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Vegan Pasta Shells With Butternut Squash

Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy comforting, seasonal dishes like this vegan stuffed shell recipe featuring roasted butternut squash. The combination of protein-packed tofu ricotta and vitamin-rich roasted squash makes these stuffed shells a hearty and nourishing meal.


  • 1.4 to 1.8 kg butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 250 to 500 ml vegetable broth or water
  • 500g dairy-free ricotta (such as tofu or cashew-based)
  • 60 to 90g fresh spinach, chopped (or 1 package 300g frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
  • 20 to 22 jumbo pasta shells
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the squash cubes with olive oil and a pinch of salt on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, then let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C.
  3. While the squash roasts, make the dairy-free ricotta by mixing tofu or cashews in a food processor. Stir in the spinach. Set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a food processor or blender, puree 4 cups of the roasted squash with the garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, 250ml broth/water and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid as needed.
  6. Spread a layer of the squash puree in a baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with 15g ricotta and 45g roasted squash. Arrange shells over the puree.
  7. Cover the dish and bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.