Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe

Experience the sweet and savory delight of this unique recipe. Squash stuffed with dates and onion is a beautiful blend of flavors that make for a delicious main course or side dish. The sweetness of the dates pairs perfectly with the savory onion and bacon, all encased in a tender, roasted butternut squash. This recipe is perfect for those who are looking to try something new and tantalizing in their kitchen.

Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe
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Photos of Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe

While most of the ingredients for this recipe are common pantry staples, there are two you might need to look out for when you head to the supermarket. Butternut squash, a sweet and nutty winter squash, is the star of this dish. Look for squashes that are firm and heavy for their size, with a uniform beige color. Secondly, ensure to get dates, a sweet fruit that is often found in the dried fruit section.

Ingredients for Squash Stuffed with Dates and Onion

Bacon: Adds a smoky, savory flavor to balance the sweetness of the dates.

Onion: A kitchen staple that brings a savory depth to the dish.

Dates: They provide a natural sweetness to the stuffing and contrast nicely with the savory ingredients.

Oregano: This herb adds a touch of Mediterranean flavor.

Basil: It gives a fresh, peppery flavor to the dish.

Chicken stock: Helps to keep the stuffing moist and flavorful.

Butternut squash: The vessel for our stuffing, it roasts to a sweet, tender perfection.

One reader, Bucky Fanning says:

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This squash stuffed with dates and onion recipe is a game-changer! The combination of sweet dates and savory bacon is absolutely divine. The flavors meld together perfectly, and the squash becomes so tender and delicious. It's a unique and impressive dish that's sure to impress your guests. Highly recommended!

Bucky Fanning

Techniques Required for Making Stuffed Squash with Dates and Onion

How to cook bacon: Cook and stir the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until evenly browned.

How to prepare the squash: Cut the top and stem from the squash, jack o'lantern-style, and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut out and discard the small button at the bottom of the squash.

How to test doneness: Test the doneness by removing the top and inserting a thin, sharp knife into the flesh at the bottom.

How To Make Dates and Onion Stuffed Squash

This easy-to-make baked stuffed squash dish is loaded with a flavorful filling made of bacon, dates, onions, chicken broth, and spices!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2slicesbacon,chopped
  • 1onion,chopped
  • cupdates,chopped
  • ½tsporegano,dried
  • ½tspbasil,dried
  • 2tbspchicken stock
  • 1butternut squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Cook and stir the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until evenly browned.

  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and discard most of the drippings, leaving about 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings in the skillet.

  4. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Cook and stir the onion in the hot drippings for about 5 minutes until translucent.

  5. Stir the cooked bacon, dates, oregano, and basil into the onion.

  6. Add the chicken stock to thin the filling.

  7. Cut the top and stem from the squash, jack o’lantern-style, and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.

  8. Cut out and discard the small button at the bottom of the squash.

  9. Stuff the date filling into the cavity and replace the top.

  10. Set the squash into a baking dish, pour in ½ inch of water, and cover with aluminum foil.

  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour until the squash is tender.

  12. Test the doneness by removing the top and inserting a thin, sharp knife into the flesh at the bottom.

  13. Slice the squash into wedges to serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 236.14kcal
  • Fat: 6.06g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.99g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.59g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.01g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.18g
  • Fiber: 5.60g
  • Sugar: 29.27g
  • Protein: 4.30g
  • Cholesterol: 9.79mg
  • Sodium: 113.37mg
  • Calcium: 94.24mg
  • Potassium: 784.97mg
  • Iron: 1.40mg
  • Vitamin A: 669.57µg
  • Vitamin C: 28.59mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Stuffed Squash with Dates and Onion

When preparing the butternut squash, ensure to scoop out all the seeds and stringy pulp thoroughly. This not only makes room for more stuffing but also improves the texture of the cooked squash. Additionally, when baking, the water added to the baking dish helps to keep the squash moist and prevents it from drying out. Remember to cover the dish with aluminum foil to trap the steam and promote even cooking.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Stuffed Squash

Prep ahead: Prepare the bacon, onion, and date filling in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to stuff the squash.

Use a sharp knife: A sharp knife will make it easier to cut and scoop out the squash, saving time and effort.

Microwave shortcut: To speed up the cooking process, partially cook the squash in the microwave for a few minutes before stuffing and baking in the oven.

Choose the right squash: Opt for smaller squash varieties to reduce cooking time and make the dish more manageable.

