Exquisite Autumn Delight Curried Lentil Stuffed Squash Infused with Succulent Apples, Tangy Cranberries & Creamy Feta

Gourmet Delight Spiced Lentil Stuffed Squash Infused with Apples, Cranberries & Creamy Feta

Stuffed Squash

Image by Lauren Vandenbrook October 5, 2023

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When Aaron and I first started dating, he would constantly suggest stuffed bell peppers as a dinner option. It was as if he had an enchanting obsession with these bell-shaped wonders. But let me tell you a secret… I never quite developed the same passion for cooked bell peppers. The thought of eating a whole one for dinner just didn’t excite me enough, no matter how scrumptious the stuffing was. So here I am, twelve years later, extending an olive branch to my pepper-obsessed twenty-something sweetheart in the form of this delectable stuffed squash.

Curried Lentil Stuffed Squash

Serves 4


  • 2 acorn squashes, halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup brown lentils
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 green apple, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dried apricots, finely diced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 3½ to 5 oz crumbled feta

Note: If you have another variety of dried lentils, feel free to swap them in. Red lentils are the speedy cooks, taking about 20 minutes, while the fancy French Puy lentils take around 40 to 45 minutes. And if you’re really in a hurry, just crack open a can of instant lentils.


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and place the acorn squash halves in a baking dish, cut side up.
  2. Drizzle the flesh with about 1 tablespoon of oil followed by the maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, and let them roast for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until they’re fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh sieve, checking for any bad lentils or debris. Transfer them to a saucepan and add the vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once it starts bubbling, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain the lentils, transfer them to a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and apple. Season with salt and pepper, and let them cook for 5 to 7 minutes until they become tender and lightly caramelized. Stir in the garlic and curry powder, and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, releasing aromatic flavors. Then, stir in the lemon juice, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to gather all those scrumptious, burnt-on bits. Finally, add the spinach and transfer everything to the lentil bowl.
  5. Now it’s time to add some pizzazz! Mix in the cranberries, apricots, walnuts, cilantro, and parsley. Give it a good mix to make sure all the ingredients combine beautifully.
  6. Divide the luscious mixture into the roasted acorn squash halves, and sprinkle the glorious crumbled feta on top. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over everything, and pop it back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the feta has reached that magnificent golden-brown goodness.

Excerpted from In Mary’s Kitchen by Mary Berg. Copyright © 2023 Mary Berg. Photographs by Lauren Vandenbrook. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Ready to give your taste buds an adventure they won’t soon forget? This Curried Lentil Stuffed Squash recipe is the perfect way to delight your senses and charm your fashion-forward dinner guests. Just imagine sinking your fork into that tender, roasted acorn squash, revealing a burst of curried lentils, tart cranberries, and creamy feta. It’s a harmonious combination of flavors that will have you singing in the kitchen!

Now, for all you fashionistas out there, why settle for boring ol’ stuffed bell peppers when you can strut your stuff with a stuffed squash? This dish is a fashion statement on its own—elegantly dressed in vibrant colors, textures, and flavors. It’s a showstopper that will make your taste buds twirl with delight and your inner fashionista sashay with joy.

But let’s not forget about the metaphors and puns that make this dish truly shine. From extending an olive branch to my pepper-obsessed sweetheart (better late than never, right?), to choosing lentils that cook faster than the speed of fashion, this recipe is a true masterpiece of comedic culinary brilliance.

So, next time you find yourself in a dinner dilemma, remember the stuffed squash. It’s the stylish alternative that will have you saying “bell peppers, who?” and embracing the culinary creativity that fashion lovers crave. Bon appétit, darlings!