Baked Shells Stuffed with Cheesy Butternut Squash

These baked shells are packed full of creamy, cheesy, herby butternut squash goodness in every bite. This dish is easy to throw together and easy to customize.IMG_5250 _Snapseed

First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then I sliced a whole butternut squash down the middle and de-seeded it. Wash the outside of the butternut squash and nuke it for 3 minutes to make cutting easier.IMG_5202 _Snapseed

I roasted the butternut squash for about 45 minutes (until tender). While it was roasting I prepared the macaroni shells, the big kind used for stuffing. I just followed the directions on the package.IMG_5212 _Snapseed

After the butternut squash got all tender and delicious, I scraped both sides all out into a bowl. I then mixed in 1/2 cup of pre-made cashew cheese (recipe below), a handful of chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper to taste.  You don’t have to use basil or chives, get crazy and try different herbs, use more, use less…don’t use any at all. I used what happened to be in the fridge. You also don’t have to use butternut squash, try pumpkin like I did here.butternut_squash_cheese_mix

Then I stuffed ‘dem shells and placed them in a baking pan. The amount of filling I made stuffed about 12-14 shells. I poured some store-bought marinara sauce over it and baked it at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.pre_bake_shells

And then I stuffed them stuffed shells into my mouth. These were so flippin’ delicious. It’s really the cashew cheese that brings this dish to that next creamy delicious level. The recipe (below) for the cashew cheese is based on Tal Ronnen’s but without having to prepare it for days because I don’t use probiotics.
IMG_5288 _Snapseed

Cashew Cheese

  • 2 cups soaked cashews, drained (A couple of hours is best but it works just as well if you only soak it for 20-30 minutes and use a high speed blender)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Throw everything in food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Stick it in the fridge and use in meals like above or as a veggie dip or cracker spread.

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48 thoughts on “Baked Shells Stuffed with Cheesy Butternut Squash

  1. couleewind

    This looks delicious. I’ve never thought about using squash as a pasta filling, but I’m suddenly really digging the possibilities! I’m thinking about trying this filling in lasagna roll-ups sometime soon!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yeah, now I am thinking about trying zucchini or yellow squash even as a filling. If you try it, let me know what you think! Lasagna rolls sound like a great idea.

      Reply
      1. couleewind

        Yeah, I was just thinking about how much I was missing lasagna roll-ups and trying to figure out a good stuffing (tofu ricotta is ok, but not as creamy/cheesy as my craving was requesting) so this was a beautifully timed post for me to read

        Squash are so much fun – I can hardly wait till my garden is in full harvest mode!

        Reply
  2. Molly

    Whoa, this looks like something we’d LOVE! It’s the second recipe of yours that I’m pinning lately. Going to make it! 🙂

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      It was so good! I could have just eaten the filling straight up with a spoon. I’m sure if you start experimenting with pasta, you’ll come up with some amazing stuff based on your track record 🙂

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash and Cashew Cheese | Epicurean Vegan

  4. kittee

    These look so good! My father in law is coming for a week and I’m betting if I make these, they’ll go over well for lunches. He’s sorta not allowed in the kitchen at his house, so he doesn’t really do well finding stuff to eat here. Thanks! Totes bookmarking these.

    xo
    kittee

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Cool beans! I hope he likes them. A couple of people of made them with tasty good looking tweaks. If you do make it, I’m open to constructive criticism because my uh “recipes” are by no means polished 🙂

      Reply
  5. Ashley

    Wow, this is definitely a favorite that I will make often. It was SO GOOD!! I didn’t find the big shells so I made them roll up style with lasagna noodles. Kinda added the filling as needed in big blobs as I rolled. I poured a little pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan too. The cashew cheese is so amazing on it’s own and I could see it serving so many delicious purposes. I dipped crackers in it and couldn’t stop. Thanks for this amazing recipe!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yay! I am so happy that you made this and liked it. You’re the second person to roll them up in lasagna noodles so I will have to try that out as well. Great idea to add pasta sauce to the bottom. And I totally dipped veggies and crackers in the leftover cashew cheese as well! If you come up with any other uses for the cheese I’d love to hear them. Thanks so much for letting me know that you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  6. Ashley

