Breaded Lemon-Coriander Acorn Squash with Marinara Sauce

Breaded Lemon-Coriander Acorn Squash with Marinara Sauce

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Recipe and photo by Emma Frisch

Breaded Lemon-Coriander Acorn Squash with Marinara Sauce
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes – About 5 active minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 side servings
  • Allergens: dairy, wheat

Preserved lemons are easy to make and one of my absolute favorite ways to power the pantry. Try this quick and snappy recipe for keeping them in stock. While the flavor won’t be quite as bold, you can easily substitute with lemon zest or lemon juice (see below).

If the addition of coriander and lemon seems too exotic, this dish will not suffer in the slightest if you leave them out. It will also be happy if you add in a handful of fresh herbs, a pinch of chili or bacon bits. Similarly, substitute Parmesan for gruyere, cheddar or whatever you have on hand.

In the same way that grating a whole nutmeg will release a more powerful and aromatic spice than pre-ground nutmeg, coriander seed is always brighter when toasted whole and then ground (see below for instructions).


  • Acorn squash – 2
  • Marinara sauce – 1 3/4 cups
  • Butter or ghee – 1/8 cup, melted (substitute with olive oil)
  • Preserved lemon – 1/4 lemon
  • Sea salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Freshly ground pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 head
  • Coriander seed – 1 tablespoon, ground and toasted
  • Bread crumbs – 2 tablespoons (substitute with gluten-free bread crumbs or ground almonds)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) – 3/4 cup, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare the acorn squash. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds (reserve them for making roasted squash seeds). Lay the flat side of each half face-down on a cutting board, and slice crescent-moon wedges (like a melon) along the natural lines. Arrange the wedges skin-side down in a baking dish.
  3. Prepare the preserved lemon by removing the pith (inside flesh) and rinsing the rind thoroughly to remove the salt. Mince the rind. Substitute with 1 tablespoon lemon zest or 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the marinara sauce, melted butter or ghee, preserved lemon, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the squash, using a spoon or brush to coat the squash completely.
  5. Break up the head of garlic into individual, unpeeled cloves. Toss them in the dish. (Whenever I roast food, I add whole garlic cloves to the dish. They add flavor and make delicious, sweet, immune-boosting paste to smear on bread, blend with dips and soups or pop into your mouth straight out of the shell).
  6. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes (or 30 if cooking at a higher temperature). There are two ways to know if the squash is done: it will be fork tender and it will radiate a vibrant, sunflower yellow color.
  7. While the squash is baking, prepare the topping. Toast the coriander seed in a dry pan until it begins to brown. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds, or, once cooled put the seeds in a Ziploc bag and crush them with the bottom of a glass or with a rolling pin.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the ground coriander, bread crumbs and grated Parmesan.
  9. Remove the squash from the oven and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture generously and evenly over the squash. Return the squash to the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 10 minutes longer. (For a quicker and more toasted finish, turn on the oven broiler to high and finish off the squash in about 3-5 minutes.)
  10. Since the seasoning in the marinara sauce will vary, let each eater add more salt and pepper at the table.

For more recipes by Emma Frisch, visit her food blog at

This recipe is from the 3-Season Diet Challenge – a 12-month guide to eating with the seasons as nature intended. This FREE program takes you through a year of eating seasonally with month-to-month support and guidance. You can start the challenge anytime throughout the year. >>> Learn more and sign up here!

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