These delicata squash taco boats make a hearty and filling meal! This is a dinner that’s perfect for those avoiding gluten, dairy, or grains. You’ll love how flavorful this meal is – you won’t miss out on anything!
Don’t you love going to the Farmer’s Market at this time of year? There are so many colorful things in season. You’ve got the last of the summer produce, like tomatoes and corn, and the first of the fall produce, like pumpkins and squash.
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with squash, isn’t it? You can do butternut squash soup, and you can bake it with brown sugar, but beyond that, it can be hard to decide how to prepare it.
Delicata squash is one of my favorite varieties, and its smallish size is perfect for stuffing with lots of different fillings. These delicata squash taco boats are an easy grain free and dairy free main dish that your whole family will love!
This is a very tender squash – the skin is very thin, and the flesh is very soft! At Thanksgiving, we like to slice it and serve it roasted with cranberries.
Delicata squash skin is so thin that you can eat it, or you can just scoop out the flesh and leave the shell behind. It’s totally up to you! Keep your eyes open for this variety in the fall. It’s not something that I see all year round, but usually I can find it from about August to November.
- Ground Beef – I like making these with ground beef, but you can use any ground meat that works for you. I’ve made these taco boats with ground beef, ground turkey, and even ground bison. This taco filling is mild, but if you want it spicier, just increase the chili powder or add a little hot sauce.
- Squash – As I mentioned, delicata squash is not available year round. If you can’t find it, you could use acorn squash instead. The flavor will be a bit different, and it may take longer to bake, so just be aware of that.
- Spices – Garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and paprika are used to make simple taco seasoning for the meat. We like McCormick brand spices, but feel free to use any brand that works for your dietary needs.
Step by Step Instructions
- Slice the squashes in half and remove the seeds. You don’t have to trim the ends off – I did this time because they were looking a little rough. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes.
- Cook the ground beef with the onions. Add the spices, tomato paste, and water.
- After the squash is done baking, remove them from the oven and fill each one with the taco meat. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Top with salsa, peppers, and guacamole if desired. Enjoy!
To make this vegan, try using black beans, pinto beans, your favorite plant based meat, or lentils instead of beef. You could make the filling from my recipe for lentil sloppy joes and use that! Even some roasted sweet potatoes along with beans would make a hearty filling for these squash boats.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing this dish, I think the texture of the squash might change.
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Tasty Delicata Squash Taco Boats.
- 2 delicata squash sliced in half and seeded
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef or ground bison, or ground turkey
- ¾ cup sweet onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the halved and seeded delicata squash face up on the parchment and drizzle with a little olive oil, then season with a little salt and pepper.
- Bake the squash at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes, or until tender.
- While the squash bakes, place the ground beef and onion in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until it is browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess grease.
- Add the spices, tomato paste, and water. Stir and cook over low heat for a few minutes to let the flavors combine.
- Once the delicata squash is done baking, remove from oven and fill with the taco meat. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve the taco boats topped with green pepper, salsa, and guacamole, or any other toppings you enjoy.