Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells


This autumnal creation brings a heavy dollop of comfort with its cashew-based “ricotta” cream. To get this creaminess it can be helpful to soak the cashews for a few hours or overnight before putting them in your blender, though this isn’t necessary with a Vitamix or similar appliance. This main dish is perfect for vegans, the vegan-curious and carnivores alike.

  • 1½ cups Cubed butternut squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 16 Jumbo pasta shells

Cashew cream:

  • 1½ cups Raw cashews
  • 1 cup Fresh water
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 3½ tbs Fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 4 cups Fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup Crumbled firm tofu
  • 1 tsp Dried oregano
  • ½ tsp Lemon zest
  • pinch Red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Cashew cream, from the recipe below
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper  

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until golden brown; 20-25 minutes.
  2. Make the cashew cream: Blend drained raw cashews, fresh water, garlic, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Make the filling: In medium skillet, drizzle a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach in handfuls along with a pinch of salt and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Squeeze excess liquid and chop. Combine the spinach with crumbled tofu, oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, at least 1/4 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1 cup of cashew cream. Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add shells and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.
  5. Spread ¼ cup of the remaining cashew cream onto the bottom of an 11×7-inch baking dish. Fill each cooked shell with filling and a few cubes of butternut squash and place into the baking dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil over the shells, cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and serve with the remaining cashew cream.

Serves 4 | Prep Time 20 min

Inspired by LoveandLemons.com