Squash is an undeniable fall favorite. Full of fiber, flavor, and comforting as can be, it’s one of those ingredients that complements almost every dish. But there’s a lot more to squash than slicing, roasting, puréeing, and serving as a soup or oil-drenched side. In fact, one of the best ways to serve squash is stuffed.
So move over, turkey, there’s a new stuffer in town. These 17 stuffed squash recipes can be made vegan-friendly, meat-friendly, cheese-free, and cheese-covered. No matter your preference, there’s a recipe for you—and one that you’ll fall in love with.
We often buy pumpkins and stuff them with candles, but have you ever eaten out of one? We hadn’t until we tried this amazing recipe—and let us tell you: We’ll think twice about throwing out our next jack-o’-lantern. Made with sausage, coconut oil, cranberries, chopped almonds, and more, this dish is everything we love about Thanksgiving and Halloween combined into one.
Quinoa, avocado, Greek yogurt, cheese… what’s not to love about this? Though it looks fancy, it’s insanely easy to make. Simply roast the squash, cook the quinoa while it bakes, mix the grains with black beans and veggies, and when the squash is ready, stuff it and top it. To make it vegan, sub cashew cheese and pass on the yogurt.
This Paleo- and Whole30-friendly recipe includes all of our favorite fall flavors but skips out on some of the more indulgent ingredients, like butter, maple, and bread. We love that it sneaks in greens by adding spinach and that the sweetness (and a little crunch) comes from apples. What we love even more: The chef-status browned topping that can only be achieved by broiling.
Budget recipes may not scream flavorful, but don’t let the descriptor fool you. This super-affordable recipe is stuffed, spiced, and sauced in all the right ways and will more than satisfy your taste buds. Double the recipe if cooking for guests (you’ll want leftovers) and feel free to top with a dash or two of chipotle hot sauce.
This recipe is as pretty as a Christmas cookie but has way more health benefits. Packed with fiber, greens, protein, and plenty of herbs and spices, it’s a great dish for entertaining and getting in the fall spirit. We love subbing mushrooms for the chickpeas, spinach for kale, and cherries or golden raisins for cranberries to change things up—because yes, we make this recipe that often.
We love fall—if you couldn’t tell—but stuffed squash doesn’t only work with fall flavors. This recipe skips the oh-so popular butternut and acorn squash and opts for the humble zucchini. It also ditches the Thanksgiving-esque fillings and instead uses ground chicken, tomato sauce, and melted cheese. The recipe works well with any kind of tomato-based sauce and is equally as tasty with ground turkey or beef.
Don’t let the 20+ list of ingredients scare you. This recipe is primarily made up of spices (and some juices), with chicken, chipotle chilies, couscous, squash, and cheddar cheese starring as the leads. While we love a good healthy substitution every now and again, we love the richness that comes from the generous serving of butter. That said, coconut oil would be a great alternative.
We love stuffing, but we couldn’t eat the butter-drenched bread dish every day. This recipe, however, takes some of the best stuffing flavors—pecans, celery, thyme, maple syrup—and mixes them with couscous, a lighter carb that’s equally as effective at binding together all of the deliciousness. To cut down on cook time, roast the squashes a day in advance.
These bruschetta hummus stuffed zucchini couldn’t be simpler. Start by roasting the squash until the flesh is soft enough to scoop out, spread dollops of hummus where the flesh used to be, top with the tomato mixture, sprinkle panko and basil across each boat, and roast again. For a little extra flavor, add a few drops of pesto above the layer of hummus.
If you’re looking for the perfect mix of crunchy and soft, sweet and savory, and indulgent yet healthy, search no more. We love the textures of the celery contrasting with the squash, the flavor of the sausage mixed with shiitake and the sweetness of delicata, and the Parmesan topping that’s light while also giving the recipe a savory, rich top-off. We wouldn’t change a thing.
It isn’t every day that we see the combination of squash, curry, and tahini. And it’s a shame we don’t, because it’s freakin’ delicious. It’s also vegan! Experiment with other grains, like farro or quinoa, if you don’t love rice, and feel free to use walnuts or sliced almonds if you don’t have pecans on-hand.
Another stuffing-inspired dish that opts for couscous instead of bread, this hearty recipe checks all the marks. With crunch from scallions and nuts, sweetness from dried berries and brown sugar, and an irresistible flavor from secret ingredients like curry and parsley, we can honestly say has never looked (or tasted) so good.
We don’t know how or why it took us so long to discover squash burrito bowls. The sweet, fleshy delicata is the perfect host for rice, beans, and avocado galore, and can be mixed and matched in any way you please. Want to make it vegan? Skip the dressing and cheese—the recipe honestly doesn’t need it. Craving protein? Add ground chicken or turkey, sausage, or chorizo. Want it extra spicy? Spice the squash with a teaspoon of cayenne and whip out the hot sauce.
We’ve been talking a lot about cheese. And while we’ll never stop loving it, not all recipes need it. In fact, some are better completely without it (we know: It’s wild). These simple squash bowls are stuffed with a light and bright arugula salad mixed with an apple cider vinaigrette. Serve as a side or bulk it up with more veggies (like fennel), nuts (like pepitas), or protein to make it a touch more filling.
Not sure what to do with all of those leftover mini pumpkins? To be honest, we didn’t even know you could eat them until we found this recipe. The wild rice, shredded Brussels sprouts, and manchego cheese are a nice departure from traditional bread, celery, and Parmesan, and we love that these mini servings mean we can definitely eat two—heck, even three.
With recipes like these, we actually can eat pizza all the time. While we’re all about moderation, even when it comes to healthy recipes, we love that this dish gives us everything we adore about pizza—oozing cheese, tart tomato sauce, and spicy pepperoni—without the food hangover. Top with fresh basil instead of pepperoni to make it vegetarian.