Cue Ball Squash Stuffed w/Rice Recipe

You probably haven’t heard of cue ball squash. This playful round zucchini variation is super fun to cook and a pleasure to eat! Dig in!

Raspberry Tart with Dairy-Free Pastry Cream

Cue ball or eight-ball squash, a delightful and distinctive variety of summer squash, derives its name from its petite, spherical shape reminiscent of a billiard’s eight ball. Cue ball squash was developed by Hollar Seed Company and brought to market in 1999.  This vibrant green vegetable is a member of the gourd family and boasts tender, edible skin. With a mild and slightly sweet flavor, cue ball squash can be enjoyed in many different serving options. Its compact size makes it perfect for stuffing, where its hollowed interior can be filled with a variety of delectable mixtures, from vegan cheeses and herbs to grains and tofu. Alternatively, it can be sliced and sautéed, adding a crisp texture and subtle taste to dishes. Its playful appearance and culinary versatility make cue ball squash a charming addition to gardens and kitchens alike, capturing the essence of summer harvests in its delightful form.

Making this Cue Ball Squash Stuffed with Rice is a fun and gratifying experience that combines creativity with joy of roasting and baking fresh veggies. The process is akin to sculpting a flavorful masterpiece, where you transform humble cue ball squash into edible works of art. The sheer joy of scooping out the tender flesh of the squash and concocting a medley of rice, vegetables, and aromatic herbs is easy and fun. As you blend and season the ingredients, exciting anticipation builds for the final result – a symphony of flavors and textures that will dance on your taste buds. The act of stuffing the squash, watching it bake to perfection, and finally unveiling your creation is a source of immense satisfaction and pride. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, the process of making cue ball squash stuffed with rice is a celebration of culinary ingenuity, promising not just a delicious meal but a memorable and enjoyable cooking escapade.


A vegan food journal with fresh, delicious recipes.

Hello, I'm Denise.

I love to eat, garden, travel, and do yin yoga! I make plant-based recipes and photograph them from my 1920’s, remodeled apartment in Rhode Island. I've always loved fresh basil. Put some fresh basil leaves on a piece of cardboard, drizzle on a little olive oil and sea salt, and I'd be tempted to eat it! ❤️

I make homemade pizza dough at least once a week, but that wasn't always the case. I used to think scratch pizza dough would take too long, be too much fuss, and not be worth the effort. How wrong I was! Our five-ingredient pizza dough is foolproof in terms of flavor and freshness. You can count on this simple recipe every time!

Where You Can Get Cue Ball (eight ball) Squash

We harvest our cue ball squash from the garden in the mid-late summer. If you don’t garden, here are some other places to get your hands on a few.

  • Local Farmers’ Markets – Local farmers’ markets are excellent places to find a variety of fresh, locally grown produce, including specialty squash varieties like Eight Ball squash. Check the farmers’ market listings in your area and visit them to inquire about the availability of Eight Ball squash.

  • Specialty Grocery Stores – Some specialty grocery stores or organic food stores may carry unique and diverse types of produce, including Eight Ball squash. Visit or call your local specialty grocery stores to ask if they have this specific squash variety in stock.

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs – CSA programs offer subscriptions for regular deliveries of fresh, locally grown produce, often including unique and heirloom varieties. Joining a CSA program in your area might provide you with access to Eight Ball squash during its growing season.

  • Online Seed Retailers – If you’re interested in growing Eight Ball squash in your own garden, you can look for online seed retailers that specialize in heirloom and unique vegetable varieties. You can purchase Eight Ball squash seeds and grow the squash yourself.

  • Local Nurseries and Garden Centers – Some local nurseries and garden centers might sell young plants of various squash varieties, including Eight Ball squash, during the growing season.

  • Online Marketplaces – Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and specialized food delivery services might offer Eight Ball squash or seeds for purchase. However, availability can vary.

When looking for Eight Ball squash, make sure to check the seasonal availability in your region. It’s typically a summer squash variety, so it’s more likely to be available during the warmer months. If you’re interested in using Eight Ball squash as a substitute for zucchini in recipes, keep in mind that their flavors and textures are quite similar, making them suitable for similar culinary uses.

