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Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe

Delicata squash is a wonderful winter squash that lends itself to so many dishes. In this recipe, we're going to stuff it with a savory blend of pancetta, mushrooms, and chevre. This stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese is sure to impress your guests and satisfy your craving for a comforting, rich, and hearty dish.

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe
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Some ingredients might be a bit exotic. Delicata squash is a winter squash that can usually be found in grocery stores during the fall and winter months. It’s smaller than butternut and the skin is edible. Pancetta is an Italian type of bacon, and it can be found in the deli section of your supermarket. Chevre is a type of goat cheese, which you can find in the dairy or cheese section. If you can't find them, regular bacon can be substituted for pancetta, and feta or cream cheese can be used instead of chevre.

Ingredients for Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

Delicata squash: This is a winter squash variety that's smaller than butternut and the skin is edible when cooked.

Pancetta: This is an Italian bacon, which adds a rich and salty flavor to the dish.

Portabella mushrooms: These are large mushrooms that have a meaty texture, making them great for stuffing recipes.

Yellow onion: This is used to add flavor to the dish.

Garlic: Used to enhance the flavor of the dish.

Dried oregano: This adds an earthy, mild flavor.

Kosher salt: This is a type of coarse salt used in cooking.

Freshly ground cracked pepper: This adds a little heat to the dish.

Fennel seeds: These add a sweet, licorice-like flavor.

Fresh parsley: This adds a fresh, herbal flavor.

Balsamic vinegar: This adds a sweet and tangy flavor.

Grape tomatoes: These are small, sweet tomatoes.

Chevre: This is a type of goat cheese, it's creamy and tangy.

Panko: This is a type of breadcrumb used for topping.

Basmati rice: This is a type of long-grain rice.

Olive oil: Used for roasting the squash and sautéing the ingredients.

Butter: Used to add richness to the rice.

Bay leaf: This adds a subtle, herbal flavor to the rice.

One reader, Demetria Otero says:

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This stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese recipe is a game-changer! The combination of flavors is simply divine. The squash is tender, the pancetta adds a delightful crunch, and the goat cheese ties it all together. It's a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and delicious dish.

Demetria Otero

Cooking Techniques for Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

How to roast the squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 375°F for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.

How to prepare the breadcrumb topping: Combine panko, oil, salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring well to coat the breadcrumbs.

How to cook the rice: Rinse the rice, toast it in olive oil, then add water, butter, bay leaf, and salt to the pot. Cover and bring to a low boil, then let it steam for 12-15 minutes.

How to cook the pancetta: Cook the pancetta in a sauté pan over medium to medium-low heat for about 20 minutes to render the fat until crispy.

How to prepare the filling: Cook the mushrooms, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds in the rendered pancetta fat for 15 minutes. Then add cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, cooking until the tomatoes begin to fall apart. Finally, stir in the cooked rice, cooked pancetta bits, and chopped parsley.

How to assemble the stuffed squash: Fill each squash half halfway with the rice-veggie filling, then crumble the chevre and sprinkle it evenly over each half. Spoon the rest of the filling on top of the chevre and sprinkle each half with the panko mixture.

How to broil the stuffed squash: Place the stuffed squash under the broiler for 1-3 minutes until the filling is warmed through and the panko is a deep golden brown.

How To Make Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

Rice tossed with crisp pancetta and grape tomatoes make this delicious stuffed delicata squash extra filling, flavorful, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes



  • 4small delicata squash
  • 2ozpancetta,diced small
  • 8ozportabella mushrooms,diced
  • ½medium yellow onion,diced
  • 3clovesgarlic,minced
  • 1tspdried oregano
  • 1tspkosher salt
  • ½tspfreshly ground cracked pepper
  • ¼tspfennel seeds,chopped
  • ¼cupfresh parsley,chopped and packed
  • 1tbspbalsamic vinegar
  • 1pintgrape tomatoes,halved
  • 4ozchevre,goat cheese

For the Breadcrumb Topping:

  • ½cupPanko
  • 2tspoil
  • ½tspsalt
  • ½tsppepper
  • ½tspdried thyme

For the Rice:

  • 1tbspolive oil
  • ½cupuncooked basmati rice
  • cupswater
  • 1tbspbutter
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1tspkosher salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Scrub the outside of the squash to get rid of any dirt. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

  3. Brush the outside and inside of the squash halves with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. When it’s ready, the flesh should be easily pierced with a fork. Start checking for doneness at 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  5. While the squash roasts, prepare the bread crumb topping and filling.


  1. Combine breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, and oil in a small bowl. Stir well with a fork to make sure everything is coated. Set aside.

