The cheesy polenta filling in this healthy stuffed squash recipe makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes, as well as a hearty vegetarian entree. If you can't find kobocha squash, try using a buttercup squash or pie pumpkin--or skip serving it in the hollowed-out vegetable altogether and use 2 cups of your favorite pureed winter squash in Step 5.

Lia Huber
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2015


Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Using a small sharp knife and working at a slight angle, cut a 3-inch circle off the top of each squash. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the flesh and skin of each squash with 1 tablespoon oil. Scatter garlic inside.

  • Roast the squash in a baking pan until the flesh is tender but the sides are not yet collapsing, 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, 1/4 cup sage and thyme; cook, stirring often, until the onions are just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add cornmeal, then whisk in broth. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, whisking frequently, until the cornmeal is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • When cool enough to handle, scrape about 1 cup of flesh out of each squash, leaving a layer in the shell so it retains its shape. Mash the flesh into a coarse puree and add to the polenta along with Carmody (or havarti) and Parmesan cheeses; stir well. Spoon into the squash shells.

  • Bake the stuffed squash until the cheese is melted and the polenta is steaming hot, about 20 minutes. Serve garnished with sage, if desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5; cover and refrigerate squash shell and polenta separately for up to 1 day; reheat polenta on the stovetop, thinning with a little broth, if necessary, before spooning into the squash and baking (Step 6).

Nutrition Facts

203 calories; protein 5.2g 10% DV; carbohydrates 16g 5% DV; dietary fiber 2.7g 11% DV; sugars 1.7g; fat 13g 20% DV; saturated fat 6g 30% DV; cholesterol 20.6mg 7% DV; vitamin a iu 1676.7IU 34% DV; vitamin c 3.9mg 7% DV; folate 14.4mcg 4% DV; calcium 156.5mg 16% DV; iron 0.8mg 5% DV; magnesium 22.2mg 8% DV; potassium 136.6mg 4% DV; sodium 322.3mg 13% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 7% DV.

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Rating: 4 stars
My 14 year old doesn't normally eat squash but he ate this up! I used 2 small acorn squash and made a half recipe of the filling which was enough for a weeknight side dish for four people. I used basic Aunt Jemima cornmeal as that's what I had on hand. It thickened and was tender in just a minute or two so prep was shorter than in the recipe. Pros: Simple tasty easy to substitute other squash or cheeses Read More