This vegetarian stuffed squash recipe fills roasted delicata squash boats with quinoa, tofu, apples, raisins, spinach and Parmesan cheese. It's the perfect weeknight dinner and dinner party entree, or a delicious side dish for the meat eaters at the table.
The stuffing can be made ahead, or made while the squash roasts. It's super easy to put together since the skin is completely edible, meaning there's no need to peel the skin.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Stuffed squash dishes like this delicata squash recipe are ideal for vegetarian dinners that look special, but don't take a lot of fuss.
For example, stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, apples and figs can be a gorgeous, filling main dish for Thanksgiving. And my carnivore loving husband says my stuffed acorn squash with cornbread, apples and charred peppers is his favorite vegetarian dinner. And stuffed peppers with a Jambalaya mixture of rice and red beans is a great vegetarian recipe for Mardi Gras.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe for delicata squash
- One of the many reason I love Delicata squash is that it has a thin, edible skin. So there's no need to peel it. And it's super easy to slice and scoop out the seeds.
- This squash makes perfect "boats" for stuffing.
- It's a filling vegetarian dinner that's vegan, and full of protein.
- The quinoa can be made ahead.
- The entire filling can be made ahead, or made while the delicata squash roasts.
- Roast the delicata squash in the air fryer to save roasting time.
- This dish is gluten free.
- It's gorgeous enough for a dinner party, but simple enough for a weeknight dinner.
🧅 Ingredients + Notes
- Cooked white quinoa - if you don't care for quinoa, substitute brown rice or even wild rice.
- Delicata squash
- Serrano chile
- Apples - both Fuji and Honeycrisp are perfect!
- Tofu - extra firm (optional)
- Raisins - either yellow or brown raisins are fine in this recipe.
- Herbs and spices - fresh sage leaves, ground cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Lemon juice
- Baby spinach
- Vegan "Parmesan" cheese
- Fresh parsley - optional.
- Roasted pumpkin seeds - store bought or make your own spiced pepitas (optional). Or grind them up to a pumpkin seed meal using a mini-chopper to sprinkle the pumpkin seed meal over the stuffed squash.
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this stuffed delicata squash are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Make the quinoa. If you don't already have cooked quinoa on hand, make it first and set it aside for cooling.
Press. Press the tofu to drain.
Roast. Prep the delicata squash halves into "boats" and roast.
Make the stuffing. Sauté the chile and shallots for a few minutes, and add the apple. When it begins to soften, add the tofu, raisins, herbs and spices. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the lemon juice and spinach. When the spinach wilts, stir in the cooked quinoa and cheese.
Stuff. Stuff the roasted delicata squash with the stuffing. If it cools down too much, just slide back into the oven to reheat a bit.
Serve. Serve with chopped parsley and roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- Make the quinoa ahead of time, and store in a container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Some markets sell frozen cooked quinoa in their freezer cases. It only needs to be steamed for a few minutes to be ready to use.
- Press and drain the tofu ahead of time, or use a tofu press.
- Make the stuffing ahead.
- Eliminate the herbs and spices except for salt and pepper.
- Nix the tofu.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
Tofu has a lot of liquid in it, so be sure to press it before cutting it up. Wrap the tofu with paper towels, and place between 2 cutting boards, with the top one weighted by a skillet. Or use a tofu press.
💡Ideas for Possible Variations
- Swap out quinoa for rice.
- Top with breadcrumbs such as these Browned Butter Breadcrumbs instead of roasted pumpkin seeds, or ground pumpkin seed meal.
🍽 Side Dish Ideas
Air fryer Brussels sprouts is a wonderful fall side dish, as is this Garlic Roasted Cabbage.
Roasted carrots are another great side with this dish.
If you only want a salad, go with a simple salad dressed in a vinaigrette. (This one is from my cookbook.)
Or stay with the apple-ish theme, and serve an apple chutney on the side.
This Easy Buttermilk Cornbread is another winner side dish with this stuffed delicata.
Is delicata squash high in carbs?
Not compared to most other winter squash. For example 1 cup delicata squash has about 8 grams of net carbs versus 13.6 for butternut squash. Spaghetti squash is even low with 5.5 grams of net carbs.
Do you have to peel delicata squash?
No, since the skin is thin, it's completely edible.
Can I make this dish ahead?
