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from "Passionate Vegetarian" by Crescent Dragonwagon

Hard-shelled, green ribbed acorn squashes make convenient individual serving cases for stuffing, with their contrasting, slightly sweet orange flesh. They are often teamed with a sweet stuffing or drizzle of honey or maple syrup, but I prefer a savory filling such as this, essentially a gratinéed stir-fry of early fall's bounty. Feel free to add any fresh or dried herbs you like to the breadcrumb topping. Try serving this with a scoop of Lemon-Basil Rice Pilaf with White Wine.

Serves 4
 Passionate Vegetarian

4 small-to-medium or 2 large acorn squash, prepared for stuffing
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Pickapeppa sauce*
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooking spray
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons tamari or shoyu soy sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup fine crisp breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil

* FreshDirect Note: We've substituted a different brand of hot pepper sauce which should provide similarly tasty results.

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1. Scrape out a little of the softened squash flesh (much will still be firm and not want to come out, which is fine, because you want a nice sturdy shell for stuffing.) Dice the scraped-out squash flesh and set aside.
2. Combine the honey, Pickapeppa, and paprika and rub both the interior of the squash and the cut edge of the top hats lightly in the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shiitakes. Lower the heat slightly and sauté until they, too, start to get limp, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 clove garlic, the zucchini, tomato, and tamari. Raise the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the zucchini is no longer raw and the tomato is almost melted into the mixture. Add the reserved squash flesh. Season with salt and lots of pepper. If using, stir in the Parmesan, along with 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs. Remove from the heat and set aside.
5. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine the remaining breadcrumbs with the remaining 2 cloves garlic, the parsley, and oil. Set aside. Mound an equal portion of the filling into each of the 4 squashes. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the stuffed squashes and their lids in the prepared baking dish. Bake until the topping is nice and brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately, with the top hat propped up next to each little squash.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Acorn Squash - $1.49/lb
  White Onion, Large - $1.99/lb
  Shiitake Mushrooms, Packaged - $4.29/ea Save! 2 for $8
 approx. 3.5oz
  Organic Green Zucchini - $1.99/lb
  Beefsteak Tomatoes, Large - $2.99/lb
  Italian Parsley - $1.29/ea
 approx. 4oz
  Yamasa Tamari (Wheat-Free and Organic Soy Sauce) - $4.49/ea
 5fl oz
  Progresso Plain Breadcrumbs - $2.49/ea
Optional Ingredients
Grana Padano - $17.99/lb
You May Already Have
  Spice Supreme Paprika - $1.29/ea
  La Baleine Fine Sea Salt - $4.69/ea
  Just FreshDirect Tellicherry Peppercorns (Refill) - $4.99/ea
  Just FreshDirect Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Mediterranean Blend - $10.99/ea
 33.8fl oz
  Peeled Garlic - $4.99/ea Save! 2 for $6
 approx. 8oz
  Stiles Apiaries 100% Pure Honey - $7.99/ea
  Cholula Hot Sauce, Original - $4.29/ea
 5fl oz
  Pam Original Cooking Spray - $4.29/ea
Estimated Total:  
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