This stuffed yellow squash recipe is an incredibly delicious way to prepare fresh summer squash! Ripe gold rush squash is filled with seasoned lean ground beef, red peppers, and Tex Mex-inspired flavors to make this yummy, low-carb appetizer or entree.
I'm always so thrilled when I find gorgeous Gold Rush squash at our local farmer's market. It's in-season during the summer and early fall, so I try to use it in as many different ways as I can during that time. Just in case you aren't familiar with this type of squash...
What is Gold Rush squash?
Goldrush squash is a hybrid zucchini squash that has a vibrant waxy golden-yellow color. They taste very similar to zucchini and are delicious added to many dishes and even munched on raw. Their size and shape make Gold Rush squash the perfect vegetable for stuffing with satisfying and flavorful ingredients.
In fact, my daughter doesn't love squash but she got a kick out of picking the "boats" up and eating them like a hot dog. I love when I can get my kids excited about eating their veggies.
These tasty stuffed Tex-Mex stuffed squash boats make the perfect protein-packed summer meal, so stock up on your favorite summer squash (Gold Rush not required if unavailable) and make this healthy stuffed yellow squash recipe that the whole family will love.
I was thrilled to find these gorgeous gold rush squash, among other squash beauties, at our local farmer's market this weekend.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Simple, healthy, and incredibly flavorful!
- Switch things up. This is a fun and creative way to stuff golden squash "boats."
- Customizable. You're going to love how easy this recipe is to customize to your liking.
- Deceptively nutritious. This yummy stuffed squash is a great way to sneak in veggie servings.
- You can prep the squash and cook the ground beef ahead of time to quickly assemble and bake before serving.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Gold Rush Squash (large) - is bright yellow squash with a similar flavor and shape to zucchini. Yellow squash or Zucchini works great here, too.
- Sea Salt & Pepper - enhance the naturally buttery, smooth taste of squash.
- Ground Beef - grass-fed or a leaner blend of regular ground beef.
- Southwest Chipotle Seasoning - is a fantastic combination of smoky flavor, subtle heat, and sweet peppers. It's a great blend to have around to add Tex-Mex flavor to food without using several different spices. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning, but feel free to use your favorite blend.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - to saute the peppers.
- Red Bell Pepper (ribs and seeds removed; diced) - adds crisp, sweet flavor and another layer of veggies.
- Scallions (thinly sliced; white and green parts separated) - adds flavor and texture.
- Garlic (minced) - enhances aromas and flavors.
- Tomato Paste - helps thicken the ground beef mixture and deepens the flavor.
- Chili Powder - adds smoky, dry heat.
- Corn Kernels (frozen) - Sweet corn mixed with Tex-Mex seasoned ground beef makes the best sweet and spicy squash "boat" filling.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese -adds another layer of delicious flavor and texture.
How To Make This Stuffed Yellow Squash Recipe
Prep yellow squash:
Position an oven rack in the divot the second closest to the top and preheat to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, prep squash. Start with firm, ripe Gold Rush squash (or zucchini).
Halve squash length-wise and then cut away a sliver from the rounded surface so both halves can lay flat. With a small spoon, scoop away seeds and flesh from squash halves, leaving ¼" of flesh around the perimeter. Chop flesh and set aside. Place squash halves skin side down in a shallow baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Cook veggies for filling:
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add half of the reserved chopped squash (you can use the rest for something else), bell pepper, the white parts of the scallion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the bell pepper begins to soften (3 to 4 minutes). Add tomato paste, southwest seasoning, and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant (1 minute).
Add beef to the skillet (breaking up pieces with a spoon) and cook until browned and no longer pink (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in corn kernels and a ¼ cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble squash "boats":
Dividing evenly between each squash half, spoon ground beef mixture into each hollowed half. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in 400 degrees preheated oven until squash is crisp-tender (about 30 to 35 minutes). Uncover and bake until the top beings to brown (7 to 10 more minutes).
Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot.
Making Tex-Mex Stuffed Yellow Squash for a Crowd: This is a great recipe to make for a large group. It can be multiplied for the size crowd you're expecting. One stuffed squash half is one-serving.
Cooking times will vary based on the size of the zucchini so keep an eye on your squash "boats" for doneness. You don't want the golden squash to overcook and get mushy.
This Tex Mex stuffed yellow squash can be easily customized to your liking. It's also a great way to use ingredients you may already have on hand.
Use a different protein: Instead of ground beef, make stuffed squash with ground bison, turkey, or chicken.
Make vegetarian stuffed yellow squash: Follow the same directions but use your favorite plant-based ground "beef" (like Impossible or Beyond).
Make vegetarian stuffed yellow squash with beans: A reader mentioned making this with black beans and kidney beans and that sounds SO yummy.
Mix and match with different Southwestern-inspired toppings: I kept the toppings simple with just green onions but you are welcome to mix and match your toppings. You could try:
Southwest seasoned ground beef stuffed yellow squash is a healthy and satisfying entree on its own, but if you'd like to serve it with a side this stuffed squash goes great with:
Make Ahead Stuffed Squash & Storing
Making Stuffed Squash Ahead: This is also a great recipe to make in advance. Prep the squash, cook the ground beef and corn filling, let cool and then store everything in separate containers 1 to 2 days in advance. On the day of you simply need to assemble the squash boats and bake.
Storing Leftovers: If you happen to have any leftovers, store them in a single layer in a shallow airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Toppings are best stored separately.
Freezing: not recommended.
Squash is a nutrient-dense vegetable with plenty of health benefits. They're high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Eating zucchini can help with digestion and lower the risk of heart disease.
No, this summer squash does not need to be peeled. In fact, zucchini, crookneck squash, and yellow squash all have edible soft skin. Just give the squash a good scrub and they're ready to snack on raw or use in recipes.
If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
Tex-Mex Stuffed Yellow Squash
- 4 large gold rush squash
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 2 scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Southwest Chipotle Seasoning such as Mrs. Dash
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 lb lean ground beef or grassfed ground beef
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels thawed
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 400 degrees, with rack set in the top third.
- Halve each squash lengthwise; slice sliver from the rounded part of each half so it sits flat. Leaving a ¼-inch border, scoop out halves with a small spoon; roughly chop flesh, and reserve. Place squash halves, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish.
- Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.
- Add ½ of the reserved chopped squash (save the rest for another recipe or enjoy it raw), bell pepper, scallion whites, and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until bell pepper begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, Mrs. Dash and chili powder; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add beef; cook until no longer pink, breaking up meat with a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in corn and ¼ cup Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
- Dividing evenly, spoon mixture into squash halves.
- Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
- Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Uncover, and bake until top is browned about 7-10 minutes more.
- Garnish with scallion greens.
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