Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Pancetta and Goat Cheese

This Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe is an elegant dinner party meal, but it’s also easy enough to make on a weekday. We fill these with a mix of pancetta, goat cheese, rice and mushrooms!

Winter squash season is my favorite season ever. The vibrant, sun-colored flesh combines with the skin’s greens, blues, yellows, and oranges to provide a much-needed boost of color when the nights are long and daylight is scarce.

Ingredients for this stuffed pumpkin recipe

For this recipe, I stuffed delicata with a hearty combination of mushrooms, onions, pancetta, grape tomatoes, and rice.

I added an extra flavor boost by adding a layer of chevre, a flavorful goat’s cheese, halfway through the filling and topping with toasted breadcrumbs.

I love the rich, creamy, crunchy textures in this dish.

Can you eat the skin of Delicata squash?

The yellow and green striped skin is edible, beautiful, and delicious (if I do say so myself), so there’s no need to try and scrape the flesh off the skin before eating. It’s also thinner than the skin of other gourds.

Make the filling in advance

You can easily prepare this stuffed pumpkin recipe in stages. Make the filling 24 hours before serving. Roast, stuff and then reheat the stuffed squash when ready to serve.

If you really want to plan ahead, make the filling over the weekend and freeze it for up to three months. Let it thaw in the fridge for a day, roast, then stuff the squash as below.

Leftover stuffed squash halves are also great for reheating in the oven or microwave for lunch the next day. (Although reheating in the microwave won’t crisp the breadcrumbs.)

Ways to customize this recipe

Stuffed squash can also be customized to suit your own taste. Use the filling to stuff another type of squash, like acorn or butternut, or even summer squash if it’s in season. You can also fill a completely different vegetable, such as peppers, or eat the filling on its own. Everything goes!

I love the light, airy texture and slightly floral flavor of basmati rice, but if you don’t have it, you can use any other rice or grain you have on hand.

How to make this recipe vegetarian

While this recipe isn’t vegetarian as intended, you can easily omit the pancetta and substitute 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the fat obtained from the pancetta.

More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes!

  • Stuffed delicata squash with quinoa and mushrooms
  • Vegan Stuffed Pumpkin with Rice and Mushrooms
  • Maple Glazed Delicata Squash and Brussels Sprouts
  • Baked Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar
  • Roasted winter squash with cilantro chimicurri

Stuffed delicata squash with pancetta and goat cheese

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
45 minutes

up to 8 servings


  • 4 small Delicata pumpkins

  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced small

  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, diced

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and packaged

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • 4 ounces chevre (goat cheese)

  • For the breadcrumbs:
  • 1/2 cup panko

  • 2 teaspoons oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • For the rice:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Roast Pumpkin:

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Scrub the outside of the squash to remove dirt. Halve the pumpkin lengthways and scrape out the seeds.

    Brush the outside and inside of the pumpkin halves with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet.

    Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. When it’s done, you should be able to easily pierce the flesh with a fork. After 30 minutes, start checking the doneness. Remove from the oven and set aside.

    While the squash is roasting, prepare the breadcrumbs and filling.

  2. Prepare Breadcrumb Topping:

    Mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, thyme and oil in a small bowl. Stir well with a fork to cover everything. Put aside.

  3. Prepare rice:

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

    Add the water, butter, bay leaf and salt to the saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, but keep covered and let simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.

  4. Cook the pancetta:

    In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the pancetta for about 20 minutes. The goal is to render the fat.

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

  5. Cook Vegetables:

    To the skillet with the rendered fat, add mushrooms, onion, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and chopped fennel seeds.

    Cook over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, until mushrooms are wilted and onions are translucent, 15 minutes.

  6. Add tomatoes and rice to vegetables:

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

    Stir in the cooked rice, cooked pancetta pieces, and chopped parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste. Take off the heat.

  7. Fill the pumpkin:

    Fill each half of the squash halfway with the rice and vegetable filling, using about 1/4 cup in each half. Crumble the chevre and sprinkle evenly over each half.

    Place the rest of the filling on top of the chevre. Sprinkle each half with panko mixture.

  8. Roast the stuffed pumpkins:

    Turn the oven to grill. Place the squash under the grill for 1 to 3 minutes, until the filling is warmed through and the panko is a deep golden brown.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!