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chef name

Richard Garcia
Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage
Divisional Vice President Hotel Operations Caribbean & Latin America
Remington Hospitality

African-Spiced Ricotta-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recipe courtesy of Richard Garcia
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board

Servings: 4


  • 1 c Real California Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c grated Real California Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika (smoked paprika works well)
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for added heat)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the Ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. This will be your spiced ricotta mixture.
  3. Brush the cut sides of the acorn squash with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the squash halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender but not mushy.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Then, flip the squash halves over so the cut sides face up.
  6. Stuff each squash half with the spiced ricotta mixture, packing it in gently.
  7. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the ricotta is heated through and slightly golden on top.
  8. Remove the stuffed acorn squash from the oven and garnish with cilantro or parsley and, if you like, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.
  9. Serve hot as a side dish, appetizer or as a vegetarian main course.

Chef Notes

The blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika in the spiced ricotta mixture adds an exotic African flavor to the creamy ricotta and pairs beautifully with the sweet, nutty taste of acorn squash.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley

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