Cooking Challenge: Stuffed Butternut Squash

by - Friday, November 12, 2010

One of the things I love about the transition from summer to fall is the emergence of fall squash: acorn, spaghetti, butternut. They are all so versatile and lend themselves to so many great recipes.

I picked up a nice butternut squash at the store last week, not sure what to do with it, but knowing the end result would be delicious.

I decided to make a stuffed butternut squash with some of the things I had lying around my kitchen.

My plan was to bake the squash whole, making it easier to cut, rather than trying to cut it in half first.

I pierced the skin of the squash with a knife, then placed it on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 50 minutes.

Piercing skin of squash

When it came out it was piping out and super easy to cut in half.

Halved butternut squash

After scooping out the insides, I set the squash aside while I prepared the filling.

Squash with middle cleaned out

This mix of whole grain rice and quinoa was the star of the show. It came in one of those 90-second microwavable pouches, and couldn't have been easier to prepare.

Quinoa and rice mix

Prep directions for rice mix

I have yet to find this in a grocery store in Maryland, so next time I'm home in PA, I plan to stock up.

While the rice was cooking, I went digging through my veggie drawer for an onion and a pepper, but it turns out my veggie drawer was pretty much empty. Guess I'll be restocking this week.

That also meant I had nothing good to mix in with the rice.

With the lack of veggies for extra flavor, I decided I'd spice things up with some cumin, after reading about Erin's butternut squash chili.

I generously sprinkled cumin in the rice and along the neck of the squash.

Squash sprinkled with cumin

Then I filled the squash bowl with the rice mix and dug in.

stuffed butternut squash

This cumin added a nice kick. The dish was slightly spicy and very yummy. Next time I'll make sure I have more veggies on hand to include in the filling.

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