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As you can tell from my recent recipe for Mini Sweet Potato Enchiladas, we’ve been eating a lot of sweet potatoes lately.

One of my new favorite meals for the fall is a recipe from my sister for Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells, inspired by a recipe we found on Pinterest.   But of course, we had to make it better. 🙂 Instead of the classic Italian version with ricotta and marinara sauce, we added caramelized onions, apples, and goat cheese, and topped it with a sage butter sauce.

This recipe is a perfect side for Thanksgiving if you have any vegetarians attending, or if you just want to switch things up from the standard menu!

Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells with Caramelized Onions
and Sage Butter Sauce

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, shaved or chopped small (we used Gala)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped fine (can use dried as a substitute)
  • 8 tablespoons butter


Sweet Potato Shells

  • Preheat over to 375°.
  • Cook sweet potatoes and mash well.
  • Saute onions in butter on low heat for a half hour or until softened*. Add garlic powder and salt. Reduce heat and cook 25-30 minutes until deep golden brown, stirring slowly. Add apples and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Add thyme and pepper into cooked onion mixture.  Stir in broth and bring to a boil; cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes and goat cheese.
  • Spoon mixture into shells; place in a large greased baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan and add sage.  Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.  Spoon over cooked shells and serve.

*Chef FYI: True caramelized onions take about 45 minutes to make, stirring while they brown slowly.  Have as much patience as you can, but you can always settle for browned onions.