Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffing isn’t just for turkeys any more! Squash is such a fun vegetable to use because there are so many varieties and endless ways to cook them, and this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is a fun way to use them.
Over the past few years I have become obsessed with squash. An ingredient that used to actually scare me has become a staple in my fall and winter diet. Squash is such an incredibly versatile ingredient for two reasons; 1) there are so many different types and 2) there is so much you can do with them! Like many, I love a good butternut squash soup, but simply roasting these little gourd-geous (get it?) babies makes a great side dish as well.
I think the most overwhelming and intimidating part of cooking with squash is actually how to cut into them. Their hard and nutty exterior makes them appear difficult to work with, but truthfully that is not the case at all. Although I am a nutritionist, I am not a trained chef, and I actually learned to cook from my mother, watching the Food Network and looking up videos on YouTube. True story. So if you are unsure of how to do something in the kitchen, a quick google search can provide you all of the answers you need. ( I mean, a ‘How to Cut Squash’ search on YouTube provides you with over 154,000 videos on the topic – problem solved.)
After making my fair share of soups, stews, purees and mashes, I decided to do something different and stuff my squash instead. The “stuffing” in this recipe is really simple and can easily be made with leftover rice, or any other leftover grain you have from the night before. Roasting the acorn squash before stuffing it makes it much more tender and easier to eat. In fact, you can eat the skin on the squash as well, not need to peel those little guys at all!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
This recipe can easily be substituted for whatever you might have on hand; quinoa for rice, sausage for bacon and onions for leeks. Just use what you have and make the most it!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Mains
- Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 large leek, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1 cup rice, cooked
- ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Cut the acorn squash in half, remove seeds and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and transfer to the oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare the stuffing.
- In a skillet on medium heat, cook bacon until brown but not crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, remove the excess bacon fat, and cook the diced leeks for 3-4 minutes until tender, and add the minced garlic for final 30 seconds.
- Add the kale and broth to the pan and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
- While the kale is cooking, dice the bacon into bite size pieces.
- Once the kale is cooked, stir in cooked rice, walnuts, dried cranberries and bacon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the squash are done cooking remove them from the oven and fill cavities with rice stuffing.
- Return stuffed squash to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Serve warm and enjoy!