This stuffed shell recipe is mighty filling and so delicious with all its ooey-gooey-goodness! It’s a vegetarian dish but feel free to play around and add chicken or beef to your liking! This recipe is a great mid-week dinner that can be made in bulk and stored in the fridge. You can even plan ahead and freeze these shells and heat them up when you’re feeling too tired to cook!
1 box jumbo brown rice or whole wheat shells
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1inch cubes
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups kale (about 1 small bunch), center rib removed & shredded
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 cup light ricotta cheese
2 cups light or fat free mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix butternut squash cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Spread evenly, in a single layer, across a large baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, or until squash is very soft and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shells and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander and hold until ready to use. Toss shells with a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the kale and garlic, stir to coat and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about 8 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash to a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add the cooked kale, ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, nutmeg, sage and cayenne pepper, and mix together until well combined. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Spoon the filling directly into the shells.
- Pour the chicken stock into a large baking dish, and arrange the shells in the dish. Top with shells with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Top with your favourite pasta sauce (optional) and serve immediately.