Stuffed Squash with Quinoa and Havarti Cheese

Stuffed Squash with Quinoa and Havarti Cheese

It’s that time of year when everyone with a garden is thinking, “What the heck am I going to do with all this zucchini!” I’ve shredded, drained, and frozen most of mine, but I’m still left with a lot of zucchini and patty pan squash. (Patty pan is the type that looks like small yellow and green “flying saucers”.)

I checked through a bunch of food blogs, and spent far more time on Pinterest than a person should, looking for a new way to use up this week’s squash. Just about everything had some kind of breading or bread crumbs, or called for dredging in flour. Since I’m eating gluten-free now, none of that works for me.

Patty Pan (Flying Saucer) Squash

Finally, I went into the kitchen, surveyed what I had on hand, and came up with this recipe for stuffed squash. I used the patty pan squash I had, as it was taking up too much room on the counter.  Of course, this is also a perfect way to make use of all that lovely zucchini that is so abundant right now.

Stuffed Squash with Quinoa and Harvati Cheese


  • 6 patty pan squash (or zucchini)
  • 4 strips of bacon (The bacon I used was very meaty, proper bacon from a home-grown pig raised by some friends of ours, not from a grocery store. Please look for quality bacon.)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup black beans, pre-soaked or from a can (soaking your own costs less and is lower in sodium)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Havarti cheese, shredded
  • S & P
  • Basil- optional (I used about 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves, chopped)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Put the water and the quinoa in a pot, and bring to a boil.
  • Once it boils, reduce heat to simmer. Cook until all the liquid is soaked in, stirring frequently.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, slice up your bacon, and fry it up, preferably in a cast iron pan. (Non-stick surface without the toxic chemicals that leach into food from non-stick pans.)

    Yay for Bacon!

  • Slice the tops of the patty pan squash, and scoop out the insides and seeds. Save the insides in a separate bowl. For zucchini, slice in half, and scoop out the insides and seeds.
  • Coat the outsides of the squash with olive oil, and bake in oven for 10 minutes. I used a stoneware lasagna pan for easy clean up.  (Set a timer!)
  • When bacon is crispy, add to quinoa, which should be just about done at this time.
  • Add the chopped onion (chop ahead of time) to the still-hot cast iron pan. Let the onion cook up in the residual bacon fat.
  • When the onion is translucent, transfer the onion to the quinoa.
  • Do a rough chop of about half of the squash innards (the seeds are with it) and add it to the quinoa. (The seeds are very nutritious, and I can’t be bothered with sorting through the innards to separate them.)
  • Stir in the shredded Havarti cheese and the black beans.

    Quinoa stuffing starting to take shape.

  • Add the S&P to taste. Stir in the optional basil at this time.
  • Remove the squash from the oven, if you haven’t already.
  • Reduce the oven to 350°F, stuff the squash, and top with a slice of Havarti.
  • Return the now-stuffed squash back to the oven to cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and serve.

Quinoa has a good shelf life, and is very affordable. I buy it in 5 pound bags at the local wholesale club, but it is also available online here. I would suggest getting it at a wholesale club, as we get a far better price there than online. But, if you don’t have one in your area, it’s great to have an online option.

This would also be great as a filling for stuffed mushrooms. I am also curious to test out other cheeses with this recipe. If you try other cheeses, other beans, etc., let me know in the comments section below!

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