Fall recipe- stuffed acorn squash

My mother has long lamented the fact that when I was a child, I would eat anything she put in front of me. Fast forward to my teens and 20s and I was a fairly picky eater. We decided around this time last year that we should work on making foods we weren’t fond of part of our meal repertoire. A perfect example of this is our sauteed asparagus with poached egg recipe as I wasn’t fond of asparagus or runny eggs and Bryan used to not like eggs due to a previous bout of food poisoning. Now we are obsessed with eggs and enjoy cooking and eating asparagus.

We were walking through Trader Joe’s in Chicago yesterday (why Chicago? It is the closest city that has one near us.) and the acorn squash with a note saying “great for stuffing” caught my eye. I pulled out my trusty iPhone, searched for stuffed acorn squash recipes and found a recipe from one of our favorite chefs, Alton Brown.

His stuffed squash recipe, found here, was the inspiration of my recipe, although I changed mine up quite a bit.

Ingredients (you’ll have leftovers of the filling):

  • 2 softball size acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 C. diced carrots
  • 1/2 C. diced celery
  • 1/2 C. diced onion
  • 1 T. Olive oil
  • 1/3 C. white wine (we had Sauvignon Blanc open)
  • 1 C. boil-in-bag brown rice
  • 1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 C. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • 1 t. thai spice blend (from World Market)
  • 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 2 pats unsalted butter
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops off the acorn squash and if they don’t sit flat, cut just a little off the bottom to make them sit flat. Keep the tops – you’ll need them for cooking.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and strings from the tops and squash.
  4. Place the squash a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When I cut the bottoms off my squash, I ended up cutting through, so you could see a hole in the bottom of the squash. I wrapped the bottoms of each squash tightly with aluminum foil before placing them on the parchment paper.
  5. Start your boil-in-bag rice. I used Uncle Ben’s whole grain boil-in-bag rice.
  6. In a pan, brown your meat on medium heat and move to a bowl when it is ready.
  7. In the same pan, pour 1 T. olive oil and pour in your mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) and saute until soft and slightly brown.
  8. Deglaze pan with white wine and let mixture cook in the wine for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add allspice, thai spice and cayenne to the mirepoix and stir to mix.
  10. Stir in meat and rice, mix under low heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Turn off burner, add almonds and feta cheese.
  12. Place 1 pat of butter in the bottom of each acorn squash.
  13. Fill acorn squash with mixture – don’t pack it in.
  14. Place acorn squash top on the mixture, place in oven.

I ended up baking mine for around 40 minutes. I pulled them out of the oven when I was able to easily slide a knife in to a side. Make sure the inside of the squash is soft as you’ll want to scoop it out as you eat the mixture. Plan to eat this slowly as the mixture was quite hot temperature wise.

Look for future posts on what we’ll do with the leftover filling.

Related posts:

  1. Summer squash and zucchini gratin
  2. Stuffed Pizza Tomatoes
  3. Lettuce Eat
  4. Creamed Chicken and Biscuits
  5. Mood Cooking – Hot Stir-fry

About the Author

PR gal and foodie. Half of HouseoFoodies and half of Spruce Phoenix, a real estate investment company.