Brownifer Bites: Cupcake Squash with Marigold Rice

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cupcake Squash with Marigold Rice

So, to Brownie's credit, this was part of his cooking challenge the other night.  He created a beautiful steak dish, but he also created this side dish that my vegetarian heart fell in love with!  So I'm sharing the recipe with you!

I had never heard of a cupcake squash until my mom grew one in her garden and gave us one to experiment with.  I'm pretty glad she did!

A few notes:  Yes, that is in fact string cheese on top of our beautiful squash!  hahaha  It was part of the challenge and it actually wasn't half bad!  So if all you have in the refrigerator is string cheese ... go for it.  Tried and true. When I asked Brownie what he would have RATHER used, he said white cheddar, so that's what our recipe calls for.

You might be thinking ... marigold blooms?  Like, flowers?  Yes!  They're edible.  They are also an inexpensive substitute for saffron in recipes ... FYI.  So use them and be amazed!

And Yes, the shell is edible too!


  • 1 Cupcake Squash
  • 2-3 Ripe Figs
  • Raw Almonds
  • Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 5 Marigold Blooms
  • 1 Cup Rice
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • White Cheddar Cheese (or whatever your preference)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut a few slices off the top of the cupcake squash and set aside.
  • Scoop out inside of squash, discard seeds, chop remaining flesh and set aside in a small bowl
  • Dice 2-3 figs and add to bowl with chopped squash
  • Chop 3 -4 raw almonds add to bowl with figs
  • Mince 1-2 garlic cloves and add to your bowl
  • Add a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • Add 1 1/4 cups water to pan, chop the petals of 4 or 5 fresh marigolds, add to water, bring to a boil, 
  • Add rice, put lid on, simmer for 15 minutes or so - until rice is done
  • While rice is cooking, rub hollowed squash inside and out with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Place hollowed squash in a baking dish and bake at 350 until flesh is soft - about 10 minutes
  • While the hollowed squash is baking, Sautee your ingredients in the bowl over medium heat with olive until combined and heated - maybe 3 minutes
  • Remove squash from oven, set aside
  • Scoop rice into sautéed mixture and mix together until the amounts are to your liking, adjust salt and pepper to taste
  • Spoon rice mixture into hollowed cupcake squash
  • Top with cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is melted and browned
  • Optional: boil water and blanch extra slices of squash before plating, garnish with fresh marigold flowers, chopped fresh chives and more chopped almonds
This recipe is for one cupcake squash - if you're cooking for two, you'll have to double the recipe. You'll probably have some of the rice leftover ... and that isn't a bad thing - am I right!?  ;-)  But honestly,  1 1/2 cups of rice would make two of these no problem.  

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