Butternut Squash Shells + Double Sauce = Virtual Vegan Potluck #2

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck! I had such a great time making a dessert and going through everyone’s posts last time, and I can’t wait to see what people have done this time around! And how it’s grown! For a complete list of participants, click here; otherwise, enjoy following the links each blogger will post connecting you to the next person in the potluck.Without further ado…

You know when you have a grand idea and you keep thinking about it, but then you go to the store to get your ingredients and check the package and realize that wonton wrappers (which you’ve never used before) are made with eggs and your “egg” roll (oh, right…I suppose that was an obvious one, right?) appetizer idea is now a bust? You know that feeling? That was me amongst all the Halloween shoppers after work today, and so began my roaming about the store. I strolled by some large shells and decided they would work. To me, an appetizer falls into one of several categories: soup, salad, finger foods, and things on a stick. I had to figure out a way to make stuffed shells fall into one or more of those categories to prevent it from being a main dish, and this is what I ended up with: butternut squash stuffed shells…on a stick…which is removable…turning it into a finger food, with a tomato or basil dipping sauce. It makes sense…perfect sense.



  • 12 cooked, large pasta shells (boil in salted water for 12-14 minutes – be careful to not overcook)
  • 1 cup reserved starchy pasta water
  • 6 cups ice water
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 2 whole cloves garlic (these will roast with the squash)
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 tbsp plain soy yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with the chopped garlic, salt, and pepper and evenly lay out on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Meanwhile cook the shells. Once they are finished cooking, take them out of the boiling water and place them in the ice water to stop the cooking process. After about two minutes, remove the shells from the ice water and let them dry on a clean towel. When the squash is finished, let it cool and then put it in the blender with the basil and yogurt and puree. You may need to add a few tablespoons of starch water to get the blender going (I did). Once the squash reaches a slightly chunky consistency, carefully spoon it into the shells. When the shells are stuffed, lay them out on a foil-lined baking sheet, holding them together with a toothpick. Combine the panko and garlic powder. Sprinkle the tops of the shells with the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, throwing on the broiler in the last five minutes to brown the tops.

Tomato Sauce


  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic cove, chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable broth
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp agave nectar


Cook down the garlic and shallot in the vegetable broth in a saucepan. Add all other ingredients, stir together, and let simmer to a thick sauce. Add some starchy water to thin out if necessary.

Note: at this point I was done. I sat down to taste all my food. Good, but after a day of teaching teenagers on Halloween, I’m sure you can imagine the unholy amounts of candy that came through my classroom. Feeling kind of blah, this tomato sauce with the stuffed shells was all feeling a bit heavy to me, so I thought, a different sauce might fit this better. Thus became…

Basil Cucumber Sauce


  • 1 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 1 peeled, seeded, and squeezed cucumber, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


After drying the cucumber out as much as possible by squeezing it in a clean towel, cube it, and drop it in the blender with the other ingredients until you reach a smooth consistency.

Note: I liked this sauce better.

Pour your sauce, plate your shells, and serve it up.

An aside…thank you to those who put together the VVP! You are all awesome!

To see what That Was Vegan? has made and to continue on your delicious vegan gorging click here or on the button below.

Or to see any of the other posts, go back to the VVP participant list. (I recommend starting with dessert).

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Party Food, Pasta, Uncategorized, Vegan, Virtual Vegan Potluck and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Butternut Squash Shells + Double Sauce = Virtual Vegan Potluck #2

  1. veghotpot says:

    ooo yummy!!! This looks like my sort of food – really comforting and delicious! I like the idea of a cucumber sauce I will have to try that!

  2. Anna says:

    That looks so great!

  3. I think I might eat too many of these and spoil my appetite for the next course…

  4. trueindigo says:

    What a fresh start to the potluck!

  5. nburgart says:

    That looks amazing. I’m ready to give this a try sometime very soon.

  6. Butternut squash and panko… I’m sensing a (very delicious) pattern here! 🙂 These look great, and I love the use of the shells. I’m a huuuuge pasta fan!

  7. Food Stories says:

    Just making my way through the VVP & wanted to say hey 🙂

  8. That is a refreshing start for a wonderful potluck!
    I love the idea of the cucumber sauce..sounds super refreshing

  9. Galen says:

    That sauce looks delicious.

  10. Funny, Bar – I never made the “egg roll” connection – ha! Very inventive save and those little buggers look YUMMY!

  11. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    This is such an awesome idea! I’m gluten-intolerant, and one of the things I’ve been craving the most is egg-roll type foods, I would have never thought to use pasta shells! (gluten-free ones for me, of course) This is so creative!

  12. Yum, those look good! Also wanted to mention that you can find wanton wrappers without eggs. I’ve found eggless ones at Korean/Asian grocery stores if there’s one near you. Though, the ones at mainstream grocery stores do tend to have eggs in them. You can also make your own pretty easily if you can’t find them near you.

  13. Sophie33 says:

    A great & tasty vegan stuffed pasta shells dinner! I love the greenish 2nd sauce also the best! a real win win combo! Yummy too! I loved making my dish for the VVP! It was so much fun creating new recipes!

  14. Pingback: Butternut-Sausage Stuffed Phyllo Cups

  15. kara says:

    What a great idea to use pasta shells. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Lolly Busey says:

    Just starting my journey through the Virtual Vegan Potluck and had to read (and salivate over the pictures) your post twice. Oh. My. Gosh. My mouth is watering! YUMMY!

  17. What an original twist to shells; I love it!

  18. Somer says:

    I love these stuffed shells! I’ll bet they taste incredible!

  19. Brittany says:

    These look amazing. I am literally salivating, I LOVE stuffed pasta’s and this one is on my list of to makes!

  20. gigiveganville says:

    These are adorable, I can never find vegan wonton wrappers, so these do the trick!

  21. That looks amazing! I just need to find a gluten-free shell. 🙂

  22. Tiffany says:

    What a great idea!

  23. Richgail Enriquez says:

    Ooo yum, this seems simple but delectable. I wana try. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. What a delicious idea – love these 🙂
    Thank you!

  25. Great recipe, never thought of combining butternut and basil…
    Thank you for the great recipe.

  26. Those look absolutely delicious and so creative!

  27. Delicious post to start off the potluck line. The stuffing and the sauces sound yummy. 🙂

  28. Julie says:

    I would never thought of using stuffed shells as an appetizer! They look great!

  29. I haven’t had pasta in a long time. This looks super yum!

  30. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for vegan wonton wrappers. Supposedly such a thing exists, but I’ve had zero luck. Regardless, your stuffed shells sound wonderful!

  31. Vanessa says:

    I love the idea of pasta as an appetizer! Yum!

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