Slow Cooker No Bake Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

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A few weeks ago, I shared with you my recipe for slow cooker no-bake stuffed shells.  Then I got to thinking about a conversation I had with an old co-worker several years ago.   When I was living in the Quad Cities, there was an Italian place called Biaggi’s, which served fantastic butternut squash ravioli every fall.  My co-worker had asked me how she could recreate the butternut squash flavor without actually making ravioli.  I told her to make stuffed shells!

When I set off to try and test this recipe, I figured I would find canned butternut puree, since that would make this meal more attainable for weeknight dinners.  Instead, I found store-bought butternut squash soup, and I decided to make a flip.  I stuffed my shells with cheese, sausage, and spinach, but used this store-bought butternut soup as my sauce for the shells to cook in

This Butternut Squash Soup was delicious. I am not partial to this brand. I just picked it up. However, I am sure you can find other brands of butternut soup like this that would work for this recipe.  Using a creamy soup for a sauce was a great idea!

Now I have ideas rolling around in my head about using healthy, premade soups for baked ziti, chowders, and possibly a sauce in a lasagna.  This is also a much healthier alternative to using a cream-based or an alfredo sauce on your butternut shells.

What you need to make Slow  Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells 

A slow cooker.  I prefer the slow casserole cooker, but you can use a normal one too. I have also included Instant Pot directions, as well.

jumbo shells

ricotta cheese

One egg

Italian Sausage or chicken

spinach

1 32 ounces container of butternut squash soup

mozzarella cheese

If you happen to have a cookie scoop, I will get that out too. It works wonders when trying to fit the filling into your shells.

The real beauty of this stuffed shells recipe is that it is no-bake and that it is so much easier to fill shells that have not been cooked.  It is much less messy that way!  I stuffed these shells with sausage, spinach, and ricotta cheese.  I bet these shells would also taste great with

Bacon

Parmesan Cheese

Shredded Chicken

goat cheese

The possibilities are endless!

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No Bake Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 32 ounce container butternut squash soup
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 10 ounce container Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions

  1. Set your slow cooker to low. Pour 1/2 the soup container into your slow cooker.

  2. Cook Italian Sausage and drain.

  3. Add some water to the spinach and cook until it is wilted.

  4. In a bowl, mix cooked Italian sausage, spinach, ricotta cheese, and the egg.

  5. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with uncooked jumbo shells.

  6. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, stuff each shell with the ricotta/sausage filling.

  7. Pour the remainder of the soup over the stuffed shells. attempting to cover the top of each shell with liquid.

  8. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Top with mozzarella cheese a few minutes before eating.

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Set your Instant Pot to saute and cook the sausage. remove sausage and drain.

  2. In a bowl, mix wilted spinach, ricotta cheese, the egg, and sausage.

  3. Pour 1/2 the soup on the bottom of your Instant Pot.

  4. Stuff each jumbo shell with the filling, and place the shells in your instant pot.

  5. Pour the rest of the soup on top of the shells.

  6. Pressure cook on manual for 8 minutes

  7. Do a quick release.

  8. Put mozzarella cheese on top while it is still warm.

This recipe went over really well with my kids.  They were a little skeptical at first because they thought the butternut sauce was a cheese sauce.  :0 But after that, they gobbled this right up!

 

 

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