Bacon Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
I know. You’re sick of pumpkin recipes this year. Join the club. But, I wanted to throw you a pumpkin curveball with a recipe that uses pumpkin in a savory way instead of all the sweet stuff you’ve probably been seeing. That’s why these Bacon Pumpkin Stuffed Shells need to be on your dinner table this week.
Nothing says fall to me like a big bubbling, cheesy baked pasta dish and this one has surprisingly few ingredients, but also really great flavors. The combo of slightly sweet pumpkin puree with crispy bacon and creamy gouda cheese is pretty hard to beat.
Stuff those shells, people. Bring pumpkin into the savory universe!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop bacon and add it to a skillet over medium-low heat. Let cook until fat renders out and bacon is crispy. Remove bacon from skillet when it’s crispy. Drain off grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, and paprika to the skillet and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in pureed pumpkin along with half of the crispy bacon and gouda cheese. Combine well and then remove from heat. Season the pumpkin mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook shells according to package in salted water until they are al dente. Be careful not to overcook the shells or they will be harder to stuff.
- Drain pasta and rinse the shells with cold water. Then work with one shell at a time and spoon in a big spoonful of pumpkin stuffing into each shell. Place the stuffed shell in a baking dish. Continue until you finish all the filling. You should get around 20 shells.
- Cover shells with the rest of the cheese and crispy bacon bits. Bake shells at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and shells are hot, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove and garnish with chopped chives. Serve while warm!
Bacon Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
To start this dish, you need to crisp up some bacon. I recommend chopping the bacon and adding to a large skillet over medium-low heat. This will slowly render out the fat and leave you with perfect crispy bacon bits.
Remove the bacon from the skillet and leave enough bacon grease to measure about 2 tablespoons (you can eyeball it).
Then add the onion, garlic, and paprika. A pinch of salt and pepper wouldn’t hurt here also.
Cook those until the onion is soft and translucent. Then add in the pumpkin puree and half of the bacon. Be sure to just buy pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix!
Stir that all together on your stove. Once the flavors are combined, remove it from the heat and stir in half of the cheese.
Cook the shells according to the package, but be sure to not overcook them. They are almost impossible to stuff if they are overcooked and soggy.
Then work with one shell at a time and stuff them with a big spoonful of the pumpkin filling. Line them up in a baking dish as you stuff them.
You should be able to get about 20 shells out of the filling, maybe more. You should be able to fill a 9×13 baking dish with the shells. Then sprinkle them with bacon and the rest of the cheese.
Bake these at 350 degrees F. for about 20-25 minutes until the center is hot and the cheese is bubbling and melted.
Garnish the shells with some chopped chives and you’re ready to eat!
These bacon pumpkin stuffed shells have some great flavors going on. If you’re a pumpkin fan, or a baked pasta fan, give them a shot!