Stuffed Roasted Squash

Serves 2.

Note: This recipe is easily multiplied to feed whatever size gathering you are hosting. The squashes and the filling can also be prepped in advance and warmed just before serving. One-half of a squash is typically a good main course meal for an adult. From Emma Christensen of TheKitchn.

1 winter squash, like acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, spaghetti or any other grapefruit-sized (or slightly larger) squash

• Olive oil

• Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 c. filling; options include:

• 1/2 to 1 c. protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu

1 to 2 c. vegetables — onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, greens

1/2 c. cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans

• 1/2 to 1 c. shredded cheese

• 1 to 3 tsp. herbs or spices


Prepare the squash for roasting: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the lower-middle position. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds.

Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and place the dish in the oven.

Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, salt and pepper to your liking.

Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between the halves — it's fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.

Re-cover the pan with the foil and bake the halves for another 15 to 20 minutes until both are hot and bubbly. Top with extra cheese and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving (using an acorn squash):

Calories 370 Fat 21 g Sodium 690 mg

Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 10 g Calcium 245 mg

Protein 17 g Cholesterol 51 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1½ high-fat meat, 2 fat.