Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Stuffed Shells

Conchiglioni, aka jumbo shells, are stuffed with a creamy pumpkin sage filling and topped with a cheesy, creamy sauce. This meal tastes like fall in a dish and it makes a great weeknight dinner! Leftovers will make the perfect lunch the next day.

I have to be honest, I am not a big pumpkin fan. There I said it. There are many fall flavors I prefer over pumpkin. However, these stuffed shells were so incredibly delicious. They have just enough fall flavor going on to be perfect for these chilly nights ahead. They can also be frozen too, so don’t worry if you can’t eat them all in one sitting because it is a large serving!

The filling is very easy to make as it is just some canned pumpkin, vegan mozzarella, tofu, nondairy milk and seasonings. The filling is so delicious and just has a bit of sweetness, cinnamon and sage. I also think it would be a great filling for homemade ravioli too. If you have a soy allergy you can replace it with vegan cream cheese, vegan yogurt or a store-bought vegan ricotta that is nut based like Kite Hill. The filling works very well with the sauce which is just a creamy, cheesy sauce. It also only has a few ingredients and comes together quickly.

In Italian the world for shell is conchiglie. When you add -oni to the end of a word in Italian it means large so conchiglioni just means large shells. The shells are large enough to fit about 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in there. These are a great way to enjoy a stuffed pasta similar to ravioli or manicotti but with all of the work. It is important to slightly undercook the pasta as it will finish cooking in the oven about 1 minute under the time the box suggests.

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INGREDIENTS

8 ounces (230g) conchiglioni, jumbo shells

Filling
1 cup (260g) canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (120ml) nondairy milk, unsweetened and unflavored
1/2 block medium firm or firm tofu (8 ounces [227g])
4 leaves fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30g) vegan mozzarella

Sauce
2 cups (480ml) nondairy milk, unsweetened and unflavored
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/2 cup (60g) vegan mozzarella
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (204C).
  2. Boil the shells in salted water for 1 minute less than package directions suggest. I like to drain the noodles but leave a tiny bit of water in the pot to prevent them from sticking.
  3. Pour the nondairy milk into a saute pan. Add the vegan butter, vegan cheese and seasonings. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until everything is melted. Then lower the heat to medium low and add the cornstarch slurry in, mixing to prevent any clumping. The sauce will thicken up, remove from the heat. Taste it and add any extra seasonings accordingly.
  4. Crumble the tofu and rip the sage with your hands into a blender and then add all the remaining ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the tofu is broken down. The filling doesn’t need to be completely smooth it can maintain a bit of a texture. Taste it and add any seasoning accordingly.
  5. Spread some of the sauce into the bottom of an oven safe pan. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. You can use a 9 x 11 baking dish or a 9 inch circle.
  6. Scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling into the shell and then place it in the pan. Repeat with all shells. If using a deeper dish you can make layers and add a bit of the sauce in between the layers.
  7. Once all the shells are filled top with the remaining sauce and a few leaves of sage.
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes uncovered and then broil on high for 2 to 4 minutes or until crispy.
  9. Serve immediately and garnish with vegan parmesan and sage if you like.

Serves 4

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