Stuffed Delicata Squash with Quinoa and Mushrooms

DinnerVegetarianDelicata SquashQuinoa

Looking for an easy meat-free dinner? This roasted delicata squash stuffed with mushrooms and quinoa is so flavorful and satisfying. Delicata is a quick-cooking squash, so this is a great midweek meal!

Photography Credit: Sheryl Julian

I’m a card-carrying member of the Delicata Squash Club. When I see mounds of delicata squash at the market, I make a beeline.

This squash takes so well to roasting — the sweet flesh hardly needs any adornment because it has so much flavor. The skin is also edible, so there’s no need to peel. After roasting, you can cut right through the skin with a fork!

I also love that delicata squash cooks more quickly than hardier winter squashes like acorn and butternut squashes. This makes it easy to cook on a weeknight.

For this recipe, I’ve cut the delicata down its length, scooped out the seeds, and roasted the halves whole. After roasting, I stuffed the roasted halves with red quinoa and sautéed mushrooms, and drizzled an easy citrus-yogurt sauce over top.

The timing works well: while the halves are roasting, you can make the filling. You can even make the mushrooms and the quinoa filling all in the same saucepan – no need to make more dishes.

Serve this stuffed squash alongside chicken or fish, or if there are vegetarians at the table, offer them two halves as an entree. The bright orange flesh topped with the red grain feels like a celebration.

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Quinoa and Mushrooms Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 main course servings or 8 side dishes

I use red quinoa for this recipe because I think the color is striking with the orange of the squash, but it's fine to substitute another kind of quinoa. Cooking times will be the same.

If you can't find shiitake mushrooms or they are too expensive, it's fine to substitute another kind of mushroom.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade

For the squash:

  • 4 medium delicata squash (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

For the filling:

  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Olive oil, to serve

Method

1 Make the orange-yogurt sauce: In a bowl, whisk the yogurt, orange rind, and orange marmalade; set aside.

2 Prep the delicata squash: Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds.

Set the squash on the baking sheet and brush the insides and cut surfaces with olive oil. Mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the squash halves.

Stuffed Delicata Squash Stuffed Delicata Squash

3 Roast the delicata squash halves: Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the halves are tender when pierced with a fork and golden brown at the edges.

If the halves have not browned, slide them under the broiler for 1 minute, and watch them carefully to avoid burning.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

4 Cook the mushrooms: In a small saucepan (you’ll use it later to cook the quinoa), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender. Add the soy sauce and orange rind and stir well. Transfer the shiitakes to a bowl.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

5 Toast and cook the quinoa: In the same pot used to cook the mushrooms (no need to wash or add more oil), add the quinoa. Toast over medium heat, shaking the pan often, for for 3 to 4 minutes or until the quinoa starts to turn a darker shade.

Pour in the water – stand back because it will splatter – and immediately turn the heat to low. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.

If there is water left in the pan, uncover it and continue cooking for a 2 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated or been absorbed.

Stuffed Delicata Squash

6 Assemble the quinoa: With a fork, fluff the quinoa. Stir in the mushrooms, any liquid in the bowl, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

7 Stuff the squash and serve: Fill each delicata half with some of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and the remaining parsley. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce over top and serve any extra alongside

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Sheryl Julian

Sheryl Julian is an award-winning writer, editor, and food stylist. She is the former food editor of The Boston Globe, co-author of The Way We Cook, and editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. Her food sections won Best Newspaper Food Coverage from the Association of Food Journalists in 2015.

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