If you’re on the hunt for a unique dinner recipe with pumpkin, you'll love these decadent Pumpkin Stuffed Shells. Tender jumbo pasta shells are generously stuffed with a mix of creamy ricotta, savory pumpkin, and fresh herbs before being topped with rich Alfredo sauce & ooey-gooey burrata cheese, then baked until bubbly. It's a quick and easy, meal-prep and freezer-friendly, hearty fall meal your family will love!
½(12 ounce) package Jumbo Pasta Shells (approximately 25-28 shells)
1(15 ounce) can Pumpkin Puree
1 ¼cupParmesan - freshly grated, divided
1cupWhole Milk Ricotta
1large Egg – lightly beaten
1large Clove Garlic – minced
2TBSFresh Sage Leaves – chopped, roughly 6 large leaves
2tspFresh Thyme – roughly chopped
½Lemon1 TBS Juice and 1 tsp Zest
2(8 ounce) Balls Burrata
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepperto taste
Optionalfor garnish: Crushed Walnuts, Fresh Thyme, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8x11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. OPTIONAL If using Alfredo sauce, spread 3/4 of a cup Alfredo sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside.
Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and season generously with salt*. Add the shells. Cook pasta according to package directions until barely al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain the pasta (and drizzle with olive oil if desired) and set aside to cool.
Make the pumpkin filling: In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, 1 cup of parmesan, ricotta, egg, garlic, sage, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff shells with pumpkin: Fill each cooked shell with about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture. Arrange the shells snuggly into the prepared baking dish (filling side up). OPTIONAL: If using Alfredo sauce, evenly pour the remaining sauce over the shells.
Top with cheese: Tear the balls of burrata over top of the shells, allowing the burrata filling to spill onto the shells. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
Bake: Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. (Optional, broil during last 2-3 minutes. See notes.) Cool: Remove pumpkin shells from oven and place baking dish on a wire cooling rack. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes. before topping with optional garnishes and serving. Enjoy!
Garnish and serve: Garnish your pumpkin dinner as desired and serve warm. Enjoy!
Pumpkin puree: You can either make your own pumpkin puree or used the canned variety. Just make sure you do NOT purchase canned pumpkin pie filling!! It is NOT the same thing as pumpkin puree!
Salt your pasta water! Make sure you are properly salting your water for cooking the pasta. Use 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 4 quarts of water. AFTER the water has come to a rolling boil, stir in the salt.
Cooking pasta: I strongly urge you to cook your pasta shells until BARELY al dente, which is approximately 8-10 minutes, depending upon the brand. The shells will continue to cook in the oven, so it is imperative you do NOT overcook them!!
Make this recipe in advance: The stuffed shells can be prepared, through step 3, a day in advance. Simply stuff the shells with the pumpkin mixture, but do not top them with the Alfredo, burrata or parmesan. Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. 30 minutes prior to baking, remove the dish from the oven and place it on the counter to remove the chill. Top the shells with both cheeses and continue with the recipe as instructed.
Broil during the last few minutes for a more golden casserole. If you like a more golden brown color and slight crispness to the top of your cheesy shells, I highly recommend you switch the oven to broil during the last 2-3 minutes of baking. Just make sure you watch the oven VERY carefully!! Things can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds!
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings - not including optional alfredo sauce. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.