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
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- While the squash roasts, make the dairy-free ricotta by mixing tofu or cashews in a food processor. Stir in the spinach. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover the dish and bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.