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5 from 3 votes

Delicata Squash Ricotta Baked Shells

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins


  • 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