  2. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and toast, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. The rice should look golden.

  3. Add water, butter, bay leaf, and salt to the pot. Cover, and bring to a low boil, still over medium heat for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, but keep covered, and let it steam while making the rest of the meal.

  4. Cook the pancetta: In a medium sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium to medium-low heat, for about 20 minutes. The goal is to render the fat.

  5. When crispy, scoop out the pancetta and set it aside. Add it back to the filling later. There should be about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.

  6. To the pan with the rendered fat, add mushrooms, onion, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and chopped fennel seeds.

  7. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring once or twice until the mushrooms have shrunk and the onions are translucent.

  8. Add the cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the pan with the mushrooms. Stir to coat. Continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 7 to 10 minutes.

  9. Stir in the cooked rice, cooked pancetta bits, and chopped parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper to liking. Remove from the heat.

  10. Fill each half of squash halfway with the rice-veggie filling, using about ¼ cup in each half. Crumble the chevre and sprinkle evenly over each half.

  11. Spoon the rest of the filling on top of the chevre. Sprinkle each half with Panko mixture.

  12. Turn the oven to broil. Put the squash under the broiler for 1 to 3 minutes until the filling is warmed through and the Panko is a deep golden brown.


  • Calories: 268.84kcal
  • Fat: 10.72g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.35g
  • Trans Fat: 0.07g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.31g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.27g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.11g
  • Fiber: 4.80g
  • Sugar: 2.69g
  • Protein: 7.70g
  • Cholesterol: 15.01mg
  • Sodium: 749.00mg
  • Calcium: 121.84mg
  • Potassium: 1021.28mg
  • Iron: 2.93mg
  • Vitamin A: 119.35µg
  • Vitamin C: 33.13mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Stuffed Delicata Squash

When preparing the delicata squash, make sure to scoop out all the seeds and stringy flesh inside. This not only makes room for the stuffing, but also ensures a smoother, more enjoyable texture when eating. For an even more flavorful dish, consider roasting the seeds separately with a bit of olive oil and salt, then sprinkling them on top of the stuffed squash just before serving. This adds a delightful crunch and utilizes every part of the squash.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Recipe

Prep ahead: You can prepare the breadcrumb topping, cook the rice, and cook the pancetta in advance to save time when assembling the stuffed delicata squash.

Use pre-cut ingredients: Consider using pre-cut squash, pre-sliced mushrooms, and pre-chopped onions to cut down on prep time.

Multi-task: While the squash is roasting, you can prepare the filling and the breadcrumb topping to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Streamline the process: Opt for a more efficient cooking process by organizing your ingredients and following a step-by-step plan to minimize downtime.

Substitute Ingredients For Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe

  • delicata squash - Substitute with acorn squash: Acorn squash has a similar sweet and nutty flavor, and its texture is comparable to delicata squash when roasted.

  • pancetta - Substitute with bacon: Bacon can provide a similar smoky and salty flavor to the dish, although it may have a slightly different texture when cooked.

  • portabella mushrooms - Substitute with cremini mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms have a similar earthy flavor and meaty texture, making them a suitable substitute for portabella mushrooms.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with white onion: White onions have a slightly milder flavor compared to yellow onions, but they can still provide the necessary aromatic base for the dish.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can offer a mild, sweet, and slightly garlicky flavor, serving as a suitable replacement for garlic in this recipe.

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

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt, providing a similar level of salinity to the dish.

  • black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper, offering a milder and slightly different flavor profile.

  • fennel seeds - Substitute with anise seeds: Anise seeds have a similar licorice-like flavor to fennel seeds, making them a suitable replacement in the recipe.

  • parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can provide a fresh and herbaceous flavor, similar to parsley, and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • balsamic vinegar - Substitute with red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar can offer a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, similar to balsamic vinegar, in this recipe.

  • grape tomatoes - Substitute with cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes can be used as a substitute for grape tomatoes, providing a similar sweet and juicy flavor to the dish.

  • chevre - Substitute with feta cheese: Feta cheese can provide a tangy and creamy flavor, similar to chevre, and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • panko - Substitute with breadcrumbs: Regular breadcrumbs can be used as a substitute for panko, providing a similar texture and crunch to the dish.

  • basmati rice - Substitute with jasmine rice: Jasmine rice has a similar fragrant and slightly floral aroma, making it a suitable substitute for basmati rice in this recipe.

Presentation Ideas for Stuffed Delicata Squash

  1. Elevate the squash halves: Carefully place the delicata squash halves on individual serving plates, ensuring they are positioned elegantly and invitingly.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a few sprigs of fresh parsley or thyme over the stuffed delicata squash for a pop of color and a touch of freshness.

