Pumpkin Chili Stuffed Shells in Butternut Squash Sauce

With today (Oct. 17, 2018)  being National Pasta Day, I thought I would share with you one of my newest and tastiest recipes yet! Pumpkin Chili Stuffed Shells! Yes – PUMPKIN Chili. In all honesty, you don’t even taste the pumpkin. But, you are still getting all the health benefits from it! You wouldn’t believe there’s an entire can in there.

What’s nice about this recipe is that it is a two for one deal. You get the Pumpkin Chili Stuffed Shells recipe along with just a really great chili recipe. So, if you aren’t in the mood for stuffed shells and just want a bowl of chili, just make the chili. It’s healthy, hearty, and very warming. You can make it with whatever ground protein you have, too. Instead of ground beef, try ground chicken or turkey. If you’re into #MeatlessMonday, grab a bag of the meatless ground. You can tailor this recipe to fit you and your family. You can even stop for a rotisserie chicken on your way home, shred that up and skip the ground meat all together.

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Pumpkin Chili Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 30-35 minutes | Servings: 8-10  | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

6 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb ground protein (Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Plant-Based)
1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 Poblano pepper, small dice
5 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 – 15oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
1 – 15oz can of cannellini beans
1 – 15oz can red kidney beans
1 – 15oz can 100% pumpkin puree
2 boxes of large shells
2 jars of butternut squash pasta sauce
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions

1. In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground protein and brown. Remove from pot and set aside.
2. In the same pot, add the diced onion and diced poblano pepper. Cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally – until the onion starts to turn clear. Add the garlic and cook and additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and cardamom. Stir spices around, letting them cook about 1-2 minutes. This will make them fragrant and help them open up.
4. Add the stock, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, pumpkin puree, and reserved ground protein. Stir until combined. Cover and let cook for 30-35 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
5. While the chili cooks, boil the large shells about 1-minute shy of their cooking time. Drain and rinse under cold water.
6. Add 1 1/2 jars of the butternut squash sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish.
7. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
8. Once the chili has cooked, fill each shell one at a time with chili filling. Place each shell in dish with butternut squash sauce. It will be crowded, that’s okay.
9. Once the dish has been filled with stuffed shells, spoon the remaining 1/2 jar of sauce over the shells and sprinkle with shredded Gruyere cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for any remaining un-melted cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

 

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