Take-out Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Stuffed Shells

So now that Valentine’s Day fun is over until next year,

Lets think about Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s fun to coordinate your food to the different holidays,

you know Red and Green Recipes for the December holidays,

Red and White Recipes for Valentine’s Day…

How about a Green and Gold Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day!

sausage and veggie shells thepaintedapron.com

Pasta shells stuffed with butternut squash,

creamy spinach, and Italian sausage

This recipe isn’t hard, can be made ahead of time,

a delightful change from traditional pasta with marinara sauce


Roasted garlic gives it depth of flavor,

you definitely don’t want to skip this ingredient! 

Put your garlic in the oven and let it roast at 400 for 1 hour

while you are getting everything else going

[or do this ahead and keep it in your fridge]


Buy prepared cubed butternut squash if you can,

cubing your own squash is pretty labor intensive


Put the squash cubes on a foil lined baking sheet

Toss it with olive oil and salt & pepper

roast it at 400 for 30-35 minutes

until it is soft and starting to brown


Once squash is cooked, puree it with an immersion blender

[or use a regular blender, mixer or food processor]


While squash and garlic are roasting, 

brown the Italian sausage and drain on paper towels

   Saute chopped onion in a scant amount of the sausage drippings


For the spinach ricotta mixture,

I used 1 box of frozen chopped spinach

and 1 box of Stouffer’s Creamed Spinach

and 1 cup of ricotta cheese

  You can use 2 boxes of regular chopped spinach

and 2 cups ricotta cheese if you prefer 


Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan

and salt & pepper


Add sauteed onions, roasted garlic and sausage to pureed squash


Combine with spinach mixture


Cook your shells a little less than al dente…

  You want to undercook the shells 

so they will hold their shape when you stuff them

They will finish cooking when your dish bakes


In a cooking oil sprayed 9″ x 13″baking dish,

drizzle a little 1/2 and 1/2 cream,about 1/8 -1/4 cup

Put your stuffed shells on top of the cream

in the bottom of the baking dish as you fill them


Sprinkle them liberally with finely grated Parmesan cheese

  At this point you can cover the dish and refrigerate up to 24 hours

  Bake loosely covered at 325 for 45-60 minutes

sausage and veggie shells thepaintedapron.com

Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add sage leaves


Let it get nice and bubbly


add lemon juice and heat~


Pour hot sage sauce over cooked shells in baking dish before serving

squash, spinach, sausage stuffed shells thepaintedapron.com

This is pretty much a one dish meal,

of course some crusty bread is always great on the side~

triple stuffed shells with sage butter thepaintedapron.com

Garnish with some more shaved Parmesan too if you’d like~

stuffed shells thepaintedapron,com

Sausage, Spinach and Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Sage Butter

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8


  • 1 head fresh garlic
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced
  • 2 links Italian sausage
  • 4-5 cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1 box of Stouffer’s Creamed Spinach cooked*
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach cooked, drained, and squeeze dried
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta
  • 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup 1/2 n 1/2 cream
  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice


  • Cut off the top of garlic head and place on a square of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, wrap up and roast at 400 for 1 hour.
  • Put squash cubes on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season.  Place pan in oven with garlic and roast for 30-35 minutes.
  • Put squash cubes in a large bowl and puree with an immersion blender.  Set aside.
  • Brown sausage and drain on paper towels.
  • Cook onion in scant amount of sausage drippings until translucent.
  • Add onion and sausage to squash puree.
  • Squeeze roasted garlic head into squash mixture.
  • Combine spinach, ricotta and 3 oz. Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add to squash mix and stir gently to combine.
  • Cook pasta shells until just starting to soften, put not completely done.  Drain.
  • Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking oil spray and drizzle just a little cream in bottom of pan, just to add a little moisture.
  • Stuff pasta shells with squash mix and place tightly in pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1 oz. Parmesan over all. Cover with foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
  • Loosen foil before baking so dish is lightly covered and bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes until hot.   Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add sage leaves.  Cook 3-4 minutes and add lemon juice.  Cook 1-2 minutes longer and then pour butter sauce over cooked pasta shells and then serve.  Makes 8 servings


*Or substitute with another box frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and squeeze dried and another cup ricotta
Keyword fried sage, roasted garlic, sausage and vegetable pasta, spinach and butternut squash pasta, stuffed pasta shells, stuffed shells with garlic and sage

So worth making!

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

 Sundays on Silverado/  Love Your Creativity 

 What’s for Dinner/ Between Naps on the Porch 

All About Home/ Common GroundFollow the Yellow Brick Home

  Oh My Heartsie Girl / Turn About Tuesday 

  Centerpiece Wednesday / Creative Crafts / Crafty Creators

 Full Plate Thursday/ Creatively Crafty/ Thursday Favorite Things   

Happiness is Homemade/ Friday with Friends / Share the Wealth

30 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Stuffed Shells”
  1. BERNADETTE says:

    I never used creamed spinach with my ricotta mixture. I am definitely going to give it a try. thanks for the recipe Jenna.

  2. This sounds really good Jenna, think I might whip some up for my lunches:@)

  3. What a lovely recipe Jenna! Love those big shells!

  4. Ummm . . . this looks amazing yet I’m frustrated because I’ve had trouble finding the Stouffer’s creamed spinach lately. I looked for it at Christmas. (supply chain issues? – ha). Also, you’ve reminded me my immersion blender broke and Williams Sonoma won’t stand behind it. I have to contact All-Clad myself. – P. I. T. N. pain in the neck. – but alas, I won’t give up. This looks too good. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration to get my kitchen in order.

    • You don’t have to use creamed spinach, I used it because I happened to have some, regular chopped spinach works just fine…sorry about your immersion blender, such a handy kitchen tool!

  5. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors says:

    Jenna, this pasta dish looks and sounds amazing! I’m definitely adding this to my recipe file. Thanks so much for sharing! Enjoy your day!

  6. Jenna, pasta, butternut squash, and Italian sausage are winners with me. This looks so delicious, wish I had all the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Thank you for sharing and Happy Tuesday!

  7. thefrenchhutch says:

    This sounds absolutely delicious Jenna. This definitely will be for a special occasion here. Pinned!

  8. Ricki Treleaven says:

    This looks so good, but a little labor intensive. How long does it take you to prepare this dish? I’m definitely pinning it for when I have more energy to cook because this dish has so many things in it that I love!

    • It isn’t hard, but it does take 30-40 minutes to assemble. You can roast the garlic and butternut squash and refrigerate for a day or two to save time there. You could also cook the sausage and onion and refrigerate. Then all you’d have to do is combine it all with the spinach ricotta mix and cook and fill the shells

  9. mhhwarmcozy says:

    I love all the different ingredients in this dish!

  10. lghiggins says:

    What a beautiful dish and I bet it tastes as good as it looks!

  11. Bonnie Morgan says:

    Yummy Jenna! I love all the ingredients. The time saving tips are good to stretch out the prep time.

  12. Mary says:

    Looks super yummy Jenna! We love all the ingredients here, especially butternut squash. ♥

  13. You have me at sage butter and butternut squash! I would love some of these stuffed shells for my dinner!

  14. Kitty says:

    This sounds wonderful, Jenna! I agree that buying prepared squash saves time. What a great idea for St. Patrick’s Day meal. 🍀

  15. Cyndi Raines says:

    This sounds delicious! Pinning and printing! I have been at my sister’s taking care of her since she had back surgery and am way behind in my reading. Going to get caught up today and will be putting away the rest of “winter decor”, even though we just got 2-4 inches of snow, Lol. I am ready to put out some St. Patrick decorations. Thanks Jenna.

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