Yes. The entire dish can be made ahead, but I don't recommend stuffing the delicata squash until it's reheated.
And I don't recommend storing the roasted delicata squash in the refrigerator after roasting for more than 2 days, as i can be become soggy.
Reheat the stuffing separately, and then stuff the squash.
📇 More Delicata Squash Recipes
Delicata Squash and Apple Galette
Spicy Delicata Squash Salad with Kale
Spicy Squash Boats With Fruity Quinoa Pilaf
Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe
- 1 cup cooked white quinoa
- 2 delicata squash
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ½ Serrano chili seeded, and finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 ½ apples cored, and diced (about 1 ½ cup or more)
- ⅔ cup chopped very firm tofu, drained
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 bags pre-washed baby spinach
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
- Toasted pumpkin seeds garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook the quinoa if you don't have any on hand.Drain the liquid from the tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel and placing it on a cutting board. Place another cutting board on top of it, and weight it with a heavy skillet.
- 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'. Arrange on the parchment paper lined baking sheet, facing up, and lightly oil with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lightly 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 drained 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 cooked quinoa and cheese, and toss.
- When the delicata squash is tender, spoon the filling into each scooped out cavity. If the filling cools too much, 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.
What a gorgeous squash recipe!! And I love that quinoa is in the filling---so delicious!!!
So many fabulous flavors in there I might even not notice the tofu! Beautiful photos by the way.
We definitely have to get Carnivorous Maximus and my beloved together. The two of them would have tales to tell about how we have gotten them to love dishes (what, there is tofu in this?) they definitely didn't intend to enjoy. My recent adventure was getting my beloved to eat Jane's vegan chili. When he realized there was no meat or gluten, you should have seen the look on his face! Anyway, I'm not experienced in using delicata squash, but this post makes me want to run right out and find one. Gorgeous dish, and so tempting.
This looks so good and exactly the kind of dish The Artist loves me to make. And it may just make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table! Thanks Susan!
This is so lovely, Susan! While I consider myself a carnivore, I'm just as happy with a vegetarian meal, too and I'd be super happy with this. What a great meal to serve vegetarians over the holidays!
Love the carnivore and vegetarian options for this. And well, you know I love delicata squash my winter squash twin!
This sounds so delicious. I'm planning it for tomorrow with a zesty organic ground breakfast sausage. Would you recommend cutting the amount of quinoa to accommodate the added volume in pork. Also i was unclear on the directions where you state to scoop out the pulp and seeds so have squash boats. What do you do with squash pulp and seeds? I imagine these are incorporated into the dish somewhere? Are they roasted with the squash boats?
great recipe. i roast face down, and i toast the delicata seeds for garnsih.
Needed a quick dinner and I had the squash but not a lot of the ingredients. Substituted dried cranberries for the raisins. I like them better and love the color. Onions for shallots. Chopped fine and sauteed. Kale for the spinach.
Used veggie saugage with sage and added celery leaves and parsley (had to use up). My daughter got vegan cheese on hers and I used parmesean on mine. And Harissa for heat. It was delicious. Maybe someday I will try the recipe as is, but it came out great thanks.
The Wimpy Vegetarian
I like recipes to be flexible, so we can add what we have in our own refrigerators. If we have to make a special trip to the store to make a quick dinner, it's no longer quick. I'm glad you gave it a try!! Your version sounds delicious!!
What pretty colors this squash has! I have never eaten a delicata squash before. I will definitely be on the hunt for this squash, as this recipe sounds delicious!
This tasted so amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing this super easy to make stuffed delicata squash recipe! Fam really loves it! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!
Really easy to prep and make. So yummy too. The squash took longer to bake than the directions state. I omitted the Serrano peppers, tofu, and chili powder (I didn’t want it to be spicy and I just didn’t have tofu). I think feta would be good with this too. I had some leftover meatballs from the night before that I added and it was really good.
The Wimpy Vegetarian
I'm so happy you enjoyed it! As you found, it's also very adaptable to food preferences and what you have on hand. Thanks so much for letting me know!
What a fantastic recipe! Our family loves quinoa, and it's perfect for the delicious filling in the tender squash. Love all the colors, textures and flavors!
The Wimpy Vegetarian
Thank you so much! I'm thrilled that you loved it!!!!