Squash Stuffed With Butter Beans and Garlicky Greens

I usually make this with acorn squash, but the delicata squash looked like this, too pretty to pass up. AND y'all, the skin is edible. Pick it up like a little squash taco! I don't really sports, but I think this might win your next tailgate. Could it, maybe, even look a little footballesque? Laced with just enough toasted pecans and parmesan to make it special, this is our go-to healthy celebration of squash season.

This recipe evolved from Greens with Spicy Lemon Cumin Oil out of Russ Parson's treatise on vegetables, How to Pick a Peach. If you are new to cooking and eating vegetables in season, this book is an excellent resource, and a great read. Its still on my shelf, eleven years later.

Yield: 2 servings/8 smart points per serving as a main OR 8 servings/2 smart points per serving

The photo shows one dinner portion or four side servings.


1 10 oz package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1-2 winter squash, size and hunger depending, halved and seeded
1 15 oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
2.5-3 oz kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 oz pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1.5 oz parmesan, grated fine
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
the juice of 1 lemon


Quick tip, during the first part of the squash baking, I do all my prep. During the second half, I cook the greens and beans mixture.

1. Heat oven to 400℉. Line and spray baking dish. Place squash cut-side down and bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on size. Flip over and bake for another 25-35 minutes until golden and just beginning to brown on the edges.

 ready to flip

ready to come out of the oven

2. In a large skillet, over high heat, heat 2/3 of the oil until shimmering and toss the kale in the hot oil until evenly coated. Sauté over high heat until kale begins to wilt and char.

3. Add spinach in small clumps, tossing with kale until the greens are combined. 

4. Clear a spot in the middle of the pan. Add garlic and drizzle remaining oil over garlic. Fry in the small puddle of oil until almost beginning to turn golden, about 10-20 seconds. Then toss with spinach and kale.

5. Add in beans, parmesan and pecans. Toss to combine, and sauté until cheese is melted, and beans are heated through, 1-2 minutes.

6. Off heat, stir in lemon juice and fresh basil.

7. Divide mixture evenly among squash portions and serve.

Side note, if you're new to healthy cooking, you might want to invest in a Microplane (brand name).  The fine particles make it easier to deliver cheesy goodness in every bite AND it makes your brain think you are about to eat A LOT of cheese. That's satisfying.

1.5 ounces parmesan solid and grated with a microplane:


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