culinary review

Roasted Acorn Squash with Spiced Lentil Ragu

Last Modified: 09/01/10
First Published: 05/02/10
Views: 867
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Views: 867

If you're looking for a very fulfilling and delicious vegetarian meal that incorporates squash and legumes, then this dish would be just ideal. It's very taste and easy to prepare and each individual serving is so contained – it's really perfect to serve as an everyday meal or as a vegetarian addition on a buffet for example.

You could of course use any type of squash, however acorn is perfect for individual servings, plus it's delicious, although if you come across some other nice looking squash in the store or at you local farmer's market, then use that. The lentil ragu can also be varied, so feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. You could also use different types of legumes – we have used regular lentils here, however different types of beans or peas would also be nice. Chili and cumin provide some heat and additional flavor in this dish.

4 servings:


  • 2 acorn squashes, cut in half, cleaned
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tbsps Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup lentils, green or lentils de puy
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • ½ cup dry vermouth
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (use chicken if you're not looking for a vegetarian meal)
  • salt and pepper


Put the oven on 400 degrees. Brush some olive oil on the cut of each squash half. On a baking sheet, place the squash cut side up and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, saute the onion, carrots and celery in oil with herbs, bay leaf, cumin and chili for about 10 minutes. At this point, add the lentils and the tomato puree, saute some more, then add the dry vermouth. Let simmer for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and the broth. Let simmer until the lentils are soft for about 30 minutes or so. Add some more water if the ragu is too thick, taste with salt and pepper.

When the squash is done, spoon the ragu into the halves and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Serve the rest of the lentils on the side so each person could add more if they want.