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Stuffed Delicata Squash

Here's a delicious way to enjoy delicata squash - stuffed with a bread and sausage stuffing reminiscent of Thanksgiving. It's easy to eat with the skin of delicata squash being edible and just needs a side salad or green vegetable to go alongside.

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Stuffed delicata squash on a platter with greens, with plates and wine glasses in the background.

What is Delicata Squash?

Squash can generally be broken into two groups – summer squash and winter squash. The main difference between the two is their skin – summer squash has a thin skin and winter squash has a thick, tough skin. Then, there’s delicata squash. Delicata squash belongs to the winter squash family, but has a delicate skin (see where the name comes from?) that you can easily slice through AND that is edible. I think for this very reason alone, delicata squash is my favorite winter squash. When you make stuffed delicata squash, it’s super easy to prepare and to eat – no scooping of squash out of its skin, just slice and eat. Plus, it’s a really pretty squash.

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Two delicata squash on a burlap towel.
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Four halves of delicata squash on a baking sheet - three with seeds scooped out and one with seeds still in.

How to Roast Squash

As with any squash, once you slice delicata squash in half you’ll find a cavity with seeds inside. Scoop the seeds out and season the inside of the squash with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

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Four delicata squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet with an orange towel.

Cooking Time for Roasted Squash

Always place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. This traps the steam from the squash and helps it keep its moisture as it cooks through. How long it takes to roast depends on how thick the squash is, but generally 20 to 25 minutes is sufficient.

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Roasted squash on a baking sheet.

Vegetarian Stuffed Squash

The stuffing made for this recipe has sausage included, but that doesn’t mean that YOU have to include it if you’d prefer a vegetarian option. You can keep it simple and just omit the sausage, change the chicken stock to vegetable stock and leave everything else the same. If you want to add something to replace the sausage, some lightly toasted chopped pecans would be especially nice. 

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Sausage and breadcrumb stuffing in a bowl with a wooden spoon and an orange towel.

Stuffing Variations

There are other options for varying the stuffing for this recipe. If you’re not a fan of pork, just substitute turkey or chicken sausage instead. To make the stuffing gluten-free, you could use a grain like quinoa or rice instead of the bread cubes, reducing the chicken stock to just enough to moisten the recipe – about ¼ to ½ cup. 

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Baked Stuffed delicata squash on a baking sheet.

Baked Stuffed Squash

Once the squash has had its preliminary roast and you’ve made the stuffing, you just have to marry the two together and give it a final bake. You can pause at this stage before the final bake if you like. Leave the stuffed squash out on the counter for an hour or two before baking, or refrigerate it for any longer period of time. 

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A white plate with half a stuffed delicata squash, a side salad, a glass of red wine.

What to Serve Alongside

A small stuffed squash could serve as a side dish (or cut a large one in half), but I think this stuffed delicata squash is a really tasty and delightful dinner with just a side salad or a green vegetable. Make a simple vinaigrette and toss some mixed greens and tomatoes. Or make it really feel like Thanksgiving and serve Brussels sprouts on the side.

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Stuffed Delicata Squash

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 50 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 5 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • cups ¼-inch bread cubes
  • 2 medium delicata squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces mild Italian sausage raw
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes and then transfer them to a large bowl.
  3. Slice the delicata squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on the sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes. (You can toast the crumbs and roast the squash at the same time if both will fit in your oven.)

  4. While the squash is roasting, make the stuffing. Remove the sausage from its casing, breaking it into chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Add the sausage and brown it, breaking it up into small crumbles. Transfer the browned sausage to the large bowl with the bread cubes using a slotted spoon.

  5. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the onions and celery and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms, dried thyme and sage and sauté for a 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the sausage and bread cubes, along with the chicken stock and cranberries. Toss to combine all the ingredients and to allow the bread cubes to absorb all the liquid. Stir in the beaten egg and fresh parsley.

  6. Remove the squash from the oven and carefully turn it cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each squash half. Return the pan with the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until squash is fork tender and stuffing is browned on top.
  7. Serve immediately with vegetables or a side salad.
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Comments (2)Post a Reply

  1. Hi, I was wondering if this would be a tasteful with gluten free bread. As it has a sweeter taste than regular breads.

    This looks absolutely delicious and I would love to make this for our dinner, however,
    I do need to look at a gluten sensitive person who would be dining with us.

    Thanks, love your recipes.

    1. Hi Shari. I don’t cook with gluten free bread or flour very often, but I think if you like the taste of gluten free bread, I think it would work fine for this recipe. You could also substitute the bread out and use rice or wild rice.

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