Looking for a recipe for stuffed shells with a twist? These drool-worthy pumpkin stuffed shells make a great dinner for a crowd! Ricotta and pumpkin filled pasta shells are snuggled on top of a layer of marinara sauce then baked to perfection.
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As I write this post, I am so hungry for these DELISH pumpkin stuffed shells! It probably doesn’t help that this is the last thing on my agenda for today, and it’s close to dinner time, huh?
But still, I would be just as excited about this recipe even if I wasn’t hungry at the moment.
Growing up, we had stuffed shells on the regular. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to come up with a Veg World twist on this classic! I almost forgot all about how comforting this dish can be.
And let me tell you, pumpkin stuffed shells turn the comfort level up a notch! They’re loaded with autumn’s best flavors and even feature a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg for good measure. But I still kept some of the classic ingredients, like marinara sauce and creamy ricotta cheese.
I highly encourage you to try this dish ASAP. But be wary, it makes a ton! The leftovers keep pretty well, but it would also be a good recipe if you’re hosting family for the holidays this year.
How to Make Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
If this is your first time making stuffed shells, have no fear! I’m here to show you how easy it is. As always, the full instructions are on the card at the bottom of the post.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the box of jumbo pasta shells according to package instructions. Rinse them under cold water and transfer them to a plate or baking sheet to cool. Preheat the oven.
- While they’re cooling, prepare the filling by mixing together the pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan, garlic, sage, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Gather two 9×13 baking dishes and divide the jar of marinara sauce evenly between them.
- Pick up a shell and use a small spoon (or a piping bag if you have it) to fill it with the pumpkin ricotta mixture. Place the shell in one of the dishes, and repeat with the rest of the shells until they are all filled and the baking dishes contain even amounts of them.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan cheese, bake, and enjoy!!!
- Pumpkin stuffed shells can be made ahead of time. (That’s another reason that they’re great for a crowd). To do this, cover the dishes with the prepared shells with foil and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
- To reheat stuffed shells, place them in a baking dish again with some of the pasta sauce, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.
- Keep in mind that you need two 9×13 baking dishes for this recipe. If you don’t want to make two platters of pumpkin stuffed shells, simply cut the recipe in half.
- When filling the shells, be careful not to tear them. To prevent this, I like to use a small spoon that allows me to be more gentle when adding the stuffing. If you have one, a piping bag is very helpful. You can also make a homemade piping bag. Put the filling in a large Ziploc bag, and use kitchen scissors to make a small cut in one of the corners.
- My favorite brand of store-bought marinara sauce to use for stuffed shells is Cucina Antica.
More Pumpkin Recipes
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Ricotta Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
- Two 9×13 baking dishes
- 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg - beaten
- 3 cloves garlic - pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 25-ounce jar marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gather two 9×13 baking dishes and a large plate or baking sheet and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the jumbo shells in the water until they are al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the shells, rinse with cold water, and lay them out on the large plate or baking sheet to cool.
- While the shells cool, mix together the pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, ¾ cup of the parmesan cheese, beaten egg, garlic, sage, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Divide the marinara sauce evenly between the baking dishes and spread it out with a spoon or rubber spatula. Take a shell in your hand and try to gently pop it open. Use a small spoon to fill the shell with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the pumpkin ricotta filling (you can use a piping bag instead if you have one). Place the filled shell into one of the baking dishes, and repeat until all of the shells have been stuffed and the baking dishes are full. Aim to have the same amount of shells in each dish so that they can be snuggled next to each other while they bake. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top of the shells.
- Cover each dish with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the dishes halfway through. Remove the foil, and return to the oven to finish baking uncovered for 10 more minutes. Enjoy warm!
- If you don’t have a jar of marinara sauce, you can substitute one batch of my Canned San Marzano Tomato Sauce.
- To make this ahead of time, complete all of the steps until you put the shells in the oven. At this point, cover each dish tightly with foil and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.
- If you are cooking for a smaller group and don’t want to make two trays, cut the recipe in half.
- To reheat stuffed shells, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place however many you want in a baking dish with some of the tomato sauce, cover with foil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through. Leftovers will keep for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- A piping bag is helpful for filling the shells, but not necessary. You can also make a homemade piping bag by transferring the stuffing to a large Ziploc, sealing the bag, and cutting a small piece from one of the bottom corners.
Now I’m off to eat dinner! – Lizzie