Vegan Puff Pastry

Cue Ball Squash w/Stuffed Rice ingredients

This is a super simple recipe to make!

  • Cue Ball Squashes (or substitute with any small round squash): These adorable, round squashes resemble billiard cue balls, providing a unique presentation for your dish. Their tender flesh serves as the perfect vessel for the flavorful stuffing.
  • Cooked Rice (white, brown, or a mix): Tender and fluffy, the cooked rice acts as the hearty base of the stuffing, providing a comforting texture and a neutral backdrop for the medley of flavors.
  • Diced Bell Peppers (mixed colors): Vibrant and crisp, diced bell peppers bring a splash of color and a sweet crunch to the stuffing, enhancing visual appeal and taste.
  • Diced Zucchini: Zucchini, when chopped, adds a mild and tender element to the stuffing, contributing a subtle flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • Diced Onion: Diced onion lends a savory and aromatic note to the stuffing, infusing it with depth and character.
  • Cooked Tofu or Roasted Chickpeas (optional): This optional addition provides a protein boost and a satisfying texture, whether you prefer the rich taste of ground turkey or the plant-based goodness of crumbled tofu.
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley brings a burst of freshness to the dish, adding a vibrant color and a clean herbal aroma.
  • Chopped Fresh Thyme: Chopped thyme offers a fragrant and earthy essence, elevating the overall flavor profile with its distinctive taste.
  • Red Pepper Flakes (adjust to taste): For those seeking a touch of heat, red pepper flakes can be added to the stuffing, allowing you to tailor the spice level to your preference.
  • Salt and Black Pepper to Taste: These essential seasonings enhance the overall taste of the dish, bringing out the flavors of each ingredient.
  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the vegetables, olive oil imparts a luscious texture and a mild, fruity flavor.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional, for garnish): If desired, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top adds a rich and savory note, enhancing the final presentation and taste.

Feel free to mix and match these ingredients to create a stuffing that suits your palate, and enjoy the wonderful combination of flavors and textures in your Cue Ball Squash with Stuffed Rice dish!

–Watch Us Make This Recipe–

Watch Chef Riann make this recipe. She talks you through the entire video step-by-step.

How to Make Cue Ball Squash w/Stuffed Rice  

So fun and so easy! Let’s go!

First, Prepare the Cue Ball Squashes – Carefully cut off the tops of the cue ball squashes to create lids. Scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh to create a hollow cavity. Set the lids aside. The walls of the squashes should be about 1/4″ thick.

Heat the oven to 390° – Completely cover the cue ball squash with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Turn them over in a baking dish and bake them for 20 minutes or until soft, but not to the point where they are collapsing.

Vegan Puff Pastry

Then, prepare the stuffing (Basil Fried Rice Recipe, option)Add a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the diced onions until they turn translucent and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the diced bell peppers and zucchini, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until they soften slightly. If using, add the cooked and crumbled ground turkey or tofu and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the chopped thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine, allowing the flavors to meld.

Vegan Puff Pastry

Finally, let the squash cool enough to handle. With a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop in the rice stuffing until full. With a toothpick, secure the ‘hat’s onto the squash. Garnish and serve! 

Vegan Puff Pastry

You can put the stuffed squash back in the oven for only 5-7 minutes, but it’s not necessary. Serve hot and enjoy! 

Vegan Puff Pastry

Ways To Serve Cue Ball Squash Stuffed w/Rice Recipe 

So many ways to serve! Here are a few.

