Wondering how to cook delicata squash? This delicata squash recipe turns it into a tasty main dish, featuring black bean stuffing and a chipotle glaze.

Delicata squash recipe

It’s the coldest day of the year here in Indianapolis. But it’s somehow still possible to pull off a meal with local produce that brings color and warmth. Delicata squash to the rescue! This oblong squash is one of our favorite varieties to work with. Our favorite farmer at our farmer’s market convinced us to try it by assuring us it tasted sweet, almost like a sweet potato. Turned out he was right! Here we turned it into a filling fall dinner by stuffing it with rice, salsa, and black beans, and painting on a chipotle glaze. And my, oh my: you’re going to want to try this ASAP.

How to cook delicata squash

How to cook delicata squash

Delicata squash is not only delicious: it’s very easy to work with! Unlike butternut squash, which is a chore to clean and prepare, delicata squash is easy to cut and doesn’t need to be peeled. Yes, you can eat the skin! The taste is sweet and tender, kind of like a sweet potato. To top it all off, it also roasts pretty quickly: so it’s got many advantages over the more well-known squash varieties like butternut and acorn.

To cook delicata squash, here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the delicata squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • Rub the squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and place it on the parchment paper cut side down.
  • Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.

For this stuffed delicata squash recipe, we made it into a main dish by stuffing it with rice, salsa and black beans. We also added a chipotle glaze for the outside of the squash, which adds big flavor. But if you want to go simple, you can slice the delicata squash into half-moons to make fries. Here’s our Delicata Squash Fries recipe.

Delicata squash

Making this stuffed delicata squash recipe

To create this stuffed delicata squash recipe, we had a few inspirations. First, this chipotle-glazed butternut squash is where were inspired to make the chipotle glaze for the outside of the squash. For the stuffing, some stuffed poblano peppers we made a few years ago served as our inspiration. In this stuffed delicata squash recipe, the stuffing is rice, black beans, corn, and salsa. Here are the major steps for making this delicata squash recipe:

  • Cook the rice: you can use brown rice or white rice.
  • Roast the squash: see the instructions above. Before you roast, rub on the chipotle glaze (a mix of minced garlic and chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, honey, and olive oil).
  • While the squash roasts, finish the filling: mix green onions, salsa, black beans, corn, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, shredded cheese and rice.
  • When the squash is done, add the warm filling. Place additional shredded cheese on top: the heat from the filling and squash will melt the cheese. Garnish and serve.

Our secret ingredient for both the filling and glaze is a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Only 1 pepper is used for the glaze, but a few tablespoons of the adobo sauce in the can is used for the glaze and then a few tablespoons again in the filling. The adobo sauce brings a smoky flavor to the dish that’s indescribable! Make sure not to substitute for this one. Keep reading for a bit more about adobo sauce…

What’s adobo sauce?

What is adobo sauce? Alex and I love to use adobo sauce in our recipes to bring a savory, smoky flavor to Mexican dishes. Chipotles in adobo sauce are sold in most mainstream grocery stores here in the US, available next to the Mexican products. The small can includes chipotle chiles, which are smoked and dried jalapeños that then are rehydrated and canned in adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices.

Looking for more squash recipes?

This stuffed delicata squash recipe is a fan favorite for how to use delicata squash! Here are a few more of our favorite squash recipes on A Couple Cooks using all types of squashes:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

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Delicata Squash Recipe with Black Bean Stuffing


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Wondering how to cook delicata squash? This delicata squash recipe turns it into a tasty main dish, featuring black bean stuffing and a chipotle glaze.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup uncooked (2 ½ cups cooked) white or brown rice*
  • 4 delicata squash
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 green onions
  • 15-ounce can of black beans (or 1 ½ cups cooked or Instant Pot black beans)
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or canned corn kernels
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Monterrey Jack and Cheddar blend shredded cheese (Mexican blend)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions (or use our Instant Pot method).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash the squash, then cut each squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Mince the garlic and 1 chipotle chili. Combine with 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from the can of chilis, the honey, and olive oil, then rub on both sides of the squash. (Alternatively, rub each squash half with ½ tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.)
  4. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 25 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork.
  5. Meanwhile, when the rice finishes, thinly slice the green onions. Chop the cilantro. Drain and rinse the beans.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the sliced green onions, salsa, black beans, corn, 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, and the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder. Add ½ cup shredded cheese and when the rice is done, 2 ½ cups cooked rice. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.
  7. When the squash are done, scoop the filling into each half. If desired, top with a few dashes hot sauce. Cover with the remaining shredded cheese, and place in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream if desired.

Notes

Chipotle glaze inspired by Cookie + Kate Filling inspired by our Stuffed Poblano Peppers *Recipe cook time reflects timing for white rice.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired

Keywords: Delicata Squash, How to Cook Delicata Squash, Delicata Squash Recipe, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Healthy Dinner, Chipotle, Black Beans, Rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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26 Comments

    1. Thanks, Eileen! Yes, we’re a suckers for adding smokey flavors to dishes, especially to sweet foods like squash and sweet potatoes!

    1. Good question — yes, and yes! I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. (I try to always mention this in the recipe but had missed it here — good catch!)

    1. It’s in the optional marinade! I’ve updated the recipe to be more clear – thank you! (Man, I must have been distracted while writing this!) :)

    1. Great question! I would probably substitute acorn squash here, if you can find it! It’s more “personal sized” like the delicata, has edible skin like the delicata, and a nice-sized cavity. You’d follow the same recipe but roast for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. You could use butternut if that’s all you can find, but sometimes the cavities aren’t large enough for stuffing, and the squash is rather large so the serving size might be different. I’d probably reference a stuffed butternut squash recipe online to see how you could modify this recipe (we’ve never tried stuffed butternut) — but you could use this filling idea! Good luck!

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