If you've been around here before, you probably know that I love recipes that I can change up with the seasons or with what I have in the pantry. Stuffed squash is one of those recipes. There are so many variables, you can make a huge variety of stuffed squash versions without getting bored with it.
Today I want to share with you two versions that I made, and lots of ideas to change it up!
Watch Me Make It
Squash - in the summer, this is a great way to use up the prolific zucchini. I love yellow zucchini for this because they grow very straight. But the green variety is just as good! You can even use yellow summer squash, just scooping out the bulb end. In the Fall, grab a handful of winter squash and enjoy! I often stuff acorn squash, but carnival squash and delicata squash are also amazing. Use what you have, it will turn out great!
Stuffing options - the base of your stuffing can be bread, rice, quinoa, or couscous. Flavor it up however you want. You can even just use a leftover rice dish from dinner the day before. Or, get wild and crazy and stuff your squash with leftover lasagna, chili, or sausage with peppers & onions! I hate wasting food, so I love using leftovers to stuff squash!
leftover stuffing from the holidays (or just make a small amount)
quinoa w/ broccoli and cheese
spanish rice with cotija cheese
pasta and sauce with parmesan
rice, shredded brussels sprouts with craisins and chopped pecans
cilantro lime rice
Want More Protein?
I love keeping my stuffed squash vegetarian, but that doesn't work for everyone! If adding some more protein to the dish makes it more palatable for you or your family, go right ahead. Many people choose to serve the stuffed squash as a side dish to a protein. This is a great option, especially for summer squash as you can cook both your protein and your squash right on the grill.
Or, you can easily add protein to your stuffing. Simply chop up leftover chicken, steak, sausage, shrimp, or even tofu and stir it into your filling before stuffing the squash. Because you don't cook the stuffed squash very long, you will want to be sure the meat is cooked before adding it to the filling.
If you watched the video above, you know everything you need to know to make stuffed squash in your kitchen. However, if you also want to see the steps in writing, here it is. It's super simple!!!
Wash and prep your squash
Whether or not your squash has edible skin, you want it to be clean before cooking it. I just wash might with water, but if you have a squash with dried-on mud, you might even use a brush and soap. Just be sure you rinse it well.
Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. This is obvious with the winter squash, just use a big spoon to scoop out the big pulpy seed pouch. For zucchini, it's not as clear. You simply have to use a knife and spoon to scoop out enough of the center to make a boat.
Coat the cut edges with a little oil, and sprinkle a little salt on the squash.
Bake the Squash
Place the squash, cut side down, on a parchment (or foil) lined baking pan.
Bake the squash at about 375F until tender. This will vary a lot depending on the size and type of squash. Zucchini will usually be soft in about 20 minutes, acorn typically around 30 minutes. But don't walk away, check them often and remove from oven when the squash seems tender.
Or grill it! Because zucchini cooks faster and we are often grilling in the summer, you can wash and prep your squash as indicated above. Then place cut sides on the grill, until you get some nice grill marks. Once you have grill marks, determine if the squash is tender yet. If not, move it away from direct eat or move to the oven to finish.
Make the Filling, Stuff the Squash
While your squash is cooking, make your filling (or warm up the leftovers). It is best if the filling is warm/hot before stuffing the squash.
When the squash is tender, fill it with stuffing, top with cheese if you would like, and place it back in the oven to allow any cheese to melt and everything to be completely warmed through.