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These are not ordinary stuffed shells. They’re handfuls of kale mixed in with the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, loads of garlic and seasonings, and then topped with the best ever butternut squash pasta sauce. Made from scratch!



Total time

60 minutes






  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 tsp olive oil ((divided))
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree
  • ¼ cup cream or milk
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan (divided)
  • 1 (15 oz.) tub ricotta
  • 1 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley (for serving)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Drain and let slightly cool.

    In the same stockpot, heat oil to medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and saute 30 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk in butternut squash puree and cream or milk and bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. If lumpy, use an immersion blender to puree. Stir in ¼ cup Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

    In a medium mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, kale, ¼ cup parmesan, ½ cup mozzarella, 3 cloves garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, until combined.

    Spread a half cup of butternut squash sauce onto the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Stuff each shell with a few tablespoons of ricotta mixture, then layer them on top of the butternut squash sauce.

    Top shells with remaining butternut squash sauce, then cover with remaining 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with parsley and serve.
  2. View the recipe instructions at The Gourmet RD

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