This recipe was made by our friend Lindsey Baruch, a Los Angeles based food photographer, recipe developer, food stylist + social media manager. She loves to share her travels, new recipes and restaurants on her Instagram page @lindseyeatsla. Outside of food, Lindsey participates in weekly kundalini yoga and loves going to electronic music concerts which you can find her sharing on her stories along with step by step recipes of what she's making for dinner.
We'll eat anything with mac n' cheese in the title! Our expert on making plant-based meals simple + delicious, Lindsey Baruch, has done it again. These butternut squash “cheese” stuffed shells are a tastier alternative to heavy, dairy-filled cheesy mac’ n cheese or stuffed pasta shells. We love this recipe because it's easy + packed with our plant-powered faves like roasted butternut squash, spinach, sage + our unsweetened almondmilk.
- 1/4th cup Califia Unsweetened Almondmilk
- 3-4 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews (in water overnight, allows for easy and smooth blending and sauce)
- 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (this is optional! if you want to use all soaked, you can)
- Lindsey's 5 spice: 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chile flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2-3 tsp good olive oil
- 1 box of large pasta shells
- 2 cups spinach sage for garnish
Start by making your roasted butternut squash. Cook the cubes in a 400-degree oven until cooked through + tender, add salt + pepper to taste. Place squash in a blender with 1/2 cup soaked cashews (just put them in water overnight), Lindsey's 5 spice, nutritional yeast, cayenne + olive oil. Blend until a thick paste/sauce forms. This will be for your stuffing.
Split the paste into half + leave the other 1/2 in the blender + add an 8oz can of tomato sauce or tomato sauce of your choice, the other 1/2 raw cashews + 1/4th cup of almondmilk until sauce forms, this will be the mac n cheese sauce. Set aside both the paste for stuffing and the sauce.
Start to sauté your spinach. All you have to do is heat a pan with 1 tsp olive oil + add in spinach until it wilts. Optional to add sage to fry it up as well. Once done, mix this with the butternut squash paste for the stuffing. While the spinach is sautéing, boil your pasta according to the package instructions, drain. You want them al dente.
Get a baking dish + place your butternut squash sauce on the bottom layer of the dish. Then, gently place the shells in your pan or baking dish + start to stuff them with your paste mixed with the sage + spinach. Top with more sauce and place in the oven just so everything is the same temperate + the flavors can combine, for about 10-15 minutes. Top with either pine nuts or cashews, spinach + sage. Serve alongside extra sauce, enjoy!