Stuffed Thanksgiving Pasta Shells

Jonathan, The Candid Appetite

Whether you’re using up Thanksgiving leftovers or making it from scratch, this pasta dish is the ultimate comfort food mash-up! It might be a complete turkey dinner stuffed inside a pasta shell, but the real star of the show is the luxurious cheese sauce. This classic béchamel sauce starts with a roux, which is a mixture of butter and flour cooked to make a paste that helps thicken the milk sauce. Cheese then gets stirred in to create a delicious sauce for this great pasta dish!
15 min Prep Time
45 min Cook Time
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Servings: 6-8

Servings: 6-8


  • Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded leftover cooked turkey
  • 1 ½ cups dried stuffing mix
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pound dried jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Cheese Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon granulated onion
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Step 2

Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and the thyme and sage. Stir in the green beans and turkey and cook until warmed through, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3

Transfer to a large bowl, and add the stuffing mix, stock and dried cranberries and mix until well incorporated. Set the mixture aside to cool.

Step 4

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Season liberally with salt and add the pasta. Cook until almost done, not completely, as it’ll continue to cook in the oven. Drain and set aside.

Step 5

To make the sauce, add butter to a saucepan over low-medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for about 30 seconds or so. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened. Season with the spices and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses until fully melted through.

Step 6

Pour half of the sauce into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Fill each pasta shell generously with the filling and placing it in the dish. Continue until the entire filling is used, you might not need all of the pasta shells (especially since some will be damaged through cooking). Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with scallions before serving.