    I just realized I didn’t read the recipe properly, so ALL the cashew cheese in the recipe went in (except for the portion I was snacking on). Well, it turned out great that way so if you want to go super cheesy then you probably won’t be disappointed! I think the cheese would be great in stuffed mushrooms. mmmmmmm…

    Reply
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    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you so much! Oh, please do let me know if you make it and how it goes. I had a reader make it and used all the cheese from the recipe instead of just part of it and she said it came out delicious and cheese-a-rific. I always like to know how people adapt recipes.

      Reply
  8. Etienna

    I made this for dinner last night and HOLY SMOKES! It is so delicious. I brought the leftovers to work today and my boss said that she wouldn’t have known the filling wasn’t cheese if I hadn’t told her. Absolutely scrumptious! The squash I used was enormous – I swear it was nearly three pounds – so I only used about half of it. Do you have any other cheese-ish recipes that I could use the remaining squash for? THANKS! This one is definitely a keeper!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yay! I am so glad that you (and your boss) enjoyed it! Sorry I didn’t reply sooner–comments sometimes slip by me as I am not that organized :-P. Another good way to eat baked squash (not cheese-ish though) is to just add some melted vegan magerine and brown sugar and a little salt.

      Reply
      1. Etienna

        I sautéed some kale with garlic, added my leftover squash and ate it over Ezekial bread topped with a little vegan cheese. Delicious!

        Reply
  9. lucyfalls

    OMG, this looks SO GOOD. It’s late at night and I literally want to make it right now. Pasta shells, where have you been all my life? I will report back once I’ve made it, hopefully very soon!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Yay!!! Yes, please let me know how it turns out. In my recipe I use only about a cup of the cashew cheese for the shells, but I had a reader use all of it and it came out just as good (just extra cheesy). I’d love to know if you make any tweaks and how it goes!

      Reply
      1. lucyfalls

        Well, that was frigging delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and used about a cup of the cashew cheese. Hubby and I absolutely loved it, and I’ll be making it again for sure. My first thought when I tasted it was, “I have to make this for my mom!”
        Thanks for a really, really great recipe.

        Reply
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  11. The Peace Patch

    ohgoodgolly I can’t stop staring at this deliciousness! I think I might actually win some of my family over to the vegan side if I bring this to the next family dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      That would be bomb if you could win people over to the “dark side”..muahahaha. I’d love to know how they like it. I don’t have too many non-vegans try my food because I’m mostly a hermit 😛 and the peeps I do hang out with are already vegan.

      Reply
  12. Linda

    Made this tonight and it was beyond fabulous. My changes were: oven roasted tomatoes for marinara, couldn’t find large shells so used manicotti. Because everything was cold (as I prepared it earlier in the day) covered with foil and baked in 350° oven for 30 minutes, uncovered and baked an additional 15 minutes. The filling only filled 10 manicotti shells, which was perfect for the three of us (we literally stuffed ourselves it was sooooooo good)!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and let me know how it went. I think using manicotti is brilliant! I actually want to try that myself. I’m never good with writing down the serving sizes because I just don’t know what a serving is. It seems like it would be different for different people 🙂 But I’m glad it was enough to fill ya up!

      Reply
  13. Elisena Bonadio-Gentile

    Oh goodness! I whipped these shells up last night after my father expressed interest in them, and wow! I doubled the amount of filling, used your cashew cheese recipe, and found that the filling was flavourful enough without any seasonings. Instead of jarred sauce, I simply used crushed tomatoes sprinkled with a little basil. They had to bake for crazy long, but turned out beautifully texture-wise. My non-vegan parents and sister really enjoyed this as well, and I’m sure we’ll be making these again. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesomeness! Thanks so much for letting me know. That means the world to me to get feedback from readers. 🙂 I like the idea of using a simple fresh tomato/basil combo for a topic. The cashew cheese is simple amazing even on it’s own. I often just eat it with crackers as a snack.

      Reply
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