Delicata Squash Ricotta Baked Shells

Dinner, Fall, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

I’m currently sipping tea, attempting to heal my sore throat that is feeling all raspy and weary. On Saturday night I went to Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios and screamed like the gigantic baby that I am.

Why is that we know it’s fake but believe it’s real. Lol. Our brains are so complicated.

Monsters and gremlins jumping out at me really drained my energy too because I’m currently a lil’ bit exhausted. Luckily I healed my self with a big Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a batch full of shells I had waiting for me in the freezer.

Let’s talk about shells today. Beautiful, big, glorious shells. I honestly have no idea why I don’t make them more. Whenever I make them,I’m like, why don’t I do this needs to be on a weekly rotation.

They’re also an amazing thing to gift. If you have someone in your life who is having a surgery, is sick, having a baby, etc., this is a great thing to drop off their house. They will love you forever.

You can also make this batch and eat half and freeze half.

This particular iteration is easy and delicious because it’s filled with a bit of ricotta cheese, parmesan and of course delicata squash because FALL.

I like that it’s veggie so it makes everyone happy. Mostly everyone anyway.

Lemme know if you make it!

Delicata Squash Ricotta Baked Shells

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound medium shells pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 delicata squash, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15-ounce container of fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 ounces of homemade or jarred, marinara (this can vary slightly), divided
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella


  • This recipe makes a pretty good amount so I recommend making two dishes (one for dinner and one for later). I made this in two 8-inch round baking pans. But feel free to use what you have.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the shells according to your package’s directions. For pasta that I’m then going to bake, I always cook it a minute or two under the recommended time. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
  • In a saute pan, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When warm, add the delicata squash and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a bunch of rounds of freshly ground pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until al dente. Set aside.
  • To a medium bowl, add the fresh ricotta, Parmesan, salt, egg, minced garlic and the reserved cooked delicata squash.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. The assembly takes a few minutes so this is the perfect time to preheat your oven.
  • To the bottom of one 8-inch round baking dish baking dish, add 1/2 cup of marinara sauce. Spread it around so it’s an even layer.
  • Scoop a teaspoon or two of the delicata squash/ricotta mixture into the shells and place them in the pan. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the shells, moving to the second baking dish when needed (be sure to add some marinara sauce to the bottom of that pan too).
  • Pour about a cup marinara on top and then sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the color is lightly golden brown. Garnish with Italian parsley and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper.
Serving: 4g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Rhonda November 6, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Wow that looks very delicious!

  • Reply Kammie November 5, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Looks super delish! Do you peel the delicata squash or leave it on when dicing?

  • Reply Celia Becker October 29, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Oh my, as always, you hit another home run. I look forward to trying this on a cold winter night. That looks like the best kind of healthy comfort food.

  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart October 29, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I had to look up what a delicata squash is. And, now I know that those pretty squashes I see in the supermarket aren’t just for seasonal decor! So excited to now have a recipe that I can make with them. 🙂 That skillet of shells looks soooo yummy. Thanks for sharing! (PS–I am also now craving a Cinnabun.)