Have you ever seen a better vegetable for stuffing than the humble delicata squash? Each perfect yellow and green-striped edible tube becomes an ideal vessel for every sort of filling imaginable, no matter how you cut or cook it. I’m no stranger to the concept, but all sorts of inspiration has steered my seasonings in an entirely different direction since those first filled squash emerged from the oven.
Allow me to introduce to you a prime candidate for your new Thanksgiving main dish, replete with a very posh-sounding beluga lentil filling. Sparkling like legume caviar within their roasted golden delicata containers, these particular lentils eschew the typical autumnal spices found on every festive table in favor of more worldly flavors. Infused with an aromatic blend of cumin, mustard seeds, and jalapeno, this entry is guaranteed to spice up the traditional feast. Spiced rather than spicy, it’s designed to suit a wide range of palates, subtle enough not to offend those who appreciate less heat but want abundant umami to savor on their plates.
Complimenting that distinctive piquancy is a creamy cashew-based raita, replete with cooling mint leaves and crisp diced cucumber. Don’t even dream of skipping it; that rich final flourish ties together the meal, elevating the dish into something truly memorable. It’s the kind of surprisingly easy dinner that eaters will rave about for years to come, but by all means, don’t just save it for an annual event. Stuffed delicata are delightful all autumn and winter, if not beyond those seasonal boundaries, too.
Like all the best Thanksgiving dishes, stuffed delicata are rock stars for prepping in advance and waiting patiently until their solo arrives. Bake and stuff them as written, cover the casserole dish with foil, and simply reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 20 minutes when the party begins.
Beluga Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash
- 2 Medium Delicata Squashes (About 1 Pound Each)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Shallots, Finely Diced
- 1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Finely Diced
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Whole Cumin Seeds
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Whole Mustard Seeds
- 1 Cup Dry Beluga Lentils
- 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 2/3 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 3/4 – 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews Pieces, Soaked for About 4 Hours
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves, Roughly Chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 – 3 Persian Cucumbers, Finely Diced
- Although it’s the last addition to your stuffed squashes, it would be
wise to prepare the cashew raita first so that it’s ready to go when
you are. Thoroughly drain your soaked cashews and toss them in your
blender along with the chopped mint, lemon juice, water, and salt.
Puree, pausing to scrape down the sides of the canister with a spatula
as needed, until completely silky-smooth. This process may take longer
if you use a lower-powered model, but stick with it; that creamy texture
is important for successful raita. Once perfectly velvety, stir in the
cucumber pieces by hand. Store in an air-tight container and keep
refrigerated prior to serving.
- For the filling, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over moderate
heat before tossing in the diced shallots and jalapeno. Saute until
translucent before introducing the cumin and mustard seeds next. Cook
until the vegetables are lightly caramelized and the entire mixture is
highly aromatic. Add the lentils and broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes
when the lentils become tender. Add the coconut milk, vinegar, and salt
and pepper to taste. Keep the pot partially covered and simmer for an
additional 5 – 10 minutes, until the final liquid addition has been
absorbed. Cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut
both squash in half lengthwise and scoop out (but reserve) seeds. Place
each half with the cut sides down on a lightly greased baking sheet and
bake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the flesh.
Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before
- Reduce the heat to 250, toss the reserved seeds with just a splash of
oil and a pinch of salt, and roast for just 10 – 20 minutes, stirring
frequently to prevent them from burning. Once golden and crisp, let them
- To complete the dish, flip the roasted delicata squashes up to turn
them into edible boats and spoon the warm lentils inside. Serve the
cashew raita alongside for guests to top their squashes as desired, and
finish with a sprinkle of roasted seeds.
Stuffed delicata can be prepped up to 3 days in advance. Bake and stuff them as written, cover the casserole dish with foil, and simply reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 20 minutes when ready to serve.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.
Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk, 13.5 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12),Packaging may Vary
Certified 100% Organic Black Beluga Lentils Montana Pack of 2 454 g 16 oz each
NOW Foods, Certified Organic Cashews, Whole, Raw and Unsalted, Rich Buttery Flavor, Source of Fiber, Protein and Iron, Certified Non-GMO, 10-Ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 17g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1151mg Carbohydrates: 44g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 13g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 15g