Monday, April 30, 2012

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells

First Off... Happy Birthday to the coolest chick I know, Katie!!!

Secondly, say hello my new favorite dish. I don't make stuffed shells very often because I think they are... how do I put it? Boring?  I saw this recipe on the blog Runs with Spatulas and I was intrigued. By stuffing the shells with something that isn't just ricotta cheese ( don't get me wrong, I love cheese) it makes these so much more interesting and delicious.

First off, I love butternut squash and throw in goat cheese and you have a party! I think that this is a dish that will impress house guests or even your family. It could not have been easier to put together which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. I roasted the butternut squash and garlic the night before so it would be ready to eat when I got out of class( that's right, I was at a class all weekend.Groan.)  I threw the squash and garlic in the food processor until it was smooth and then added goat cheese           ( Cheese of the Gods.) While you are pulsating the squash, boil the pasta until al dente. Make sure not to cook them too much because you are going to bake them.

I added extra goat cheese on top for some extra tang and honestly, there is always room for more goat cheese. If you don't like goat cheese ( gasp) you can use mozzarella. Top with some walnuts for crunch and you are golden.

What is your favorite kind of stuffed shells?

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells

2 pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped finely
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 ounces (3/4 of a box) jumbo shell pasta
1/4 cup butter 
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut squash in half length-wise. Scrap out and discard the guts and seeds. Place squash skin-side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle each half with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then roast in oven for 45-60 minutes, or until flesh is tender. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out flesh into a medium mixing bowl and discard skin. ( I used already peeled butternut squash to save time.) Pulse in a food processor until smooth.

Bring a large pot filled with water to boil over high heat. Add the jumbo shells and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rise with cool water. Set aside.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onion, 1 clove garlic, and 1 tablespoon sage, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onion in golden brown. Remove from heat.

Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of squash filling, then place in rows in the baking dish (shells should be touching). Top with candied walnuts. Once dish is full, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While shells are baking, heat the remaining butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat until completely melted. Then cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the butter turns a nice medium brown (the solids on the bottom should not be black). Add the shallots, garlic and sage, cooking for another 1-2 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown. Remove from heat a season with salt and pepper. Use immediately.

Serve shells with brown butter sauce drizzled over top and garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.


  1. Yummm! What a fresh new take on stuffed shells - love it! :)

  2. This is a delicious recipe! I adore roast squash and add the goat cheese and shells... YUM!

  3. Looks delicious! I make a butternut squash and penne dish that is to die for so I know it's a good flavor combination. Add in goat cheese and I'm in heaven!

  4. Thanks Girls! Literally butternut squash and goat cheese may be my new favorite combo!!

  5. Looks gorgeous!!This is something I'd love to try and using butternut squash is a great idea :)Bookmarking your recipe!