Last updated on November 22nd, 2017 at 07:37 pm
This delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash has a great balance of savory and sweet. Filled with ground beef seasoned with warm spices, dried cranberries, golden raisins, pistachios, parsley and mint. This is the perfect fall and winter dish!
There is something so beautiful about a stuffed little acorn squash. They look great on a serving plate and will bring a smile to any guest.
The whole process is very simple. After cutting the squash and removing the seeds, you roast the squash in the oven until tender. I seasoned the squash with salt and a little bit of cinnamon. I drizzled olive oil and into the oven it goes! I love to add cinnamon to the squash to to intensify the Moroccan flavor.
The cinnamon makes the house smell amazing while you bake these beauties! Aromatherapy while cooking is always a plus!
I like to scrape off the seeds with a teaspoon. They come off very easily that way.
You can make the filling while the acorn squash bakes. The ground beef cooks very fast and it is so tasty! I chop the dried cranberries and golden raisins roughly because I like little hints of sweet mixed with the savory taste of the beef. It is also much easier to stuff the squash when the ingredients are in smaller pieces.
The perfect balance of spices in Moroccan cuisine makes this Stuffed Acorn Squash sing! The fresh herbs add so much flavor and roasting the squash is the key to intensifying and caramelizing an otherwise bland vegetable.
This delicious and gluten free stuffed acorn squash can also be made ahead. Bake the squash, make the filling and about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, stuff them and bake them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I like to tent them with some aluminum foil so the beef doesn’t get crispy on the top.
- This recipe has a hint of spiciness from the cayenne pepper. If you like extra heat, add more cayenne pepper.
- Top with a dollop of plain yogurt!
- Ground lamb or ground turkey are excellent options if you don’t want to use beef.
- For a vegetarian option, use cooked quinoa.
- If you like Moroccan cuisine, check out my Sheet Pan Cod with Moroccan Chermoula Sauce. It is easy to make, light, healthy, packed with flavor and a sheet pan meal means less dishes to wash! You can also make it with any firm white fish like tilapia, mahi-mahi or halibut.
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- 4 small acorn squash
- Salt, cinnamon and olive oil (for the squash)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turn each squash on its side and slice a bit off the bottom ends (so the squash can stand on a plate without wobbling). Scoop out the seeds and as much of the stringy parts as possible.
Place the squash hollowed out side up, on an aluminum foil lined sheet pan (for easy clean up). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and cinnamon. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork or small sharp knife.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, cayenne and ginger and cook stirring often for about 6 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 additional minutes.
Add the beef and season with salt. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 - 10 minutes or until well browned. Use a wooden spoon to stir the meat and crumble it into smaller pieces.
When the beef is cooked, add the mint, parsley, pistachios, raisins and cranberries. Mix well to combine. Keep warm.
After removing the squash from the oven, spoon the beef filling into the hollowed out squashes. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley if desired.
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