezer and reheat those quickly in the microwave. Remember that microwaves can create pockets of heat, so stir the sauce and use caution.
What is the difference between manicotti and stuffed shells?
Manicotti are actually tubes of pasta that are usually filled in a similar style as stuffed shells. Pasta shells are shell-shaped with an opening on the top and are easier to fill. You can use manicotti for this recipe though.
Do you have to put eggs in stuffed shells?
Our recipe does not call for an egg, but most cheese-based recipes will include an egg to make the filling more custard-like.
Why did my stuffed shells come out watery?
Make sure you drain the pasta really well and leave it in a strainer tossed in olive oil over a paper towel while you complete the other steps of the recipe. This helps ensure that the shells are very dry before you add the filling.
What can I use instead of giant pasta shells?
Manicotti. You will need disposable piping back to insert the filling into the tubes.
More Great Savory Pumpkin Recipes
- Vegan Meatballs with Savory Peanut Pumpkin Sauce
- Pumpkin Cannelloni with Cashew Cream
- Spaghetti with Pumpkin Sauce
- Stuffed Pumpkin
Take a look at all of our amazing savory pumpkin recipes to enjoy this Fall and Winter!
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Our incredible stuffed shells recipe in savory pumpkin sauce is the perfect addition to your Fall menu. Would you like a different sauce and filling? Continue reading for more suggestions..
- 16 jumbo pasta shells (see note)
- For the pumpkin sauce:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-size onion, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 - 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup no-chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 - 15oz can pumpkin
- 1 - 13.5oz can full-fat coconut milk
- For the filling ( see more options in the notes below)
- 14oz extra firm tofu, patted dry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 large sage leaves, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- Cook the pasta shells following the packaging instructions for al-dente. Drain well and set aside (you can drizzle little bit of oil on top to keep them from sticking together)
- To prepare the sauce. heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger, rosemary and sage and continue cooking for another 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent the onions from burning
- Add the tomato paste, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Stir well and cook for 3 minutes. Slowly add the broth and salt, stir well and continue cooking for 2 more minutes
- Whisk in the pumpkin and coconut milk, making sure they're well incorporated. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a 10.5"x 7.5" baking dish
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- To prepare the filling, combine all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until creamy
- Carefully place a heaping tablespoon of filling inside the shells (see note) and arrange them on the baking dish, on top of the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil a bake for 30-35 minutes
- This recipe makes approximately 12 shells. We recommend you cook extra pasta shells, in case some of them break while cooking.
- Use a ricotta cheese mixture with parmesan and mozzarella cheese for the filling and serve it with marinara sauce to enjoy the classic ricotta stuffed shells.
- Make spinach stuffed shells using a blend of fresh spinach and ricotta and parmesan cheese for a highly nutritious filling.
- If you want to add more protein to your stuffed shells, you can add imitation veggie ground beef or vegan Italian sausage to your filling
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 3 stuffed shells with sauce
- Calories: 562
- Sugar: 15.2
- Sodium: 1026.7
- Fat: 34.7
- Saturated Fat: 18.5
- Unsaturated Fat: 14.2
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 50.3
- Fiber: 7.9
- Protein: 19.1
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: thanksgiving, holidays, kosher,