You are going to LOVE this scrumptious Stuffed Delicata Squash! This delicious vegetarian + vegan friendly recipe is loaded with fresh, savory flavors and so simple to make ... as perfect for an easy weeknight meal as it is for special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas!
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It's winter squash season, and delicata is one of my faves! This delicious squash is a breeze to work with: the skin is thin and tender, so there's no peeling required; and unlike some winter squash, it's easy to cut.
There are many ways to cook this versatile squash, but this gorgeous Stuffed Delicata Squash recipe is a favorite!
You are going to love this show stopping dish. It tastes just as good as it looks, and the savory, flavor-packed quinoa-veggie stuffing pairs wonderfully with the sweet, tender squash.
This healthy Stuffed Squash recipe is easy enough for weeknight dinners, and it's a great alternative to heavy holiday fair, too. This is the perfect vegetarian + vegan friendly entrée (or side dish) for Thanksgiving or Christmas that everyone at your table (including meat eaters) will love!
Ready to try this mouthwatering recipe for yourself? Keep scrolling for all the details!
You can find the ingredients for this Roasted Stuffed Squash at most grocery stores. Here's what you'll need:
- Squash - Delicata squash is an easy to work with winter squash that has a sweet flavor and creamy texture (similar to butternut squash). It's typically available from late summer through early winter. You will need two squash for this recipe, which makes four servings. If you're serving more than four people, simply double (or triple) the recipe.
- Quinoa - Quick cooking quinoa forms the basis for the savory filling. You'll cook it in vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon to make mine) for extra flavor. Don't have any quinoa on hand? You could also substitute a different grain or even couscous (check out my tips below).
- Onion + Garlic - You'll need one onion for the filling, plus two garlic cloves.
- Veggie Sausage - Vegan sausage gives these stuffing a delicious flavor and hearty texture. I used this Smoked Apple & Sage Sausage (one of my favorites), but other flavors (like this Italian Garlic & Fennel) would work great, too. You could substitute mushrooms (or other veggies), nuts, or even lentils for the sausage, if you prefer ... check out my tips below in the Variations section.
- Kale - Tender, sautéed fresh kale makes a wonderful healthy and delicious addition to the stuffing.
- Cranberries - Dried cranberries add a lovely sweet-tart flavor to the savory filling that's so delicious and perfect for fall!
- Lemon - Fresh lemon brightens up all the other flavors in the dish. You'll use both the zest and the juice for this recipe.
- Herbs - A combination of fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage works wonderfully with the other stuffing flavors.
- Salt + Pepper - For the best flavor, I recommend using kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
This delicious, meatless recipe is naturally vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, which means everyone at your table can enjoy it!
You'll Also Need
You'll need a baking sheet to roast the squash (these Circulon baking pans are my fave), a small pot (with a lid) to cook the quinoa, and a large frying pan to make the filling. A microplane zester (one of my favorite kitchen tools) also comes in handy for zesting the lemon. Tip: I lined my baking sheet with nonstick foil for easy cleanup!
How to Make Stuffed Delicata Squash
This recipe has a few different components to prepare, but it's surprisingly quick and easy! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Prep the squash. Start by scrubbing the outside the squash with a vegetable brush to clean it. Then cut the squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy pulp. Tip: Delicata squash has thin, tender skin so it should be easy to cut with a sharp knife. But if you're having trouble, pierce the skin with a knife a few times, then microwave it for two to three minutes to soften the skin before cutting. (Use a potholder when handling, it will be hot.)
- Roast the squash. Rub both sides of the squash halves with olive oil, then season the inside generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on your baking sheet, then roast until it's tender and browned on the edges.
- Cook the quinoa. While the squash roasts, cook the quinoa in vegetable broth until tender. When it's done, fluff it with a fork, then cover the pot, and set it aside.
- Sauté the onion. While the quinoa cooks, sauté the onion in olive oil just until its translucent and starting to brown.
- Brown the sausage. Next, add the veggie sausage to the onion, then cook it until it's browned.