  3. Drizzle with balsamic reduction: Create a beautiful design on the plate using a balsamic reduction, adding a touch of sweetness and acidity to complement the flavors of the dish.

  4. Add a touch of microgreens: Place a small cluster of delicate microgreens on top of the stuffed delicata squash for a visually appealing and gourmet touch.

  5. Use a fine dusting of grated cheese: Finely grate a high-quality cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, over the dish to add a subtle richness and depth of flavor.

  6. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies, to the plate for a stunning visual element that adds a touch of sophistication.

  7. Arrange with precision: Pay attention to the arrangement of the components on the plate, ensuring that each element is thoughtfully placed to create an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

  8. Consider the plate shape and color: Choose a plate that complements the colors of the dish and consider the shape of the plate to enhance the overall visual appeal.

  9. Add a drizzle of herb-infused oil: Finish the dish with a delicate drizzle of herb-infused oil, such as rosemary or basil oil, to impart a subtle herbal essence and a glossy finish.

  10. Sprinkle with toasted nuts: Garnish the stuffed delicata squash with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making This Recipe

  • Oven: Used for roasting the delicata squash and for broiling the stuffed squash.
  • Baking sheet: To line with parchment paper and roast the delicata squash.
  • Parchment paper: Used to line the baking sheet for roasting the delicata squash.
  • Knife: For cutting the delicata squash in half and scooping out the seeds.
  • Brush: To brush the squash halves with olive oil before roasting.
  • Saucepan: For cooking the basmati rice.
  • Fine-mesh strainer: Used to rinse the rice under cold running water.
  • Spatula: For stirring and flipping the ingredients while cooking.
  • Medium sauté pan: Used for cooking the pancetta and the vegetable filling.
  • Baking dish: To hold the stuffed delicata squash before broiling.
  • Fork: For stirring the breadcrumb topping and for checking the doneness of the squash.
  • Whisk: To mix the breadcrumb topping ingredients.
  • Cutting board: For prepping the delicata squash, onion, garlic, and parsley.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: For accurately measuring the ingredients.
  • Oven mitts: To handle the hot baking sheet and baking dish.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for This Recipe

  • Let the stuffed delicata squash cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent the filling from becoming soggy and the breadcrumb topping from losing its crunch.

  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled stuffed squash in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap. They will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

  • When ready to reheat, place the stuffed squash on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

  • To freeze, wrap each stuffed squash half tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Label the container with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

  • When ready to enjoy the frozen stuffed squash, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, reheat in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. If the breadcrumb topping appears soggy after thawing, you can crisp it up under the broiler for a minute or two before serving.

  • If you plan to freeze the stuffed squash, consider undercooking the delicata squash slightly during the initial roasting process. This will help prevent the squash from becoming too soft when reheated after thawing.

How To Reheat Stuffed Delicata Squash Leftovers

  • To reheat leftover stuffed delicata squash in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the squash halves on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to crisp up the breadcrumb topping.

  • For a quicker reheating method, use the microwave. Place the stuffed squash halves on a microwave-safe plate and heat them on high power for 2-3 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted. If the filling is not heated through after 3 minutes, continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat the delicata squash. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the squash halves in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don't overlap. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on the panko topping to prevent it from burning.

  • For a stovetop method, cut the stuffed squash into bite-sized pieces and reheat them in a skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the pan to prevent sticking and to add extra flavor. Stir the squash pieces occasionally until they are heated through and the cheese is melted. This method works well if you want to mix the filling and squash together for a different presentation.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to check the internal temperature of the filling using a food thermometer. The filling should reach a temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is safe to eat. If the filling contains any meat, such as pancetta, it is crucial to reheat it thoroughly to prevent foodborne illness.

Interesting Fact About Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is a winter squash variety that is known for its edible skin, making it easier to prepare and cook. It is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium. This makes it a nutritious and delicious option for stuffing with flavorful ingredients like pancetta and goat cheese. Delicata squash is also a sustainable choice, as its thin skin means it doesn't need to be peeled before cooking, reducing food waste. It's a versatile and healthy addition to any meal.

Is Making Stuffed Delicata Squash at Home Cost-Effective?

This stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese recipe offers a high degree of cost-effectiveness for a household. The use of affordable ingredients such as delicata squash, mushrooms, onions, and rice makes it budget-friendly. The addition of pancetta and goat cheese adds a touch of luxury without significantly increasing the overall cost. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20-25, making it a reasonable option for a delicious and satisfying meal. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe Healthy?