Multi-task: While the squash is baking, use that time to prepare a simple side dish or salad to complete the meal.

Substitute Ingredients For Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe

  • bacon - Substitute with pancetta: Pancetta is a cured Italian meat that is similar to bacon but has a slightly different flavor, adding a unique twist to the dish.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, which can enhance the overall taste of the dish.

  • dates - Substitute with dried figs: Dried figs have a similar sweet and chewy texture to dates, providing a delicious alternative in the recipe.

  • oregano - Substitute with thyme: Thyme can add a slightly earthy and floral flavor, complementing the other ingredients in the dish.

  • basil - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can provide a fresh and herbaceous flavor, adding a vibrant element to the recipe.

  • chicken stock - Substitute with vegetable stock: Vegetable stock can be used as a vegetarian-friendly alternative and still impart a rich and savory taste to the dish.

  • butternut squash - Substitute with acorn squash: Acorn squash has a similar sweet and nutty flavor, making it a suitable replacement for butternut squash in the recipe.

Presentation Tips for Stuffed Squash with Dates and Onion

  1. Elevate the plating: Carefully arrange the squash wedges on the plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced and visually appealing.
  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley or chives over the stuffed squash to add a pop of color and freshness.
  3. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction: Create a beautiful design on the plate using a balsamic reduction to add a touch of elegance and depth of flavor.
  4. Add a sprinkle of sea salt: Finish the dish with a light sprinkle of sea salt to enhance the flavors and provide a delightful contrast to the sweetness of the dates.
  5. Serve on a bed of arugula: Place the stuffed squash on a bed of fresh arugula to add a peppery bite and a vibrant green base to the dish.
  6. Use edible flowers as a garnish: Adorn the plate with delicate edible flowers such as nasturtiums or pansies to bring a touch of beauty and sophistication to the presentation.
  7. Incorporate a drizzle of olive oil: Finish the dish with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil to add a luxurious sheen and a hint of fruity flavor.
  8. Add a sprinkle of toasted nuts: Garnish the dish with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts or chopped almonds for a delightful crunch and nutty aroma.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Stuffed Squash

  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and sautéing ingredients.
  • Slotted spoon: A spoon with slots or holes that allow liquids to drain away when serving or stirring.
  • Paper towels: Absorbent paper used for drying or cleaning up spills in the kitchen.
  • Baking dish: A deep, oven-safe dish used for baking various dishes such as casseroles, roasts, and desserts.
  • Aluminum foil: A thin, pliable sheet of aluminum used for covering and wrapping food during cooking or storage.
  • Sharp knife: A cutting tool with a sharp blade used for slicing, chopping, and preparing ingredients.

How To Store and Freeze Stuffed Squash

  • Let the stuffed squash cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store in the refrigerator, wrap the cooled squash tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To freeze, wrap the cooled squash tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Frozen stuffed squash will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • To reheat, thaw the frozen squash in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Place the thawed squash in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 30 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions of the stuffed squash in the microwave. Place a slice or portion on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
  • If the filling seems dry after reheating, you can add a splash of chicken stock or water to help moisten it.

How To Reheat Leftover Stuffed Squash

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover stuffed squash on a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and prevent the squash from drying out.

  • If you have a microwave-safe dish, you can reheat the squash in the microwave. Cut the squash into smaller pieces and place them in the dish. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the squash from drying out. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. Stir the filling halfway through to ensure even heating.

  • For a crispy exterior, you can reheat the stuffed squash in an air fryer. Cut the squash into smaller pieces and place them in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and slightly crispy on the outside.

  • If you want to reheat the squash on the stovetop, cut it into smaller pieces and place them in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of chicken stock or water to the pan to prevent the squash from sticking and to keep it moist. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

  • For a quick and easy method, you can also reheat the stuffed squash in a toaster oven. Cut the squash into smaller pieces and place them on a toaster oven tray. Set the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This method works well if you have a small amount of leftover squash.

Random Fact About Stuffed Squash with Dates and Onion

The dish is a unique blend of flavors, combining the sweetness of dates with the savory taste of bacon and onions. This unexpected combination creates a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to impress your dinner guests. The butternut squash serves as a perfect vessel for the flavorful filling, making it a visually stunning and delicious addition to any meal.

Is Making Stuffed Squash at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this squash stuffed with dates and onion recipe is quite favorable. The ingredients, such as bacon, onion, and dates, are relatively affordable and easily accessible. The dish offers a unique blend of flavors and textures, making it a delightful addition to any meal. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15, making it a budget-friendly option. Overall Verdict: 9/10.

