Stuffed delicata squash is a healthy, filling and delicious meal. And it’s so easy.
Why should you stuff Delicata Squash?
First of all, delicata squash is tender and small enough to easily slice in half with a sharp chef’s knife. Once you scrape out the seeds and pulp, you have perfect boats for stuffing. And for bonus points, the skin is thin enough to be eaten. That means you don’t have to peel this beautiful squash.
Secondly, stuffed delicata squash is super-easy to prepare and goes with so many different flavors. For example, my favorite recipe is this vegetarian version filled with sautéed baby spinach, quinoa, apples, Serrano chili, shallots and tofu. Yes, tofu. And my husband, Carnivorous Maximus, had no clue there was tofu involved until the moment he reads this. When he asked what I was making yesterday, I was a little vague. “Oh some stuffed squash for the blog. I need to concentrate on the recipe. We can talk about it later”, was my uninformative response. At the end of the meal, he volunteered that it was “pretty good” – high praise for a vegetarian dish. So, see my serving suggests below if you want to get your meat eaters to rave about this dish.
Thirdly, this is a great dish for your Thanksgiving table, because it’s gorgeous, delicious, and perfect for making ahead. When you’re ready to make the dish, roast the delicata squash boats for 20 minutes, scoop the filling into the boats, and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
Although this dish is seriously packed with flavor without any meat, feel free to add some chorizo, bacon, spicy sausage, or shedded pork or chicken for the meat lovers at the table.
If you serve this as an entree, all you need is a big green salad and some cornbread or polenta to make it a total meal. If you want to serve it only as a side dish, you can simplify the recipe and nix the tofu and quinoa, and keep everything else the same as in the recipe. Totally up to you.
Make this vegan by eliminating the cheese.
Stuffed Delicata Squash
- 1 cup cooked white quinoa
- 2 delicata squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/8 + 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 Serrano chili seeded, and finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 apples cored, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup or more)
- 2/3 cup chopped very firm tofu, drained
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 bags pre-washed baby spinach
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
- Coarsely chopped parsley garnish
- Toasted pumpkin seeds garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Slice off the ends of the delicata squash, and slice in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the pulp and seeds so that you have 4 squash 'boats'. Place on a baking sheet facing up, and lightly oil with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the Serrano chili, shallots, and apple until everything is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tofu, raisins, sage, cinnamon, the remaining salt, and pepper, and continue to cook for 5 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add the lemon juice and spinach leaves. Using tongs, move the spinach around, gently tossing it with the other ingredients in the pan. In less than 5 minutes, the spinach should be wilted. Add the cheese, and toss.
- When the delicata squash is tender, spoon the filling into each scooped out cavity. If the filling has cooled, slide the filled squash back into the oven for a few minutes to reheat.
- Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and roasted pumpkin seeds. The squash can be served whole or sliced into 3" wide crescents.
If you’re looking for more delicata squash recipes, here’s my Winter Squash and Pepper Quinoa Pilaf from years ago. I’ll get around to re-photographing it one day. It’s a simple one-dish meal of roasted delicata squash, late season peppers, and caramelized red onions, all tossed in orange scented quinoa. So good! Make it vegan by swapping out the honey for agave nectar.
For more winter squash ideas, check out my Healthy Winter Squash board on Pinterest!
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