OK, I know it’s not fall anymore. But to be honest, this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey and Rice recipe can be eaten any time of year. That’s the beauty of these delicious gourds! I see them in the grocery store all year round, so who’s to say there’s a rule against eating squash in the winter?
This stuffed acorn squash dish is so comforting and protein-packed, loaded with healthy carbs. I used lean ground turkey for the filling, along with meaty shiitake mushrooms (does that count as Asian?), shallots, and garlic. Brown rice is also in this filling mixture. Fresh thyme gives it that yummy flavor. But the cheesiness of the mozzarella on top makes this the ultimate healthy dinner. So, next time you see an acorn squash at your local grocery store, don’t rebuff them, embrace them!
Sweet and delicious when roasted, acorn squash makes the perfect vessel for this yummy ground turkey and rice filling! I made a similar stuffed squash recipe but used delicata squash which is super sweet when roasted, and has edible skin. This is also so good, but delicata squash is only available in the fall.
How to safely cut an acorn squash:
You definitely want to be careful when you slice an acorn squash in half. Don’t want to lose any fingers!
- I would suggest using oven mittens to hole onto to acorn squash to prevent slipping. Using a very sharp knife, cleanly cut through the squash lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard. Make sure you remove the stringy part too.
- You may wish to cut off the bottom point of each half to allow the squash to lay flat on the baking tray.
How to roast the acorn squash:
You have two choices here…
- Option 1: You can pre-microwave the acorn squash for about 5 minutes in a glass dish with a little water at the bottom, and then transfer to a baking tray and roast them in the oven, cut side down, at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until slightly tender. This method is a little quicker.
- Option 2: You can simply roast it completely in the oven on a baking tray, cut side down, for 30 minutes at 400 degrees until slightly tender.
- With both options, use cooking spray or brush olive oil on the acorn squash flesh before roasting.
In addition to the ground turkey and brown rice, I used shiitake mushrooms, garlic, shallots, and fresh thyme for my filling. I used the green onions for garnish.
I used some of the flesh from the acorn squash and added it into the filling for this recipe. Can’t have enough of acorn squash, right?
How to prepare the filling for the Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey until it’s no longer pink. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Next, sauté your veggies in a little canola or vegetable oil. You can choose which veggies you want for your filling, but I love the taste of shiitake mushrooms, fresh garlic, and shallots in this dish. Add the veggies to your ground turkey.
- Then you’re going to mix in the brown rice to the filling mixture, along with some cumin and fresh thyme.
- After you remove the acorn squash from the oven, scoop out some of the flesh to make a larger cavity and add the flesh to the filling mixture. Combine well and add plenty of the mixture to each acorn squash cavity. Cook the acorn squash in the 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes.
- Add the shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each half, and cook another 5 minutes until bubbly. Yummy stuff!
Look how gorgeous this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey and Rice dish will look on your dinner table tonight!Print
Roasted and stuffed acorn squash could not be easier! The ground turkey and brown rice filling combined with the sweet acorn squash makes this a winner of a dinner!
- 3 large acorn squash, sliced in half and seeded
- Cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground turkey (lean if preferred)
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- ¼ cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 green onions, chopped (green parts only)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the fleshy part of the acorn squash and place the squash halves on a baking sheet cut side down. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is slightly tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the turkey for about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from the pan and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Next, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté the garlic and shallots for 2 minutes. Add in the shiitake mushrooms and cumin and sauté another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and fresh thyme. Stir well to combine and add to the mixing bowl with the turkey.
- Using a spoon, remove some of the flesh from each acorn squash half to make the cavity slightly larger. Add the removed flesh to the mixing bowl mixture and toss to combine. Take equal portions of the filling from the mixing bowl and place into the cavity of each acorn squash half.
- Place the baking tray back into the 400 degrees oven and cook for 20 minutes. Top each acorn squash half with sprinkles of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Put back in the oven and cook another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
- When ready to serve, garnish with the chopped green onions.
Keywords: stuffed acorn squash ground turkey, acorn squash, rice stuffed acorn squash, main dishes with acorn squash
If you liked this recipe, try our Delicata Squash Stuffed with Turkey and Brown Rice.