Love and Olive Oil

Pumpkin & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Pumpkin & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Perhaps “stuffed” is quickly becoming a thing around here. Stuffed desserts, and now stuffed pasta shells.

These stuffed shells are simple and straightforward, and while they don’t taste quite as strongly of pumpkin as a dish titled “pumpkin stuffed shells” should (in my opinion), it’s nice to know that there’s more than just cheese inside. Still, I might up the pumpkin if I made it again. As is, we tasted ricotta and marinara and not much else. We even upped the garlic, sage, and pecorino when we stuffed the second half of the shells the next day, just so there’d be more flavor.

Pumpkin & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I’ll be frank when I say this recipe makes a lot, although maybe not 10 servings as the original recipe states. Still, more food than we usually cook for the two of us. We got about two and a half of these 7×11 pans, and between the two of us lasted for about 2 dinners and a lunch. Maybe we overstuffed the shells, as we did have leftover shells, and maybe we overstuffed our bellies, as 5-6 shells made for a good single serving.

Either way we were full and happy, happy and full.

Now, what else can I find around here to stuff?

Pumpkin & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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  • 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (about 40 shells)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups (16-ounces) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (25.25-ounce) jar tomato basil pasta sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta shells according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool completely. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, ricotta, egg, 1 cup of Pecorino cheese, garlic, sage, salt and pepper.
  4. Divide sauce evenly among two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes. Fill each shell with the pumpkin-cheese mixture and arrange shells in baking dishes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Unbaked shells can also be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  5. Allow shells to stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve topped with remaining Pecorino cheese.

Recipe from Delallo.

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  1. Planning on trying this weekend. I am not seeing what to do with the olive oil, but I assume to put on bottom of baking dishes?? Is this correct? Can’t wait to try!!

  2. Brought this as a vegetarian addition to a Friendsgiving table almost a decade ago and my friends have requested it every year since! I swap out the tomato sauce for a browned butter drizzle plus a sprinkling of toasted pecans, it’s always a hit. My friends’ kids like it, too.

  3. My husband was making his (he’s very strict to instructions) and realized there is no indication to add sauce to the pan before cooking the noodles in the oven despite this being pictured — can you clarify?

  4. Super good!  We’ve made them several times, and everybody has ravedQ

  5. Just had these for dinner today.  Very tasty!  The pumpkin and various cheese flavors marry so nicely with the sage and garlic.
    We’re thinking we’ll put this on our menu when we host the family holiday dinner next December!

  6. Is this the recipe that reflects the upped pumpkin, sage, and garlic? I’d like the more flavorful version that you mentioned for your second batch :)

  7. where do you use the olive oil

  8. This looks AMAZING!!! Makes me love Fall even more =)

  9. Am I blind, or did you never say what to do with the olive oil??

  10. great for adults b ut I do not think youngsters would like the pumpkin..

  11. This recipe is fantastic. I added pumpkin pie spice, extra sage and garlic. Topped with fresh basil and a little more cheese. Easy recipe. Great anytime or for a cold cozy night in.

  12. Whoops! Forgot one thing. The sage I use is dried and I use Albanian rubbed sage from Penzy’s. It has an intense sage taste and really brings out the pumpkin and autumnal flavor of this dish.

  13. Some changes I made that may make it a bit more tasty. Cook 3 more cloves of minced garlic in olive oil after they are slightly cooked add a package of sliced baby bella mushrooms cook until just about tender, add a glug or two of brandy, deglaze the pan add the jarred tomato sauce (I use classico 4 cheese). Stir thoroughly. Add some fresh chopped basil at the end.
    Prepare the shells as above but add another can of pumpkin to the ricotta mixture. Use the normal amount of cheese BUT also grate some parmigiano regianno and sprinkle on top before cooking, it browns up beautifully. This is my family’s favorite fall dish.

