Stuffed Acorn Squash

As autumn is upon us, the selection and quality of hard squashes available in the store or the farmer’s market is rapidly increasing. No time like the present to pick one up and start rotating in some seasonal veggies (seriously, it may be time to start backing away from tomatoes, zucchini and other summer veggies for a bit)! This recipe is similar in concept to the Stuffed Delicata Squash that I blogged last year, yet the flavor profile is quite different. If you are going to use ground beef, try to opt for grass-fed and organic whenever possible. Trader Joe’s now carries a 1-lb package for about $6.50 which is pretty reasonable considering I’ve seen the Whole Foods here in SoCal sell it for $9.99 / lb. This recipe is very easy to double to give you leftovers for the week…work smarter, not harder!

 

Ingredients:

1 large acorn squash

1# ground beef

1 onion

1 apple (any variety)

6 slices of bacon

*1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)

2 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

*Note: when it comes to herbs and spices, I absolutely hate measuring them and usually just eyeball it. This is cooking, not baking, so quantities don’t have to be precise for the recipe to work out just fine. Adjust quantities to your taste or what’s available but just remember, it’s always possible to add more but very hard to take away!

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or dish with foil or parchment paper.

2. Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out. Place on the baking sheet and roast until the flesh is tender, approximately 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to the touch. **While the squash is baking, prepare the stuffing.

3. Dice the apple and onion into medium-sized pieces. Slice the bacon into pieces.

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the bacon. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the apples and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove the bacon / onion / apple mixture to a large bowl.

5. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef (note: if the beef has yielded a lot of fat and is not grass-fed, you may want to drain it before adding the spices and herbs). Add all spices and herbs: rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, sage, pepper, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Pour the ground beef into the same large bowl. Stir to combine.

6. When the squash is cool to the touch, use a spoon to scoop out some of the flesh and mix into the beef.

7. Use a spoon to fill the squash boats with the beef mixture.

8. Return the squash to the oven and bake another 15 minutes at 375 degrees F until everything is heated through.

 

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8 thoughts on “Stuffed Acorn Squash

  1. Just a suggestion about finding a less expensive source for your meat. We went to our nearest farmer’s market and asked around, and eventually found an organic farmer who was willing to sell us a side (half) or a quarter of grass-fed beef for between $3-$4/pound. You have to order it around October, before it gets too cold and they have to start supplementing the animal’s feed with grain. This will save lots of money over the year, as long as you have room in your freezer!

    • That’s a really great suggestion, Louise! The local farmer’s market here has a few vendors that offer half or quarter sides and it’s indeed more reasonably priced. Most of the folks who raise beef here in SoCal still use grain to finish the animals so it can be hit or miss. Thanks for posting!

  2. So, does each person get a half as an entree portion or is it supposed to be sliced or dipped out ? Have never fixed anything “stuffed” like this !

    • I think it depends how hungry you are and how much you managed to stuff into each half but I’m usually full after eating a half. I usually eat the stuffing right out of it and then scrape up any remaining squash out of the shell.

  3. Pingback: The Great Debate: Organic or Not? | Gluten Free Muse

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