Stuffed Acorn Squash
Fall squashes are so much fun and I didn’t even start cooking with them until a couple years ago! They are all good for soups but acorn squash has been my go-to for stuffing. It is easy and make great lunches if you have leftovers or meal prep them in advance for the week.
This is a great meal for when you want comfort food but want to avoid the really heavy meals (think chicken and dumplings). While I’ve included some grains and dairy in this main recipe, they are completely optional which can make this paleo friendly! Vegetarians can just remove the meat (also optional).
Notes for the recipe:
I love this dish with gamer meat if you have it available. Venison, bison, and elk are all excellent in this dish.
You can keep the seeds and roast them! Separate seeds from the pulp and let air dry. Add seeds to a mixture of Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Paprika. Layout seeds on parchment paper on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes in a 300 degree oven
I usually make this for just the two of us and my husband eats the two smaller halves while I eat just one. Then I save the extra half for lunch.
You could make these the night before, store in fridge, and bake them when you are ready
If you don’t have a sharp enough knife or the strength to cut the squash, you can poke a few holes in it and microwave for 1-2 minutes to soften it and it will be easier to cut.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 large Acorn Squash
2/3 cup broth
1/4 cup Quinoa
6 oz ground meat
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Red Pepper flakes
½ tsp Kosher Salt
½ Cup Red Onion
½ Cup Red Bell Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves
2 tsp ground Ginger
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 oz cheese (Gouda, pepper jack, and provolone are good choices) – Optional
With a very sharp knife, cut both acorn squash in equal halves and scrape out pulp and seeds with a spoon.
Lightly salt and pepper squash interior.
Add 2 tablespoons water on a large microwave safe plate. Place two halves of the squash, insides down, on the plate. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes or until the squash in soft. Repeat with the other squash halves.
While squash cooks, bring 2/3 cup broth and 1/4 cup quinoa to a boil in sauce pot with a lid. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until done.
Preheat oven to 375
Add olive oil to a sauté pan at medium high heat then add ground meat, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and break up the meat into smaller pieces while it cooks (8 minutes).
Mince 3 garlic cloves (or have pre-minced garlic on hand)
Drain any excess grease from sauté pan and set meat aside. (paper towel covered plate is a good way to soak up extra grease.)
Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger to the pan and stir. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes
Stir in quinoa and meat to the veggie mixture
Place acorn squash on baking sheet, with inside hole facing up. Add filling to the squash, pressing down to pack fully.
Leftover filling can be placed in an oven-safe dish and cooked on the side.
Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes.
Add cheese on top, and bake for 5 more minutes or melted