Moroccan Chickpea-Stuffed Acorn Squash


Think of this healthy vegetarian side dish recipe as a meatless tagine served in a squash bowl. Kabocha, sweet dumpling or carnival squash make good alternatives to acorn squash. To make this side a hearty vegetarian meal, serve 2 halves each.

Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
8 servings


  • 4 acorn squash (about 5 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeds removed

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 cups cubed winter squash (1/2-inch), such as kabocha or butternut

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 ¼ cups water

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

  2. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it will sit nicely when stuffed. Brush the insides with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared pan. Bake until tender but still firm, 40 to 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, finely grind cinnamon stick, coriander and cumin seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Tap the mixture into a small bowl and stir in paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne to taste, turmeric and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Stir the spice blend into the onion and add cubed squash; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and their juice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

  6. Fill each baked squash half with about 1 cup of the chickpea stew.



To make ahead: Refrigerate stew (Steps 3-5) for up to 2 days. Reheat before filling the baked squash.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

267 Calories
7g Fat
49g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1/2 stuffed squash each
Calories 267
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 7g 14%
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Vitamin A 3309IU 66%
Vitamin C 39mg 43%
Folate 106mcg 27%
Sodium 442mg 19%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 4mg 21%
Magnesium 112mg 27%
Potassium 1146mg 24%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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