This Butternut Squash Alfredo Stuffed Shells recipe is made with a lighter alfredo sauce, and is perfectly sweet, savory, and delicious!
Stuffed Shells Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces jumbo shells
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (see my tutorial here)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 batch Skinny (Sage) Alfredo Sauce, recipe below
- (optional: 1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese)
Skinny (Sage) Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup low-fat milk (I used 1%)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
- 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
To Make The Stuffed Shells:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (greased with cooking spray).
- In a small bowl, stir together the Panko, melted butter, Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together butternut squash, garlic cloves and olive oil until evenly coated. Spread the butternut squash out on the prepared baking sheet, and season generously with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Then remove the garlic cloves and seal them in a small pouch made of aluminum foil, and set the pouch on the baking sheet next to the squash. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the butternut squash mash easily with a fork and the garlic is soft and fragrant. Transfer the squash and garlic back to the large mixing bowl along with 1 cup of alfredo sauce, and mash together with a fork until smooth.
- While the butternut squash are roasting, bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil over high heat. (*See tip below about starting the alfredo sauce at this point.) Add the jumbo shells and cook al dente (or ideally cook until just a minute before they reach al dente) according to package instructions. Drain.
- In a 9×13-inch baking dish (or I used an oval dish), spread out 1/2 cup of the remaining alfredo sauce in an even layer. Stuff a tablespoon or two of the butternut filling inside each of the shells, and lay them in an even layer in the baking dish, filling-side-up. Spoon the remaining alfredo sauce evenly on top. (Optional: if using the mozzarella, sprinkle it on top of the alfredo sauce.) Then sprinkle the Panko mixture evenly over the top of everything.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the Panko mixture is crispy and starts to turn slightly golden. Remove and serve immediately.
To Make The Alfredo Sauce:
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute one minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Sprinkle with flour, and stir to combine. Saute for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally.
- Slowly add chicken broth, whisking to combine until smooth. Whisk in milk and sage, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let cook for an additional minute until thickened, then stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until the cheese melted. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use.
- (*For timing, I recommend making the alfredo sauce simultaneously with bringing the pasta water to a boil and cooking the pasta.)