Butternut Squash Shells & Cheese

Below is a healthier twist on a comfort food classic!  This recipe is whole-wheat and contains no butter – aside from butternut squash, that is!  A great way to work some veggies into a favorite dish.  The best part?  It will please the whole family!  Leave a note and let me know how it turns!


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes



  • 2 cups whole wheat medium shells
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/3 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs (for topping)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra cheese (for topping)



  1. Steam butternut squash for 15-20 minutes, or until soft
  2. While squash is steaming, bring a medium pot of water to a boil
  3. When water reaches boil, add pasta and cook 10-15 minutes, or until al dente
  4. Preheat oven to 350
  5. Remove butternut squash from steamer, add olive oil, and finely mash with a fork or in a food processor
  6. Drain pasta and return to pot
  7. Add mashed butternut squash to pasta
  8. Stir in remaining ingredients (except for toppings)
  9. When well-mixed, transfer to a medium baking dish (I use 10×10)
  10. Top with bread crumbs and extra cheese
  11. Bake on 350F for 20-25 minutes



Salmon and spinach cake, steamed zucchini, butternut squash shells & cheese



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