This Thanksgiving recipe has a lot of moving parts, but the ingredients are most likely ones you'll have on hand to make your Thanksgiving side dishes anyway, like sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberries.

In short, it’s Thanksgiving in a shell.  The good news is to cut down on time, you can make everything except the pasta shells the day before.  You can also buy items that are already prepared, such as vegan gravy, cranberry sauce, etc.  So you can make this as homemade or “semi-homemade” as you wish.  It’s a delicious combination of flavors and it looks beautiful on the plate – bright red cranberry drizzle, brown gravy, green garnish and orangey sweet potatoes.  I hope you enjoy this special meal.

Total Time: 4 hours
Prep Time: 1.5 hours (all items except shells can be prepared the day before and reheated before assembly.  You can also save time by buying prepared ingredients such as vegan mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.)
Cook Time: 2.5
Level: Advanced
Serves: 10 shells (serves 3-4 people)

Thanksgiving Shells








Cornbread Stuffing

  • 1 package prepared cornbread stuffing mix
  • Celery, onion, and broth – or other ingredients per stuffing package directions

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 c. potatoes, diced
  • 1 T. Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 T. Silk Cashew Milk
  • ½ t. salt or to taste

Sweet Potatoes

  • 5 c. sweet potato, diced
  • ½ T. Earth Balance Butter
  • ½ T. Silk Cashew Milk
  • 1 T. agave nectar
  • 1/8 t. fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ t. salt
  • Pepper to taste

Mushroom Gravy

  • 1 T. Earth Balance butter
  • 5 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped Portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ c. vegetable broth
  • ¼ c. Silk cashew milk
  • ½ t. salt

Cranberry Sauce

  • 2 c. fresh cranberries
  • ½ c. cranberry juice
  • ¾ c. agave nectar
  • Zest of ½ lemon

Other Ingredients

  • 10 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 links of Field Roast brand sausage (Apple Sage or Italian seasoned)
  • 6 diced chives


Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

Prepare stuffing according to package directions.   Remove Field Roast sausage from wrapper and cut into very small crumble.  Add 1 cup of the cooked stuffing to the Field Roast crumbles. Set aside.  Keep warm.  Reserve the remaining stuffing for leftovers or Tomato Soup with Cornbread Stuffing recipe.

Mashed Potatoes

Cover diced potatoes with cold water in saucepan.  Bring to boil until fork tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Drain.  Add Earth Balance, cashew milk, and salt.  Set aside and keep water.

Sweet Potatoes

Cover diced sweet potatoes with cold water in saucepan.  Bring to boil until fork tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Drain.  Add Earth Balance, cashew milk, agave, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Mash and keep warm.

Mushroom Gravy

Heat Earth Balance and 1 T of the olive oil in pan.  Saute mushrooms and garlic for five minutes until mushrooms are softened.  Add broth.  Simmer for an additional five minutes until mushrooms are fully cooked.  Add cashew milk and stir until fully incorporated.  Pour contents into food processor and drizzle in oil while blending.   Blend until fully incorporated.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cranberry Drizzle

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil – cranberries will pop.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Put in blender or food processor until fully blended and smooth.  Set aside and keep warm.

Pasta Shells

Cook 15 pasta shells.  You will only need 10 but this will allow for any breakage.  Cook the shells thoroughly until al dente, approximately 10 minutes.   You will not be baking them in the oven like traditional pasta shells, so they should be ready to eat when removed from water.  Drain and begin filling the shells.


Put about 2 T. of mashed potato on a plate. You will later put the shells on top of the potatoes to keep them from moving on the plate.

Fill each shell as follows:

  1. Please 1/4 c. of the breadcrumb sausage mixture in the shell using a spoon or an ice cream scoop.
  2. Place about 1 T. of sweet potato on top of sausage mixture.
  3. Place 2 stuffed shells on top of mashed potato mixture on plate and secure them so they don’t slip.
  4. Drizzle mushroom gravy and cranberry drizzle on plate near shells.
  5. Garnish with chives

Serve with green salad and bread sticks.



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