Bacon-Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe

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Wow your guests with this impressive side this Thanksgiving!

photos: heather for we heart this

Have something a little jazzier than yams and mashed potatoes in mind for your Thanksgiving sides? The classics definitely have their place at the table, but if you would like to step up your game and impress some guests, Stuffed Delicata Squash has a great wow factor without monopolizing your prep time.

Delicata is technically a winter squash, but it belongs to the same family as summer squash, so the skin softens as you cook it and is edible. Butternut squash gets all of the buzz this time of year, but why not go for something less cumbersome with no peeling required?

This squash tastes like a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin, and even though you could easily take this dish to the sweet side, there are plenty of Thanksgiving desserts that have that department covered. The Delicata squash makes a nice base flavor for a myriad of toppings, and once you scrape out the seeds you have the perfect natural little bowl for filling.

Stuffed Delicata Squash
Serves 8-12


2 Delicata squashes
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) dry Harissa – or your favorite spice blend
1 small zucchini
6 strips of bacon
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the outside of the squash until it’s squeaky clean, since you will be eating the skin.

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds until the inside cavity is smooth.

3. Set the squash in a roasting pan, skin side down (a cookie sheet works too, but is messier when it cooks). Brush the insides and cut edges with a coat of olive oil.

4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Harissa across each individual squash half.

5. Chop the zucchini into thin coins and lay across the center of each squash. Sprinkle with a little breadcrumbs.

6. Chop the bacon and cover the zucchini, approximately 1 1/2 strips per squash half.

7. Cover the bacon with the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.

8. Cover the pan with foil, sealing the edges. This will help it cook faster. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

9. Uncover the pan and roast for another 20 minutes. Test with a fork. If the fork goes all the way to the skin easily, the squash is done. If there is a little resistance, cook for few more minutes and test again. Tip: If your squash has thin walls, check them a few minutes earlier.

10. Voilà – time to eat. Cut the stuffed squash into slices and serve hot.

This recipe is super versatile. Some of my favorite fillings are caramelized onions with
soyrizo and sunflower seeds, sausage and breadcrumbs, and the combo we used here; zucchini, bacon, and cheesy breadcrumbs. (Veg on veg, why not? Get crazy.)

we heartsters – Are you a squash lover too? What squash dishes will you be serving this Thanksgiving?

Heather blogs at foodforfunandpleasure and is a spice mistress extraordinaire at the Spice Station in Silverlake, CA.


  • heather

    Heather is a midwesterner living in Los Angeles and enjoys concocting weird flavor combinations and exploring delicious ethnic foods. She also knows her way around the spice cabinet like nobody's business.

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  1. Yum @heather – these look so good! I love fall vegetables, especially all of the different types of squashes. They make great bases for soups and, as you have shown here, make cute and natural serving bowls too! As a vegetarian, I couldn’t do the bacon, but I’m loving the idea of going “veg on veg” with the Delicata Squash – with a healthy does of cheese too! Thanks for this pretty side to add to the Thanksgiving table!

  2. This is so neat! I love that the zucchini is hidden in there, it makes me feel justified indulging in all that nummy bacon and cheese…
    I think this recipe is genius because it can be modified for veg-heads AND meat eaters; you don’t have to make entirely different dishes to satisfy everyone! Thanks, @heather, this is great!

  3. @heather – thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks good. I am in the process of trying to learn to like more veggies and eat more of a plant based diet.

  4. YUM! Why is anything stuffed just instantly better?

    It’s handy that you can eat the skin on these. Because no matter how much I try to get the skin off, I always miss some. And usually bite into it later (I’m looking at you, Spaghetti Squash).

  5. Thanks for introducing me to a new kind of squash! I love summer squash, and can’t wait to try delicata squash. Especially if you can eat the skin. Also, caramelized onions make everything delicious ;)

  6. Wow! This looks amazing! I love squash, but I never know what to do with it beside cut it and bake it. Thanks for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

  7. Glad you guys enjoy! I didn’t eat squash until I was an adult and now I can’t get enough! @Tyna – definitely try the soyrizo vegetarian version, I loved it even as a total carnivore!

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