This stuffed delicata squash recipe has both healthy and indulgent elements. Let's break it down:

Healthy aspects:

  • Delicata squash is a nutrient-dense vegetable, providing fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium
  • Portabella mushrooms offer additional fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins
  • Onion and garlic contribute to the dish's flavor profile while providing prebiotics and potential heart health benefits
  • Grape tomatoes add a burst of freshness and provide lycopene, an antioxidant linked to various health benefits
  • Parsley is a good source of vitamins K and C, as well as antioxidants

Indulgent aspects:

  • Pancetta, while adding depth of flavor, is high in saturated fat and sodium
  • Chevre (goat cheese) is a source of saturated fat and sodium, although it's lower in fat compared to other cheeses
  • The breadcrumb topping, while providing a satisfying crunch, adds extra calories and carbohydrates

To make this recipe healthier without compromising on taste:

  • Reduce the amount of pancetta used or replace it with a leaner protein like chicken or turkey bacon
  • Use a smaller amount of chevre or opt for a lower-fat cheese alternative like feta or part-skim mozzarella
  • Replace the breadcrumb topping with a mixture of finely chopped nuts (like almonds or walnuts) and herbs for a nutrient-dense crunch
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables in the filling, such as adding spinach or kale for an extra nutrient boost
  • Use brown basmati rice instead of white for added fiber and nutrients

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and nutritious meal that still satisfies your taste buds and provides a comforting, flavorful experience.

Editor's Opinion on This Delicata Squash Recipe

The recipe for stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of delicata squash as a vessel for the savory filling is a brilliant idea, and the addition of pancetta and goat cheese brings a rich and indulgent element to the dish. The incorporation of portabella mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar adds depth and complexity to the filling, creating a well-balanced and satisfying meal. The crispy breadcrumb topping provides a delightful crunch, complementing the creamy goat cheese and tender squash. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful showcase of seasonal ingredients and culinary creativity.

Enhance Your Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the savory stuffed delicata squash.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, a light and refreshing side to accompany the hearty squash dish.
Cranberry Orange Quinoa Salad: A vibrant and tangy quinoa salad with dried cranberries and fresh orange segments, adding a burst of color and flavor to the meal.

Similar Recipes to Stuffed Delicata Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: This creamy and comforting soup is perfect for a cozy night in. The roasted butternut squash adds a rich and sweet flavor, while the addition of warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg brings out the best in this dish.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken with Roasted Vegetables: This dish is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The balsamic glaze adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the juicy chicken, while the roasted vegetables bring a hearty and satisfying element to the meal.
Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream: This classic dessert is a crowd-pleaser. The combination of tart apples, sweet cinnamon, and crunchy oat topping makes for a delicious and comforting treat. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Stuffed Delicata Squash

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizer for any gathering. Filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, they are sure to be a hit with your guests.
Bruschetta: Fresh and vibrant, bruschetta is a classic appetizer that never fails to impress. Topped with a mixture of ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, and balsamic glaze, these crispy baguette slices are a delicious way to start any meal.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Apple Crisp: Enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of a spiced apple crisp, with a crunchy oat topping and a hint of cinnamon. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness.

Why trust this Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, making it a perfect choice for a memorable meal. The use of delicata squash provides a sweet and creamy base, while the addition of savory pancetta and tangy goat cheese creates a harmonious balance. The inclusion of portabella mushrooms and grape tomatoes adds depth and richness, enhancing the overall experience. The careful selection of ingredients, such as balsamic vinegar and fennel seeds, showcases a thoughtful approach to flavor pairing. With a well-crafted breadcrumb topping and perfectly cooked basmati rice, this recipe promises a delightful culinary adventure.

Have you tried this delicious Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese Recipe? Share your experience and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum!
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add more vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant to enhance the flavors.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the stuffed delicata squash ahead of time. After stuffing the squash, cover and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. When you're ready to serve, simply bake them in the oven until heated through.
Can I use a different type of squash for this recipe?
While delicata squash works best for this recipe due to its tender skin and sweet flavor, you can also use acorn squash or butternut squash as alternatives. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the size and thickness of the squash.
How can I make this recipe gluten-free?
To make this recipe gluten-free, simply substitute the panko breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers. Ensure that all other ingredients, including the pancetta and cheese, are also gluten-free.
Can I freeze the stuffed delicata squash?
It's not recommended to freeze the stuffed delicata squash as the texture of the squash and the filling may become mushy upon thawing. It's best to enjoy them fresh or refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2-3 days.

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