Polenta-Stuffed Kabocha Squash

Polenta-Stuffed Kabocha Squash

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2015

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.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 2½- to 3-pound kabocha squash
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup fresh sage, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup fine- to medium-ground cornmeal
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or no-chicken broth
  • 6 ounces Carmody or havarti cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Roast the squash in a baking pan until the flesh is tender but the sides are not yet collapsing, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, ¼ 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 information

  • Serving size: about ½ cup
  • Per serving: 203 calories; 13 g fat(6 g sat); 3 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 14 mcg folate; 21 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,677 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 156 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 322 mg sodium; 137 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (34% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, ½ vegetable, ½ high-fat meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 1

November 13, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
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
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