Is This Stuffed Squash Recipe Healthy?

The squash stuffed with dates and onion recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, the main ingredient, butternut squash, is a nutritious vegetable rich in fiber, vitamins (especially vitamin A), and minerals. Dates provide natural sweetness and are a good source of antioxidants and fiber. Onions offer various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

However, the recipe also includes less healthy components:

  • Bacon is high in saturated fat and sodium, which can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure when consumed in excess
  • The recipe doesn't include a significant source of lean protein
  • It lacks other nutrient-dense vegetables that could provide additional vitamins and minerals

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace bacon with a leaner protein source, such as ground turkey or chicken, or opt for a vegetarian alternative like chickpeas or lentils
  • Reduce the amount of bacon used or substitute it with a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil to sauté the onions
  • Incorporate additional vegetables into the stuffing mixture, such as diced bell peppers, carrots, or celery, to increase the nutrient content and fiber
  • Use low-sodium chicken stock to reduce the overall sodium content of the dish
  • Serve the stuffed squash with a side salad or steamed greens to add more vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the meal

By making these adjustments, you can enhance the nutritional value of the dish while still maintaining its delicious flavor profile. The modifications will reduce the saturated fat and sodium content, increase the fiber and nutrient density, and provide a more balanced meal overall.

Editor's Thoughts on This Stuffed Squash Recipe

The combination of savory bacon, sweet dates, and aromatic herbs creates a delightful contrast in flavors and textures. The butternut squash serves as a perfect vessel for this unique stuffing, adding a subtle earthy note to the dish. The cooking method ensures that the squash becomes tender and flavorful, while the filling caramelizes and melds together beautifully. This dish is a wonderful balance of sweet and savory, making it a delightful addition to any autumn or winter meal.

Enhance Your Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection with a hint of garlic and olive oil.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and savory carrots glazed with honey and butter for the perfect side to complement the stuffed squash.
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries: Zesty zucchini fries coated in parmesan and baked until golden and crispy, a delicious and unique side dish for this recipe.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Stuffed Squash with Dates and Onion

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and flavorful mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect as a side dish for any meal.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey and butter, a delicious and colorful side dish for any dinner.
Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken: Juicy and flavorful grilled chicken marinated in a zesty lemon and rosemary mixture, perfect for a summer barbecue.
Apple Cinnamon Crisp: Warm and comforting apple crisp with a hint of cinnamon, topped with a crunchy oat and brown sugar crumble, a delightful dessert for any occasion.

Suggested Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Stuffed Squash

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are a perfect appetizer to kick off any meal. The combination of earthy mushrooms, flavorful filling, and gooey cheese will have your guests coming back for more.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: These crispy zucchini fritters are a delightful way to start any gathering. The crispy exterior and tender interior of the fritters, paired with a tangy dipping sauce, will leave your guests wanting more.
Desserts:
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, warm chocolate lava cake that oozes with rich, molten chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.
Apple Crisp: Savor the comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crunchy oat topping in this classic apple crisp. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of caramel swirl ice cream for an extra special treat.

Why trust this Squash Stuffed With Dates and Onion Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, blending savory bacon with sweet dates and aromatic oregano and basil. The use of chicken stock adds depth to the filling, while the butternut squash serves as a wholesome vessel for this delectable dish. Trust the expertise behind this recipe to elevate your dining experience with a harmonious blend of ingredients that will surely tantalize your taste buds.

Want to share your experience making this squash stuffed with dates and onion recipe? Join the discussion in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out!
FAQ:
How long does it take to cook the squash stuffed with dates and onion?
The squash should be baked in the preheated oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour until it is tender. You can test the doneness by inserting a thin, sharp knife into the flesh at the bottom.
Can I use something else instead of bacon in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute the bacon with diced ham, pancetta, or even smoked turkey for a different flavor profile.
What can I serve with the squash stuffed with dates and onion?
This dish pairs well with a simple green salad, roasted vegetables, or a side of quinoa or couscous.
Can I prepare the squash ahead of time and bake it later?
Yes, you can prepare the squash and the filling ahead of time and refrigerate them separately. When you're ready to bake, stuff the squash with the filling and bake as directed.
Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
Absolutely! You can omit the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make this dish vegetarian-friendly.

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