On Thanksgiving day, plate real estate is a buyer’s market. That’s why I love this recipe. In fact, I think it is kinda genius, if I do say so myself. It combines two Thanksgiving sides into one and doubles as a Vegetarian entrée. So you can serve these stuffed squash cut in half as a side dish or keep them whole as a vegetarian entrée for the non-turkey gobblers.
Plus because the stuffing physically goes on top of the squash, taking up only vertical square inches, you then have more lateral plate real estate for Green Beans with Walnuts and Balsamic, Herb Smashed New Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Orange. By the way if you’re wondering, here’s my favorite turkey recipe by fellow New England Culinary Grad and food science dork, the always thorough, Alton Brown.
- 3 large delicata squash
- 4 slices day old multi-grain bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 3 cups or 5 oz.)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 small apple, peeled and diced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ¾ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth, such as Imagine “No Chicken”
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Cut delicate squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp from the center. Lay cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake until just soft when poked, 35 to 40 minutes. [It will continue to cook in another step, so don’t let it get too mushy] Remove from the oven and carefully turn cut side-up.
- Meanwhile, spread bread on another large baking sheet and toast in the oven until dry but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, melt butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, apple, shallot and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to prevent from browning too quickly if necessary, 8 to 10 minutes total. Let cool slightly.
- Whisk broth, egg, sage, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture and stir to combine. Stir in bread and pepitas. Mound stuffing into the cooked squash halves, about 2/3 cup stuffing each. Return to the oven and roast until the stuffing is hot all the way through and golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes minutes.