Roasted Carnival Squash with Chickpea Spinach Dip Filling

Last updated: November 13, 2022
Caramelized roasted carnival squash is filled with a creamy spinach artichoke dip inspired filling for ultimate flavor! Chickpeas are added for protein to make it a complete meal, topped with parmesan cheese to bring everything together. This is an easy recipe as the filling is made on the stovetop while the squash is roasting. If you can't find carnival squash, sweet dumpling squash or acorn will work as well.
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roasted carnival squash stuffed with spinach artichoke dip
stuffed roasted carnival squash on green plate

Some stuffed squash recipes leave a lot to be desired. Often they’re filled with cooked grains that end up drying out, and not enough flavor to complement the squash.

Those not so great experiences led me to develop something absolutely different and delicious for my Smitten with Squash cookbook, taking inspiration from a family favorite: spinach artichoke dip! Over the years, I’ve tweaked the filling just a bit to include chickpeas for protein and extra flavor, to be nestled into caramelized roasted carnival squash wedges (more about this delicious squash variety below!) and topped with parmesan cheese.

The creamy, cheesy mixture comes together on the stovetop in just 15 minutes while the squash is roasting, making this a fabulous weeknight meal and gluten-free dinner recipe.

Ingredients for Spinach Artichoke Dip Inspired Filling:

  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • Jarred Artichokes
  • Garlic
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Red Pepper Flakes
chickpea spinach artichoke filling
carnival squash, whole, on pink backround

What Does Carnival Squash Taste Like?

Have you tried this delicious winter squash variety? Once roasted, carnival squash has amazing flavor. It’s slightly nutty and buttery, with a delicate sweetness that plays well with savory additions. The texture is smooth and flaky.

It’s not quite as sweet as kabocha squash or buttercup squash, but more aligned with that of butternut.

How to Identify Carnival Squash:

Carnival squash is acorn like in shape and size, with a beautiful skin of green, cream, and orange speckles and stripes that run vertically. It is a cross between an acorn and sweet dumpling squash, and the color variance in the skin is the result of seasonal temperature variations, with warmer temperatures producing squash with more green stripes. As it matures, the squash will lose some of its green color, turning more cream colored.

Uncooked, the flesh is firm and pale orange with a large and fibrous seed cavity, which makes it perfect for stuffing.

roasted carnival squash wedges on parchment paper
stuffed carnival squash on a sheet pan

How to Make Stuffed Carnival Squash:

  1. Wash squash, then cut them half from root to stem. Scoop out seeds. Then cut each half in half vertically so you have 4 wedges. Rub wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place wedges cut side down on parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven to roast at 400 degrees F for about 35 minutes, until fork easily pierces through inner flesh. 
  2. While squash is roasting, make the filling. Saute garlic, spinach, chickpeas, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook for a few minutes, letting spinach wilt. Add in chopped artichokes and mix together, heating through.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, cream cheese, and parmesan. Taste to see if any salt is needed.
  4. When squash is done roasting, place cut side up in a row on baking sheet and scoop spinach filling over the center well of them. Top with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from oven and enjoy!
roasted carnival squash with chickpea filling
roasted carnival squash stuffed with spinach artichoke dip, on a green plate

More Squash Recipes:

roasted carnival squash stuffed with spinach artichoke dip

Roasted Carnival Squash with Savory Chickpea Filling

Caramelized roasted carnival squash is filled with a spinach artichoke dip inspired filling for ultimate flavor! Chickpeas are added for protein to make it a complete meal, topped with parmesan cheese to bring everything together.
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Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :35 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 2 carnival squash (acorn or sweet dumpling squash will also work)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (9 to 12 ounce) jar marinated artichokes drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup full fat greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash squash, them cut in half from root to stem. Scoop out seeds. Then cut each half in half vertically so you have 4 wedges.
  • Rub wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place wedges cut side down on parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven to roast for about 35 minutes, until fork easily pierces through inner flesh.
  • While squash is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute, until fragrant. Add in spinach, chickpeas, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook for a few minutes, letting spinach wilt. Add in chopped artichokes and mix together, heating through. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, cream cheese chunks, and 1/3 cup parmesan. Taste to see if any salt is needed.
  • When squash is done roasting, place cut side up in a row on baking sheet and scoop spinach filling over the center well of them. Top with remaining cheese. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F and put squash back into oven for 7-10 more minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from oven and enjoy!

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November 13, 2022

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