Creamy Butternut Squash & Cashew Shells

This dish was made in collaboration with the Alberta Wheat Commission for their campaign Life’s Simple Ingredient.

I love this recipe because it’s plant based (obviously), made with whole foods, and tastes SO deliciously indulgent … but it’s not!

The star ingredient of this dish is the wheat based pasta!

What I love about this campaign is that they are propelling the idea that wheat is “Life’s Simple Ingredient.” The Alberta Wheat Commission has launched this campaign to remind consumers that wheat is one of the oldest, simplest ingredients available. It is not added sugar, it is not fattening, it is not some dietary villain.

They are bringing wheat back into a positive light. It is wholesome. It is something that people can be proud of serving to loved ones. The idea behind “Life’s Simple Ingredient” seeks to make people get to know their food. Get some flour on their hands, get involved with making their food, and get reacquainted with the world’s original staple ingredient.

So, with that in mind, I encourage you to make this wellth approved dish for all the pasta lovers in your life!

Want to learn more about the Life’s Simple ingredient campaign? Click here

what you’ll need:

  • 1½ cups cubed butternut squash

  • 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • Jumbo shell pasta

cashew cream

  • 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 1 garlic clove

  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon

  • pinch of salt & pepper


  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach

  • 1 cup firm tofu, crumbled

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • pinch of red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup cashew cream (from the recipe above)

  • pinch of salt and pepper

the steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tbsp of olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper. Roast until golden brown, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.

  3. To make the cashew cream, drain the cashews from their soaking water. Transfer to a high-speed blender and blend together with cold water, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

  4. To make the filling, warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil & add the mushroom, sauté until tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach, it will wilt in the warmth of the skillet. Add in the roasted butternut squash, crumbled tofu, thyme, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper & 1 cup of cashew cream.

  5. To assemble the shells, spread ¼ cup of the reserved cashew cream on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the shells in to the baking dish (they will stay put because of the cashew cream). Fill each shell with some of the filling. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove from the oven and serve.

*adapted from Love & Lemons