  • Classic Presentation – Place your stuffed cue ball squash halves on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme. You can also sprinkle some grated vegan Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor and richness. Serve the squash halves as the main dish with a side salad or crusty bread.
  • Family Style: Arrange the stuffed squash halves on a large serving tray or baking dish. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top for a glossy finish. Place the tray in the center of the dining table and let everyone serve themselves. This is an excellent option for casual gatherings or family dinners.
  • Elegant Individual Plates: Plate each stuffed squash half on a separate dish. Spoon any extra sauce or filling around the squash for an attractive presentation. Add a sprinkle of finely chopped chives, basil, dill, or microgreens on top for a burst of color. Serve with a side of mixed greens or a light vinaigrette salad.
  • Sauce Drizzle: Elevate the dish by drizzling a complementary sauce over the stuffed squash. A simple tomato-based marinara sauce, a creamy garlic tahini sauce, or a flavorful vegan basil pesto can add an extra layer of taste. This enhances the flavors and adds a decorative touch to the plate.
  • Side Dish Option: Serve the stuffed squash as a creative side dish. Instead of using whole squash, you can cut them into smaller pieces and stuff them with rice. Arrange these smaller portions neatly on the side of the main course, providing a unique and eye-catching accompaniment.
  • Topped with Crunch: Top the stuffed squash with a crispy element for some texture contrast. Toasted breadcrumbs, crushed nuts (like candied pecans), or some fried onions can add a satisfying crunch to each bite.
  • Global Flavors: Experiment with different seasonings and stuffing ingredients to create a global fusion. For instance, you could stuff the squash with a mixture of rice, spices, and ingredients inspired by cuisines like Mexican, Mediterranean, or Indian.
    Dairy-free raspberry tart

    More Baked and Roasted Vegetables

    Healthy and full of flavor!

      • Roasted Acorn Squash One of my tried and true crowd-pleasers is roasted acorn squash stuffed to the brim with veggie fried rice, drizzled with our homemade garlic tahini sauce. Everyone you feed will ask for seconds, so be sure you make enough!
      • Roasted Rainbow Carrots Brighten up your plate with these roasted rainbow carrots. Lightly caramelized around the edges and crisp-tender in the center, they are a wonderful side dish!
      • Roasted Cherry Tomatoes These themed vegan sugar cookies are versatile and easy to make. They will please even the harshest baked goods critics!
      • Roasted Cauliflower This roasted cauliflower recipe is super simple. It will come out of your oven brown and crispy and melt-in-your-mouth tender. I just can’t get enough of it! I make it every week.
      • Roasted BroccoliRoasted Broccoli Roasting broccoli is as easy as cutting up the florets, adding a little olive oil, and putting them in the oven. This roasted broccoli recipe will win over even the most vegetable-averse!

    If you decide to try any of these recipes, please let us know by leaving a comment below

    Cue Ball Squash Stuffed w/Rice Recipe

    Denise Keniston - Basil Lover
    You probably haven't heard of cue ball squash, but it you have you know how fun and delicious it is! And, when it's stuffed with rice stir fry it's even better!
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine American


    • 6 cub ball squash


    • 1 cup cooked rice (white, brown, mixed)
    • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers (mixed colors)
    • 1/2 cup Diced zucchini
    • 1/4 cup Diced onion
    • 1/2 cup Cooked tofu (optional)
    • 2 tbsp Chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tsp Chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
    • Sea Salt
    • Freshly ground pepper
    • Chopped green onions or chives (for garnish)


    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Prepare the Cue Ball Squashes: Carefully cut off the tops of the cue ball squashes to create lids. Scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh to create a hollow cavity. Set the lids aside.
    • Coat the Cue Ball Squash - Rub olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper completely coating each squash.
    • Arrange in a Baking Pan - Arrange each cue ball squash evening in a baking pan. Be sure the squash aren't touching each other as they'll need room to cook all the way through.
    • Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
    • Prepare the Stuffing: In a skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Sauté the diced onions until they turn translucent and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the diced bell peppers and zucchini, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until they soften slightly. If using, add the cooked and crumbled ground turkey or tofu and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
    • Add Seasonings: Sprinkle in the chopped thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine, allowing the flavors to meld.
    • Remove the Squash from the Oven - Your cue ball squash should be well-cooked, but not too soft or mushy. Allow them to cool.
    • Spoon In the Stuffing - Using a serving spoon or ice cream scoop, spoon in the rice stuffing. Cover with the baked top and secure with toothpicks.
    • At this point, you can put the stuffed cue ball squash back in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, However, it's not neccesary since they squash and rice stuffing are already cooked.
    • Cool and serve!
    Keyword cue ball squash, zucchini, stuffed squash
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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