- Add the garlic, kale, and cranberries. Once the sausage has browned, stir in the garlic and cook it until it's fragrant. Add the kale and cranberries, then cook it for a few minutes more, just until the kale is wilted and tender.
- Stir in the quinoa, lemon, and fresh herbs. Finish the stuffing by stirring the quinoa, lemon zest and juice, and fresh herbs into the veggie-sausage mixture. Then season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stuff the squash. Finally, stuff the filling into the roasted delicata squash boats and serve. Tip: This recipe makes a generous amount of stuffing. You can either scoop it all into the squash, or you can serve the finished dish over the extra filling ... this looks especially lovely if you're presenting the dish on a platter for a party!
Time to eat! Doesn't this quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash look gorgeous? This recipe is perfect for all your fall and holiday get togethers (hello, Thanksgiving + Christmas), because it tastes just as delicious than it looks!
Tip: Once you begin cooking, you will be busy the whole time. Before you get started, make sure to prep all the ingredients so they're ready to use when you need them.
This recipe is fun and easy to customize! Here are some ideas to try:
- Grains - Feel free to replace the quinoa with another grain, such as barley, farro, or wild rice. You could even substitute couscous.
- Sausage Alternative - If you're not a veggie sausage fan, you can use mushrooms (or other veggies), chopped nuts, lentils, or a combination of these ingredients instead.
- Greens - Instead of kale, use another green, like spinach or swiss chard.
- Fruit - Substitute a different fruit for the dried cranberries, such as fresh apples, golden raisins, or dried apricots.
- Herbs - You can make this recipe a combination of thyme, rosemary, and sage (like I did), or you can keep it simple and just use one herb. Fresh parsley, tarragon, chives, or basil would also be delicious.
- Cheese - This recipe would be delicious with a little goat cheese or feta added to the filling or crumbled over the top.
This vegetarian + vegan Delicata Squash recipe can be served as a main course or as a side dish. Try pairing it with a salad for an easy meal. It would delicious with this simple Green Salad, beautiful Pomegranate Salad, festive Kale Cranberry Salad, or this easy Chopped Salad.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for three to four days. Rewarm gently in your microwave.
Looking for more vegan and vegetarian squash recipes? Try these dishes next:
- Pumpkin Lentil Curry
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Pumpkin Pizza
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Frequently Asked Questions
Delicata squash is a type of winter squash known for its thin, delicate skin (hence the name) and its sweet taste. It has a long, cylindrical shape with green or orange stripes on the outside. You may also see it called peanut squash, Bohemian squash, or sweet potato squash.
Delicata squash has a sweet flavor that's similar to butternut squash. Once cooked, it has a smooth, creamy texture.
Yes, you can eat the skin of delicata squash. Once cooked, it becomes tender and has a slightly chewy texture with a nutty flavor.
No, you do not need to peel delicata squash. It has a thin skin that becomes tender and edible when you cook it.
Stuffed Delicata Squash
- 2 delicata squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 vegan sausages, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chopped kale
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (you will need 2 tablespoons juice)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut squash in half, then use a spoon to remove the seeds and any stringy pulp.
- Place squash halves on a baking sheet, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Use your hands to rub the oil over the insides and outsides of the squash.
- Season the insides of the squash generously with salt and a little pepper.
- Place squash cut side down on baking sheet. Then roast until tender and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- While squash roasts, combine quinoa, broth, and a pinch of salt in a small pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook quinoa for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork, then cover pot and set aside.
- While quinoa cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add onion to oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until translucent and starting to brown, stirring occasionally (about 5 to 7 minutes).
- Stir in sausage, then cook until browned, stirring occasionally (about 5 to 7 minutes).
- Mix in the garlic, then cook just until fragrant, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds).
- Add kale and cranberries, then cook until kale is wilted and tender, stirring constantly (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Stir in cooked quinoa, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Remove from heat, then season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon stuffing into roasted squash.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!