Sometimes I lie awake at night waiting for sleep to come and then an idea comes to me and won't go away until I do something about it. That's kinda what happened with these stuffed shells. It popped in my head and has stayed there for a couple of weeks before I finally made them.
And boy, am I glad that I did!!
I love when things are stuffed inside of things. Dumplings, empanadas, buns, enchiladas. Basically food inside of food makes me so excited!
These stuffed shells are the perfect fall appetizer or main. You could even serve it as a side with some roasted veggies and a salad! What you will love about it too is that it is slightly healthier than a regular stuffed shell because the pumpkin reduces the amount of cheese in the dish. I also opted for turkey sausage here instead of beef or pork. This is definitely customizable though so feel free to swap out some of the ingredients based on what you have! To keep the fall flavors and cozy-ness I suggest keeping in the pumpkin and sage. :)
This is one of many pumpkin-themed recipes in Sara Cornelius' #VirtualPumpkinParty!! Make sure to check out all of the other pumpkin recipes from all of the amazing bloggers who participated on Sara's blog!
Turkey Sausage and Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
makes 16 stuffed shells
- 16 jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz (1/2 lb.) hot italian turkey sausage
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 cup of ricotta
- large handful of fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 12 oz. marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup mozzarella
- shaved parmesan, for topping
Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Rinse with cold water to prevent pasta from sticking.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to pan, and then brown turkey sausage until there is no more pink and it is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until soft.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cooked turkey sausage and garlic, pumpkin, ricotta, spinach, egg, and sage. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of filling into one cooked pasta shell. Repeat with remaining shells and filling.
In a 10 inch cast iron skillet or similar size baking dish, spoon the marinara sauce into the bottom of the pan. Arrange stuffed shells on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Serve!