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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.