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Plant-Based Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells | Plant-Based, Vegan

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  • Author: Chef Ani


  • 1 box of Jumbo Pasta Shells, (for a gluten-free option: Brown Rice Pasta Shells)

Butternut Squash Sauce:

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/21 teaspoon fresh sage (23 sage leaves)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 teaspoons salt or salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon better-than-bouillon (vegetable base)

Vegan Ricotta Filling:

  • 1 cup presoaked cashews, drained
  • 1 cup (8 oz) firm tofu, drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped



  • Precook the pasta shells.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sprinkle generously with salt.
  • Add pasta shells.  Cook according to box instructions (usually about 10 minutes)
  • Remove from boiling water, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Drain. Set aside to cool.
  • Optional: Add a small amount of oil to the pasta shells to prevent them from sticking together. 

Butternut Squash Sauce:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Peel the squash with a potato peeler, cut it in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into even bite-size pieces, place it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Next, spray with a little oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes, until the butternut squash is fork-tender.
  • In a pan sauté onion, garlic, fresh sage, and red pepper flakes over medium heat.  Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a blender.  Add the roasted butternut squash and the rest of the sauce ingredients.  Blend until smooth.

Vegan Ricotta Filling:

  • In a food processor, add cashews, tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, and blend. Add salt, Bragg Liquid Aminos, nutritional yeast, and blend until smooth.
  • In a small saucepan, sauté the onion in oil until translucent, add the crushed garlic, and fresh spinach. Sauté until the spinach has wilted. Set aside to cool.
  • Gently mix the cashew/tofu mixture with the onion/spinach mixture. The filling is now ready.

Assembling the Dish:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In an 9X9 inch pan, add a layer of butternut squash sauce.
  • Next, fill the pasta shell with 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta filling.
  • Place in the pan.
  • Continue this process with all the shells.
  • Cover each shell with a layer of pasta sauce.  (Use leftover sauce to pour over shells when serving)
  • Sprinkle with vegan parmesan if desired (Click Here for My Recipe).
  • Bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh sage leaves.