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Healthy You

Mix & Match Stuffed Winter Squash Recipe

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 1:06 AM

By: Lauren McRae

Pumpkins are a "staple" squash of Halloween and generally, get all of the glory during the autumn season. However, there are many other types of nutrient-packed winter squash varieties that are flavorful and delicious to eat as the weather turns colder.

Winter squash is usually sweeter, denser and more firm in texture than summer squash or zucchini. It's versatile in that it can adapt to a wide spectrum of seasonings and can be used in various dishes like soups, pastas and casseroles, or it can be eaten on its own.

Winter squash gets its name for its hardiness. Even though it's harvested in the fall, these types of squash keep through the cold winter months. Choose squashes that are blemish- and bruise-free, with an intact step and heavy feeling for their size.

Winter squash is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Baked butternut squash is rich in vitamins from A, B6, C and E, as well as potassium, magnesium and manganese. Try this delicata squash recipe offered by Lori Bumbaco, Oncology Dietitian at NorthShore. It will definitely brighten up your dinners!

Why is this a Mix and Match Recipe?

Experiment with different types of Winter Squash: acorn, butternut, kabocha, spaghetti, or Hubbard. Adjust cooking time accordingly. 

Experiment with different types of Whole Grains: farro, wheat berries, sorghum, millet, bulgur, the list goes on and on!

Experiment with different types of Veggies: baby kale or mixed baby greens or leftover roasted veggies would be delicious!

Experiment with Dried Fruit and Nuts/Seeds: unsweetened versions of dried fruit, like dates or apricots great options. Pecans, hemp seeds, pepitas, pistachios, and walnuts are among some of the many types of nuts and seeds to try.


  • 1 delicata squash, washed and prepped in microwave
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of Sunflower seed oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 heaping handfuls baby spinach
  • ¼ cup dried unsweetened cherries
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds


  1. Scrub outside of delicata squash and prick with a fork to pierce the skin.  Place in microwave for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove and let cool. Be careful when handling, it will be hot!
  2. While the squash cools, heat a saucepan to medium heat and sauté garlic and shallot in olive oil for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add baby spinach, cooked quinoa, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally for about 5-10 minutes until spinach is wilted. 
  4. Meanwhile, slice open delicata squash and scoop out seeds. (Save seeds to roast). Take as little or much of the squash to add to the saute that you’d like. Create “boats” to use for stuffing the mix back into the squash.  Add cubed squash to the saute mix and heat an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add dried cherries and almonds to the sauté and remove from heat.
  6. Place the stuffing mix into the delicata squash boat. Enjoy!

Some of our favorite stuffed winter squash ideas!

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash