Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash
Winter acorn squash stuffed with seasoned ground turkey and topped with cheese.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
- 2 small acorn squash, cut in half, cavity scooped out
- 1 pound ground turkey use mix of light and dark
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1½ cups (12-oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies like Ro-Tel
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- OPTIONAL: homemade red enchilada sauce, about 4 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 400º. Place squash cut side down in baking dish and add a little water to dish. (Alternately, can use a lightly sprayed baking sheet and skip the water.) Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
While squash bakes, make turkey mixture. Pat turkey dry, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in skillet and when hot, add turkey in one piece. Do not move or break up, let brown for several minutes. Flip and brown other side for a few minutes, then start breaking up with wooden spoon until crumbled and cooked through.
Add onion, garlic and a little salt and pepper. Cook and stir until onions start to soften, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and chilies, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste for salt.
Turn over baked squash and generously fill cavity with turkey mixture. If using, top with a spoonful of homemade red enchilada sauce. Top each with a heaping tablespoon or two of shredded cheese. Return to oven and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Enjoy!
- Use any variety of acorn squash, including carnival, sweet dumpling and delicata.
- Here's how to make homemade red chile sauce if you'd like to add a little before the cheese.
- Brown the turkey really well and undisturbed for the best flavor and color.
- Any leftover turkey mixture is good with eggs for breakfast or extra filling for the squash on the side.