Tender roasted delicata squash filled with a delicious Mediterranean farro mixture with nuts and dried fruit. These stuffed delicata squash halves make a hearty side next to roast turkey breast or an impressive vegan main with your favorite salad. Be sure to check out my video, no-fail tips, gluten-free option and more below.
What is delicata squash and what does it taste like?
Delicata squash (also called peanut squash, sweet potato squash, and Bohemian squash) is a gourd with thin pale yellow skin, striped in green, and a bright orange flesh on the inside. It has a similar flavor to butternut squash and acorn squash—sweet, slightly nutty, with a gorgeous velvety texture like sweet potatoes!
Unlike other winter squash varieties, the skin of delicata squash is edible, making it less fussy to prepare.
But what excites me most about delicata is its smallish oblong shape. When halved and hallowed of their seeds, delicata squash make an ideal vessel for stuffing! And if you’ve been reading my site for a while, you’ve seen plenty of stuffed vegetables (I’m a big fan), but I’m actually new to stuffed delicata squash and I’m so glad I tried it.
If I am hosting a holiday party, I like to give my guests options, and this vegetarian recipe is a great alternative for my vegan friends and for those who don’t want turkey.
This stuffed delicata squash recipe is at once impressive looking and satisfying. Yet, it’s so simple to prepare that you don’t need a special occasion to serve it.
Delicata Squash with a Mediterranean farro filling– a festive side or vegetarian main!
There are two components to this delicata squash recipe: tender roasted delicata squash and the wholesome, perfectly seasoned grain filling with farro, nuts, and some dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries.
You’ll start by turning the delicata into vessels to carry the filling. Simply cut the delicata squash in half and scoop out the seeds, brush with some good EVOO and then roast until tender.
While the squash is roasting, you’ll get to work on the simple farro filling.
Then you’ll just scoop the delicious filling into the roasted delicata squash halves when ready. Squash with a warming farro filling is great for any night of the week. Just whip up a quick side salad and you’re good to go!
Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe
- 2 delicata squash, similar in size
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Farro (or grain of choice)
- Green onions, white and green parts
- Fresh garlic, minced
- Nuts such as walnuts and hazelnuts. You can use other nuts of your choice like pistachios, pecans, or pine nuts. And if you are not a nut fan, you can omit them.
- Dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, or chopped up dried figs and apricots
How to make stuffed delicata squash
This easy recipe begins with roasted delicata squash halves that have been hallowed of their seeds to make room for the delicious Mediterranean grain filling (or stuffing). Once the squash is in the oven, you'll work on the stuffing. Here is how to make it (the print-friendly recipe is just below):
- Cut the squash. To make the delicata squash easier to cut, place the whole squash into the microwave and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t skip this step! It makes halving the squash so much easier. I recommend donning oven mitts when removing it from the microwave – the delicata squash gets HOT! Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Roast the squash. Remove the seeds and brush the flesh with olive oil. Season with kosher salt, and half of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Place flesh side down on a large baking sheet, and roast in a 425 degrees F heated oven until tender. Remove, flip, and roast for a further 5 minutes, until the flesh gains some golden-brown color.
- Prepare the filling. Cook 1 cup of farro in 2 cups or so of salted boiling water according to package instructions. Farro is ready when it is tender, but still a bit chewy.
Sautee chopped shallots, green onions and garlic in a bit of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt just until tender (3 to 5 minutes). Add in a little nutmeg and cinnamon with the cooked farro and nuts. Toss everything together until warmed through.
- Assemble the stuffed delicata squash. Arrange roasted squash halves on a pretty serving platter and spoon the farro mixture into each squash cavity. That's it!
Serve it with
For a special dinner (or the holiday table), winter squash is the perfect addition next to turkey, lamb rack, or my earlier citrus chicken. But you can serve these stuffed squash as a vegetarian main, drizzeld with a little herby chermoula and served with a festive beet salad, shaved brussels sprouts salad, or roasted cauliflower salad.
Variations and Ingredient Substitutions
- Use a different winter squash if needed. If you can’t find delicata squash, you can use acorn squash or butternut squash and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Keep in mind that halved butternut squash will take significantly longer to roast than the much smaller delicata.
- Change up the grain filling! If you don't have farro or want to try something else in the filling mixture or stuffing, you can try barley, bulgar, or even couscous. For gluten-free options, try quinoa or basmati rice. Just cook 1 cup of the grain according to package instructions and follow from there.
Make ahead tips
To save time, you can roast the delicata squash and make the filling a day in advance, keeping them in the fridge each in their own separate container. Before assembling, warm the squash in the oven and the filling in a skillet for a few minutes.
Additional recipe FAQs
Yes! Delicata squash skin is thin enough that you can eat it once the squash is cooked.
If the squash is too hard to cut through, put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes! Place the whole raw squash on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes. Warming the delicata in the microwave will tenderize the skin just enough for your knife to go through easily. Be sure to wear oven mitts when removing the squash from the microwave! This hack works for all winter squash. the whole raw squash into the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. This will soften the skin enough for you to cut through easily. Wear oven mitts when removing the delicata squash from the microwave.
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Roasted Stuffed Delicata Squash
For the squash
For the filling mixture
- 1 cup farro
- Kosher salt
- 1 shallot chopped
- 2 green onions white and green parts, trimmed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ⅓ to ½ cup walnuts
- ⅓ to ½ cup hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in the middle.
- Wash the delicata squash and dry well. To make it easier to slice, place them (whole) in the microwave and warm for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove them from the oven and slice each in half length-wise (use an oven mitten or wait until the squash is cool enough to handle). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds making a cavity for the filling (discard the seeds or you can clean and roast them for later use).
- Brush the flesh, cleaned side of the delicata squash with olive oil (including the cavity). Season with kosher salt. Mix the ground cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl, and season the delicata squash with ½ of this mixture.
- On a large baking sheet, arrange the delicata squash halves, flesh-side down.
- Roast in the heated oven for 25 minutes or until fully cooked and tender. Using a pair of tongs, flip the squash over and return to the oven for just 5 more minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. First, cook the farro in boiling salted water according to package instructions (mine took 2 cups of boiling water and 20 minutes of cooking time. Farro should absorb the cooking liquid. It is ready when it is tender and somewhat chewy).
- In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, cook the shallots, onions and garlic over medium heat, tossing for a bit, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Season with kosher salt and the remaining nutmeg and cinnamon. Add in the nuts and dried fruit, and cook until warmed through. Add the cooked farro and toss to combine.
- Assemble the stuffed squash. When the squash is ready, transfer the squash halves to a serving platter. Spoon the farro filling into each squash cavity. Serve!
- Recipe variations: you can use a different winter squash in this recipe such as acorn squash or butternut squash (keep in mind the roasting time will vary). You can also use a different grain for the filling mixture. Pearled barley, bulgur, rice, or couscous will work.
- Gluten-Free Option: replace the farro with quinoa or rice for a gluten-friendly filling mixture.
- Leftovers and storage: keep leftover cooked squash and filling in separate containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can enjoy them at room temperature or warmed in a medium-heated oven.
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients, including grains, extra virgin olive oils and spices.