Stuffed pasta shells are a favorite for family style meals. In this recipe, the pasta is filled with a satisfying mixture of chicken, shallots, carrots, and arugula and then topped with grated cheese that melts and turns golden brown during baking. The shells are served with a pureed pumpkin and orange sauce alongside, for spooning over each portion. It's yet another way to make sure your kids get their daily dose of veggies.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 250 grams pasta shells (large)
  • olive oil
  • 130 grams bacon (chopped)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 50 grams arugula
  • coarse salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Ilha cheese (grated)
  • 200 grams pumpkin (diced.)
  • 1 orange (zested)
  • 200 milliliters water


  1. Cut chicken into small cubes.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Cook pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente, according to package instructions.
  5. Drain pasta and set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C (approximately 350°F).
  6. In a frying pan, heat olive oil and cook bacon until crispy.
  7. Remove bacon from pan, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  8. In the same frying pan, add more olive oil and sauté one chopped shallot until translucent.
  9. Add chicken and brown over medium heat until cooked.
  10. Add carrots and cook a few more minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and add arugula, toss well.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Fill pasta shells with shallot-arugula mixture and transfer to a baking dish greased with olive oil.
  14. Top with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  15. Meanwhile, in the same frying pan, add more olive oil and sauté remaining shallot.
  16. Add pumpkin, orange zest and juice. Let simmer until pumpkin is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Transfer cooked pumpkin to a blender and add hot water, as needed Blend until creamy.
  18. Serve the shells with the sauce on the side.
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