  14. I made these today with my friend who never cooked before in her life. The recipe worked out really well – I was able to teach her a number of techniques and the results were AH-MAZING! Thank you, Lindsay! :) I personally could taste the pumpkin, sage, garlic, and Pecerino in the mix – did you update the recipe from the first one you tried where you couldn’t taste anything besides marinara and ricotta? Either way, I’m never going back to the traditional way of making baked shells! Thanks again!

  15. These sound fantastic! Do you know how well they would freeze?

  16. I made these on Sunday. Of course, my sad excuse of a grocery store did not even have jumbo shells, so I made these with manicotti instead.

    Good recipe overall, but I ended up putting ALL of the sauce and pasta in one pan, since I only used 8 oz of manicotti. I think if I made this again, I’d add some spicy sausage. But the pumpkin and ricotta mixture was really good.

  17. Yum! I added these lovelies to my weekly favorites! Thanks for sharing!

  18. These are in the oven right now. Very excited to try them! One question- where does the 1 tbsp of olive oil go? I’ve read the recipe repeatedly- am I just missing it?

  19. Looks wonderful! Making it tonight for girl’s night :)

    But, did you mean 2 cups OR 8 ounces or ricotta? Two cups would be 16 ounces.

  20. These look so tasty, I’m making these for my next dinner party! Thank you!

  21. I love stuffing foods, from desserts to vegetables to pasta! The most fun I’ve had is baking chocolate cupcakes in hollowed out orange peels. I’ve also made these pumpkin-ricotta stuffed shells before and really enjoyed them. Like you said, they are perfect for making you feel happy and full, or vice-versa.

  22. I love pumpkin any time of year. For some strange reason, I’ve only made stuffed shells once. This recipe’s inspiring me to make it again.

  23. Keep on stuffin’…this looks amazing! Stuffed shells were a favorite as a kid. Yum! Yes, please!

  24. Oh, I was thinking about other ways to use big shells. This could be it. They look fab!

  25. Great way to cut the cheesiness of stuffed shells. Such a lovely dinner idea.

  26. Maybe some pumpkin pie spice would make them more pumpkin-y. I may have to try it!

  27. Looks Amazing!! And I just have to ask, what kind of silverware do you have?? I absolutely adore it.

  28. Stuffed Shells are one of my favorite dishes. I haven’t tried them with pumpkin but I bet they are delicious! Great idea.

  29. Anyone know if these would be weight watcher friendly or the calories?

  30. I made something exactly like this (except a lot cheesier!) this past October! Funny how great minds think alike :)

    Pumpkin Alfredo Stuffed Shells:

  31. hi – these look so delicious

    you need to say when to add the tomato sauce :)

    Betty B

  32. I’m HUNGRY now

  33. I can hardly image, that 5-6 shells only would be enough for me. I wanna get stuffed with these – right now!
    Greetings from Germany :o)

  34. I’ve got all these ingredients on hand except the shells- gotta get to the store to make!

  35. oh i love the idea of making stuffed shells and adding a little pumpkin to it! :)

  36. They look so delicious!

  37. ooooo these look fabulous! I might try them with a creamy cheese sauce as well :)

  38. I stocked up on canned pumpkin at the end of fall because it went on crazy sale. Time to use it up!

  39. These stuffed shells sound so easy, but rich and filling and hearty too! Definitely a great way to use up the random pantry jars of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving. :)

  40. I love any kind of stuffed shells!

  41. I have never ever had stuff shells. My husband is obsessed though. We watched cannelloni being stuffed the other day and now we have to try it out.

  42. I love anything with pumpkin. Long before Thanksgiving, and long after Thanksgiving, I am always in the mood for it. Thanks for the recipe. I can already taste the creaminess of the meal!

  43. Love the addition of pumpkin and you really never can go wrong with ricotta. Thanks for sharing :)

  44. I’m already obsessed with this recipe. Obsessed with it. I’ll check back in after I make them!

  45. This seriously made my morning. What a fabulous idea!!

  46. Mmm the perfect comfort food!

  47. I havent made stuff shells in ages, this sounds rich and delicious – love the use of pumpkin!

  48. These sounds great!

  49. I’m ’bout to stuff my face with these shells oh yes I am.

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