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Couscous Pilaf Stuffed Buttercup Squash 

Buttercup Squash stuffed with Couscous Pilaf

This is the season to buy those rustically beautiful winter squashes. These large squashes are so tempting—inexpensive, healthy and our favorite way to prepare them is to stuff them.  They are filled with fiber and can easily be baked, mashed or pureed.


You may use any winter squash—acorn, butternut, or pumpkins. Buttercup squash is larger and just perfect for Thanksgiving or any larger crowd.


Stuffing Buttercup Squash makes an amazing presentation and is our favorite way of eating it. We love couscous pilaf, so easy to prepare, but try any grain, adjusting the cooking time. 


You have so many choices for the stuffing—the recipe is easily expandable for a variety of vegetables, cheeses and meats. See our Expand The Table at the recipe's close to fit the tastes of your family and friends.

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times of the year to keep favorite recipes and to try out new ones. Click here for our Thanksgiving menu.

Couscous Pilaf Stuffed Buttercup Squash


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped leek or onion

2 celery stalks, chopped thinly

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bell pepper, color of choice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 cup raisins, dark or golden

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup Israeli couscous, (multi colored is great!)

1 1/4 cups water

  1. Preheat oven to 375.

  2. Cut off top of buttercup squash, about 5-6” in diameter. Seed the squash. You can save the seeds and roast and salt them for a snack or vegetable topping.

  3. Prick with a fork in several places. Place the squash cut side down and its top on a parchment lined baking dish. Roast until tender when poked with a fork, about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Remove from oven and cool.

  4. Sauté onion or leek for about 5 minutes. Stir in celery, garlic, bell pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes.  Add raisins, cranberries and honey. Add salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add wine and bring to a boil. Immediately turn down to a simmer.  Add couscous and water. Simmer covered for or until couscous is soft.  Adjust seasoning. If adding cheese, add here. Stir until mixed. Cool.

  5. Spoon in the couscous pilaf until well rounded. Add top. Serve immediately, Serve immediately, scooping out a bit of the squash with each serving of the pilaf.  May refrigerate for a day or two until ready to serve. Reheat if necessary.


Expand the Table

Keep it vegan: Add other veggies of choice: chopped zucchini or yellow squash, grape tomatoes halved, spinach, fresh or frozen

Make it crunchy: Add sliced almonds or chopped pecans

Make it cheesy: Add 1 cup shredded cheddar or Gruyere

Vary the grains: Substitute brown rice, farrow, barley, quinoa for the couscous, varying the cooking time according to the grain.

Where’s the beef?: Add 1 pound ground beef, turkey or veal and add and sauté after the onion and garlic.

Make it diabetic friendly: Use 1/2 tablespoon stevia instead of honey

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