(Note: this post was originally published on March 29, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Squash stuffed with salad?? Oh yes! This is the perfect transitional meal when you're caught between winter and spring, feeling like you're beyond cozy stuffed squash but not quite ready for a giant dinner salad yet.
Generally speaking, I think most of us see stuffed squash as winter food. But what happens in March and April, when there's still beautiful squash in the stores, but we're all ready for lighter, fresher spring food? Enter this Greek Salad Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, which is the best of both worlds. There's a raw, crisp, bright Greek salad, nestled into a cozy spaghetti squash. All of the sudden, like magic, stuffed squash becomes spring food!
Are you a spaghetti squash fan?? I love this bizarre, delicious squash. It's so versatile. Of course the fibers can be scraped out and treated like spaghetti, but it's also great for stuffing. The key to making it a satisfying stuffing squash is to fluff up the fibers a bit after baking; the fluffing action makes the whole thing seem lighter and easier to dig into (see photo below!). The other key is to drizzle part of your dressing down into the squash fibers so that it's flavorful throughout.
For the Greek salad component of this dish, I've omitted the lettuce since the squash "spaghetti" serves as the base of the salad. Then load it up with all your Greek salad favorites! Here, I've shown baby cucumbers, all sorts of beautiful little tomatoes, some cubes of Vermont feta tossed in sumac, pine nuts, and plenty of fresh herbs, but feel free to use what you love.
And let's not forget about the dressing! I like to use a mix of lemon juice and red wine vinegar for big acidity, some coarse-grained mustard, a dash of olive oil, the tiniest bit of honey for sweetness, lots of fresh thyme, and lots of black pepper. I've included a dressing recipe below, or you could just as easily use your favorite vinaigrette; anything with Mediterranean flavors will work nicely. Regardless, remember to drizzle a bit of dressing into the squash fibers before stuffing to really disperse the flavor evenly.
In some ways, this post is really more of a concept than a specific recipe. You can use whatever salad components you love most! Anything Mediterranean will work great. You could add things like olives, pickled banana peppers, capers, grilled or pickled red onion, other cheeses, and whatever fresh herbs you have on-hand.
Want to make it heartier? Feel free to add your grilled protein of choice, some crispy roasted chick peas, or even a big dollop of this lemon hummus. I suggest assuming that half a squash will be a good dinner portion size, but you could get away with a quarter of a squash if you add in some more robust elements.
This meal is super make-ahead friendly and would be great for entertaining or meal prep. You can easily roast the squash a day or two ahead of time. You can also make the dressing ahead of time and cut up the veggies. Just store everything separately. When you're ready to eat, either reheat the squash in the microwave or just enjoy it cold or at room temperature, then add the toppings. I don't suggest assembling it in advance since the toppings will get wilty.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
You really can have so much fun with these. Go crazy with the toppings! I've made these many times over the years, and always have fun choosing the prettiest baby tomatoes and arranging all of my ingredients so that the colors really pop.
Happy spring! Happy salad season! But let's not forget about our squash friends.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
The perfect meal for confusing spring weather, this unexpected dish is half stuffed squash and half Greek salad. Customize it with all your favorite salad toppings!
I love to create colorful, veggie-filled, seasonal dishes that celebrate the beauty and diversity of plants. Take a look around at all my favorite recipes, there's so much to explore here!