Meatball-stuffed squash with spinach sauce

This hearty, low-calorie squash recipe is packed with punchy flavours – beef, almonds, olives and Parmesan, topped with a tomato and spinach sauce

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 491
  • fat 20g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 29g
  • sugars 17g
  • fibre 9g
  • protein 43g
  • salt 1.3g


  • 2 small squash, such as acorn (each about 300g), halved and deseeded
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, chives, sage & basil
  • 20g whole almonds, chopped
  • 20g stoned black olives
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (from a can)
  • 200ml hot vegetable stock
  • 100g spinach


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Put the squash halves in a roasting tin, spoon 1 tbsp water into each half and cook them in the oven for about 30 mins.

  2. Put the shallot, herbs, almonds, olives and half the Parmesan cheese in a small food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Tip everything into a bowl, add the mince and season. Mix thoroughly, then divide into 12 rough portions.

  3. Shape the mixture into six balls and divide between each squash half. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 20-30 mins until the mince is cooked through.

  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the garlic and cook it for 1 min until it’s just starting to turn golden. Add the tomatoes and stock and season well. Simmer for 15 mins, then stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt. Spoon the sauce over the squash and serve.

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