This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cabot Creamery Co-operative. All opinions are my own.
Cheesy Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
It is officially pumpkin season and comfort food season!
These pumpkin stuffed shells is the perfect recipe to kick off pumpkin season.
We usually associate pumpkin with sweet treats but for the past several years, I have been on a savory pumpkin mission.
I have been determined to show everyone that pumpkin does not have to always be in baked goods.
Pumpkin in savory goods is even better!
It gives the savory dish a creamy and silky texture and it has just enough subtle pumpkin flavor that it doesn’t overpower the entire dish so you can have other ingredients that get along well with pumpkin.
Comfort food means time to use all the Cabot Creamery Co-Operative cheeses!
Cabot cheeses are my FAVORITE to use in all the cheesy, comfort dishes that you turn to in the cooler months.
One thing to note about Cabot Cheddars, that is not common knowledge to many is that they are 100% naturally lactose-free!
I swear every time I post about this tidbit on social media, my DM’s blow up with people being blown away by this because there are so many lactose-intolerant people out there that just want to eat all the cheese!!
Now you can! Go grab some Cabot Cheddars ;) especially enough to make this recipe with!
Additionally, Cabot is a co-operative owned by farm families throughout New England & New York and 100% of profits go back to the farmer owners. Love!
Tips on making this pumpkin stuffed shells recipe
- Have all your ingredients prepped and ready so you can stuff the shells easily!
- Don’t let the block of cheese sit out at room temperature; it is much easier to shred it when it’s straight out of the fridge!
- Make sure you buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
How to easily stuff shells
Don’t cook the shells all the way through. You want them still slightly uncooked so they stay firm as you stuff them otherwise you’re going to have a heck of a time stuffing floppy pasta shells!
Also, they’ll be hot when they come out of the boiling water so have a bowl of ice and water to immediately put the shells into.
This will also help stop the cooking process.
Can I use another type of sausage?
You can, but make sure it’s fresh sausage vs. cooked.
Instead of making a pumpkin stuffed shells recipe, can this be a regular pasta dish?
Definitely! Using medium shells or another similar pasta shape would be great to make this into kind of a mac ‘n cheese version of this pumpkin stuffed shells recipe!
What other cheeses can I use?
I highly recommend Cabot Cheddars; they have so many varieties that I’m positive you’ll find one you love!
Can I use another vegetable?
Yes, frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained) would be a great alternative to broccolini in this.
Other stuffed shells recipes:
Here is what the casserole looks like before you load on Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar!
Cheesy Pumpkin and Spicy Sausage Stuffed Shells
- 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 1 pound fresh spicy sausage, casing removed
- 1 cup chopped broccolini
For the cheesy sauce
- 16 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Cabot Mac 'n Cheese shredded cheese, plus more for topping
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- 4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Have a 9x13-inch oven-safe casserole dish ready.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta shells for 7 minutes. While the pasta shells are cooking, put ice and water in a large bowl and set aside. When the pasta is done cooking, drain and put the pasta into the cold ice water and set aside for later.
- To make the sauce, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add the sausage. Brown and break up the sausage into smaller pieces. Add the broccolini and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl to cool, set aside.
- In the same skillet, over medium-low heat, add pumpkin puree, water, ricotta, and nutmeg. Stir to incorporate. Once the mixture is bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low then ad the Cabot Mac 'n Cheese shredded cheese, the Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Continuing stirring until cheese is blended and melted into the mixture. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish. Set aside next to you as you assemble the stuffed shells.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce into the bowl of sausage and broccolini and stir to incorporate.
- To assemble the pasta shells: remove the pasta shell from the ice water, gently shake off the liquid then using a spoon, stuff the sausage filling into the shell and place into the casserole dish. Repeat until all stuffing is gone.
- Pour remaining sauce roughly over shells then sprinkle additional cheese on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is melted. You can stick the dish under the broiler to get it more brown and crispy, if desired. Just watch it carefully!
- Serve warm and enjoy!