Sweet Dumpling Squash Stuffed with Lemon-Herb Rice

by on November 18, 2008
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Sweet Dumpling SquashOne of my favorite ways to cook winter squash is to roast it simply with lemon, salt, and pepper. So when I brought home these beautiful sweet dumpling squash and started thinking about how to use them, my first impulse was toward the simple lemon treatment. But these little cuties are just the perfect size for stuffing, and it would have been a shame not to take advantage of that. I decided to combine the two impulses and stuff them with a old favorite—lemon-herb rice.

I served these stuffed squash as a side rather than a main dish, alongside baked tofu. But if you’d like to make them the centerpiece of a meal, try sautéing cubes of lemon-marinated tempeh along with the onion and increase the amount of soy sauce and herbs a little. If you’re preparing them for your holiday meal, they can be made ahead of time: After you fill the cooked squash with the rice mixture, cover them tightly and refrigerate. Put them into the oven about a half hour before serving.

Sweet Dumpling Squash Stuffed with Lemon-Herb Rice

Sweet Dumpling Squash Stuffed with Lemon-Herb Rice

(printer-friendly version)

If you want to make the rice look more lemony, add a little turmeric with the lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 3 Sweet Dumpling or other small winter squash
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1/2 large lemon (such as Meyer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 cup minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh, minced)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds and strings. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place face-down on an oiled baking sheet (I used a silicone sheet liner). Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender. (Different types of squash will take different lengths of time. Test by piercing with a fork in thickest areas.) Remove from oven but keep oven turned on.
  2. While the squash are cooking, prepare the lemon-herbed rice. Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil, heat, and sauté the onion until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the rice, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, and herbs. Stir well, cover, and cook on low heat just until warm. Add the toasted pine nuts and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Stuff the rice into the cavities of the squash. Place them upright in a baking dish and drizzle about a teaspoon of water over each. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until hot throughout. Serve warm, garnished with additional fresh herbs, if desired.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 161 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (13% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 177mg Sodium; 3g Fiber. Weight Watchers: Core / 3 Points.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mxtine July 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

This was my first time trying sweet dumpling squash. It’s mild and creamy. This recipe is delicious!!!

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2 Tricia September 27, 2010 at 7:40 pm

What a wonderful recipe! The rice was full of flavor and the squash was a divine combination. Thanks for sharing!

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3 Mareile November 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Now I finally know what those tiny pumpkins and squashes are good for! Delicious =D

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4 April at Kitchen Blender Reviews November 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm

I have had two little acorn squash setting on my counter for some time. The cute winter squash are so cute, but my creative recipes for cooking it are few. I love that they are nice serving bowls too. Beautiful pictures.

I can’t wait to try this recipe. I think I may sub millet for the rice. I am trying that grain out and need ideas to use it up.

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5 Sharon November 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Thank you! This was the star of our newly vegan Thanksgiving table.

When does your cookbook get published?

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6 Carolyn McGoldrick December 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m always looking for new ways to make Fall/Winter Squash because I love them. This one was so good! Absolutely loved it and will definitely make it again and again. The one thing I did differently was use Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce and didn’t use the pine nuts because I’m allergic, but other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe. Thanks again!

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7 Zirconia November 6, 2011 at 12:19 am

do you think subbing quinoa (sp?) for the rice would work well in this?

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8 Susan Voisin November 6, 2011 at 6:21 am

I think it’d be delicious!

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9 Ginger November 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I just bought one of these and will prepare it this way. Plus, I’m going to save the seeds to plant in my garden next summer.

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10 Erin November 16, 2011 at 8:51 am

Isn’t this the cover shot for Nava Atlas’ new book?

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11 Susan Voisin November 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

Yes! It’s one of several in the book that appeared first on this blog. I shot the rest of the photos specifically for Nava.

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12 Erin November 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

It’s gorgeous, and was a big part of getting me to buy the book without being able to look inside — sounds like I should be buying your book instead! Is the recipe in there? Mine should be waiting when I get home, but I haven’t seen it yet!

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13 Susan Voisin November 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thanks! They didn’t use my recipe for this (though I have 5 others in the book) but Nava has at least two stuffed squash recipes and one is so similar that it looks like this photo. It’s called Rice and Pecan-Stuffed Squash and it’s on page 24. I hope you like the book!

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14 B'klynHeart November 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I can’t wait to try that! I’m getting to know all of my squashes and that just looks so beautiful… and the recipe sounds like it also *tastes* beautiful! Thank you!

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15 Colleen November 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

This was great! We cooked extra squash and added two cans of Navy Beans and had leftover for the next day lunch.
Thanks for the great recipe that the whole family loved.

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16 Korine November 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I’m embarrassed to even be asking this question because I think I know the answer, but I’m just learning to cook with winter squash… You do eat the fleshy inside part of the squash, right? So as you go to get a bite of rice, you scrape off some squash with the spoon?

Hoping to do a trial run of this recipe for Christmas dinner on Thanksgiving!

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17 Susan Voisin November 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

That’s exactly right, Korine! I always try to get a bite of both when I eat stuffed squash. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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18 Korine November 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm

They were delicious! I couldn’t decide if I wanted the squash stuffed with brown rice or quinoa, so I used a mixture of both. :) These adorable squash will be joining your seitan roulade on the table for Christmas! Thanks so much!

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