Make Leftovers New Again – Preschooler-Approved Stuffed Squash

C came up with another great little presentation for T’s dinner the other night as he was barbecuing up our meal (because right now all that’s used to cook meals here is the barbecue – too hot for anything else other than take-out or go-out anyway). He took one round summer squash, sliced off the top just enough to scoop out the innards, and stuffed it with some preschooler-appealing leftovers (this night it was beans and rice with a little shredded cheese). He then cooked it up on the barbecue while our own dinner was cooking, which was efficient as well as creative! Go Chef C!

T trying to figure out why the squash tastes like a bean-rice-cheese burrito - oh, because it does!

Preschooler-Approved Stuffed Squash


One round summer squash (baseball to softball-sized), yellow or green

Enough leftovers to fill squash, preferably one of the kid’s faves (rice and beans, pasta, spaghetti, or mac-and-cheese would work well; we used rice, beans, and some shredded cheese mixed up)


  1. Slice top off the squash, discard top, and remove all seeds and membrane (which parents can cook-eat if they like, or you can mix into filling later, but we didn’t); microwave for 1 minute on high empty.
  2. Prepare your stuffing/ filling so it will fill the shell of the squash to the top; fill squash.
  3. Place squash on back rack of barbecue where your meal is already grilling (this is similar to squash being inside of a 350 degree oven with cover closed).
  4. Cooked stuffed squash for 12 minutes at 350 degrees; remove and let squash stand 10 minutes before serving.

The aftermath, which is pretty great for not being a clean-plate club household!

I’ve posted some photos of T’s stuffed squash experience. We don’t believe in the clean plate club here at this house, so we were very happy with the reception! And personally, I was impressed given that we’d already gone the stuffed peppers route with T before a few times, which were nowhere near as successful.

Hope this idea helps you stuff your kid at dinner tonight!