Stuffed Kabocha With Hot Dip

Published on Dec 28, 2022

  by   Kristina Stosek

2 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Serves: 8
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This stuffed kabocha with hot dip makes an impressive centerpiece at any party. The healthy roasted squash is filled with a hot cheesy dip made with artichokes, hearts of palm and fresh spinach.

This beautiful vegetarian dish is gluten free, healthy, but most importantly addictively delicious. Another gluten free appetizer you may enjoy is the Hot Salmon Dip With Smoked Cheese And Spinach, or the Baked Tuna Melt Jalapeño Poppers.

whole kabocha

FAQs about kabocha


1. What is kabocha?

Kabocha is a type of winter squash that is popular in Japan. It has tough green skin, a sweet nutty flavor and is considered a fruit. When kabocha is cooked, the skin becomes soft and can be eaten as well as the flesh.

2. How do you cook kabocha?

You can cook kabocha with or without the skin in many different ways. Add it to soups and stews, slice it into wedges, roast it, or steam it and puree it with butter and a hint of nutmeg. You can even grate it raw into salads.

How to cut kabocha?

This winter squash has tough skin and is difficult to cut. To soften the skin so it’s easier to cut, microwave the whole kabocha for 3 – 5 minutes, depending on the size.

Next, cut the kabocha in half and scoop out the seeds. Once the kabocha is halved, you can slice it into quarters, wedges or cubes.

Since kabocha’s skin is edible, you can leave the skin on. The skin becomes tender once it’s cooked. However, if you are going to puree it, I recommend removing the skin. 

half of roasted squash

Roasting squash

When roasting the squash, it becomes caramelized, bringing out the natural sweetness and adding flavor to the kabocha.

To roast the halved squash, brush the cut side with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil and season it with salt, pepper, and if you like, nutmeg.

Place the squash on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, cut side facing down, and roast at 400 Fahrenheit for 20 – 30 minutes until the squash is fork tender.

What’s in the hot dip?

This gluten free hot dip is the perfect appetizer for your next party! It’s easy to make and packed with healthy ingredients such as artichokes, hearts of palm and spinach. 

The creaminess comes from sour cream, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. And to make the hot dip extra flavorful, a splash of fresh lemon juice, shallots and basil.

close up of stuffed kabocha with hot dip

How to make stuffed kabocha with hot dip 

The key to making this dish successful is first to roast the squash.  


Steam the spinach and drain the artichokes and hearts of palm.

artichokes spinach and hearts of palm in a bowl



Combine all the ingredients in a bowl

uncooked dip mixture

Fill the squash halves and bake. If you don’t want to use the squash, bake the dip in an oven-proof dish until bubbly.

close up of stuffed kabocha with hot dip

What are hearts of palm?

The hearts of palm comes from the inner core of certain palm trees. This low-calorie vegetable is highly nutritious, fiber rich, and is a good source of iron, zinc, vitamin A, B vitamins and potassium. 

artichokes and hearts of palm in a colander

The heart of palm tastes similar to artichokes, and you can purchase it packed in water or brine.

tools you will need to make stuffed kabocha


ingredient substitutions

kabocha squash – butternut squash or hubbard squash

mozzarella – cheddar, smoked gouda, havarti, fontina, provolone

sour cream – mayonnaise

parmesan – asiago, romano, manchego

shallots – garlic or thinly sliced green onions

hearts of palm – asparagus packed in water or brine or more artichokes

overview of two kabocha halves stuffed with hot dip


Can I make stuffed kabocha in advance?

Yes, the wonderful thing about this gluten free appetizer recipe is that you can prepare it a day before your party. 

To do this, follow the recipe until you fill the squash with the dip. Once the squash has cooled, loosely cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. When ready, bring the stuffed kabocha to room temperature, then bake as per the recipe.

Please give this stuffed kabocha with hot dip recipe a try. This gluten free vegetarian appetizer will not disappoint. Serve with gluten free corn chips or toasted Gluten Free French Baguette or a delicious Gluten-Free Homemade Italian Bread.

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