Winter squash varieties like acorn & kabocha are some of my favorites for roasting and stuffing. The method is simple: scoop out the seeds, drizzle squash halves with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pop into a hot oven. When roasted, the halves become edible bowls, perfect for stuffing. My stuffing of choice is ground turkey cooked with onion, garlic, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. To the mixture, I add long grain rice, plump golden raisins, and a handful of crunchy slivered almonds. This savory filling pairs perfectly with the subtly sweet and nutty flavors of the squash.
The how to…
Recipe very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
For the roasted squash
2 medium acorn squashes, halved & seeded
1 Tbsp olive oil
For the stuffing
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
generous pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cooked white basmati rice
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp toasted slivered almonds
- Roast squash. Place squash halves on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously w/salt and pepper. Bake (cut sides down) in a preheated 400 degree oven until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- While the squash is baking, prep filling. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet. Add ground turkey, break into smaller chunks, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute more, stirring frequently. Then, stir in onion, garlic, & remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and cook for 10 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Transfer meat mixture to a bowl and mix in rice, parsley, raisins, and almonds. Set aside.
- Fill squash halves & return to oven. Divide filling into the roasted squash cavities and return to oven. Bake until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.
*Save the seeds! Separate seeds from squash flesh, place them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes in a preheated 300 degree oven.