This vegan stuffed squash is a whole meal in just one dish. Hearty and flavourful roasted squash is filled to the brim with couscous and chickpeas tossed in a mix of delicious warming spices and topped off with a tasty tahini-date sauce. An impressive and flavourful vegan or vegetarian main dish for just $1.70 a serving!
When you’re looking for cheap yet complete vegan meals on a budget, stuffed vegetables are the way to go! Vegan stuffed peppers, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed zucchini and vegan stuffed squash are all simple enough to prepare for an average weeknight dinner yet impressive enough to serve to guests and for holidays.
While acorn squash is probably the most common type you’ll see in vegan stuffed squash recipes, any kind of small squash or pumpkin will work great for this recipe. I’m not sure what kind of squash I have here as it wasn’t labelled at the veggie store but it was the perfect size to serve two and only cost a couple of bucks.
To make any kind of vegan stuffed squash is really simple. First you’ll need to roast the squash halves in the oven until they are soft and can be pierced with a fork. This usually takes 30 – 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare your stuffing. For this vegan stuffed squash recipe I decided to go for Moroccan-inspired flavours with couscous spiced with cinnamon, ginger and cumin.
I made a very simple sauce by blending dates with tahini and lemon juice. The sauce is delicious and totally drinkable on its own! It also combines beautifully with the squash and spices, adding a sweet note that, as you know from squash with maple syrup, works so well together.
The flavours of this dish are very autumn-inspired, making this a great main for a vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas, but for whatever reason squash seems to be in season in Spain in the spring.
I normally can’t find squash or pumpkins like this in the fall so I was surprised to happen upon a big bin of them at a veggie store the other day. After so many years here I still find it odd how the seasonal veggies come and go at such different times but here you go: autumn-inspired Moroccan-spiced vegan stuffed squash in the spring!
Got leftovers? Use them in these recipes:
Moroccan-Spiced Vegan Stuffed Squash
- 2 small squash or pumpkins - $4.00
- ½ cup (90 grams) couscous - $0.26
- ½ cup (120 ml) plus 4 tablespoons water - $0.00
- 1 medium onion diced - $0.14
- 4 cloves of garlic minced - $0.12
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon - $0.20
- 2 teaspoons dried ginger - $0.20
- 2 teaspoons dried cumin - $0.20
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper - $0.04
- 1 can (400 ml / 14 oz) diced tomatoes - $0.59
- 1 cup (165 grams) cooked chickpeas - $0.25
- 1 teaspoon, plus a pinch sea salt - $0.04
- 7 dates I used regular, not medjool - $0.28
- 1 ½ tablespoons tahini - $0.22
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice - $0.24
- A small handful of cilantro - $0.10
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side up on a baking tray and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until the squash is soft and can be pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and season the inside with a pinch of salt.
- While the squash bakes, prepare the filling. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the couscous. Toast the couscous, stirring regularly, until golden brown then pour over the ½ cup (120 ml) water, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes to cook then remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a splash of water (or oil if you prefer), the onion and garlic. Fry until soft and transparent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cinnamon, ginger, cumin and cayenne and fry for about 20 seconds, stirring, to release the aromas. Add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for a couple of minutes until you have a thick sauce. Add the couscous and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Remove from the heat.
- If your dates are a bit hard, cover them with hot water and let them soak for a few minutes. Place the dates, tahini, 4 tablespoons of water and lemon juice in a small food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to add more water to reach a pourable consistency.
- Optional: Wash the squash seeds and dry them well. Toast them in a small pan over medium heat until golden.
- Divide the filling between the four squash halves, top with fresh cilantro and toasted squash seeds, if using, and drizzle over the sauce. Serve.
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