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Acorn Squash Stuffed With Ground Turkey and Rice

Nothing says autumn like a delicious squash recipe! This stuffed acorn squash is a perfect family meal to enjoy during the cold weather season. The mix of ground turkey, rice, red and yellow peppers, onions, and parsley complement the richness of the squash beautifully.

A Simple Squash Recipe

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. While it does take a bit of time to prepare, there is very little effort involved.

You know The Best of this Life is all about simple recipes the whole family will love!

Squash is a budget-friendly food that’s bursting with flavour and nutrition. Acorn squash is full of fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.

I love all varieties of squash, especially this time of year.

While squashes are technically a fruit, they are typically used like vegetables to create savoury dishes. That said, you can make butternut squash pie, just as you would make pumpkin pie – and it’s positively scrumptious!

But back to our dish du jour, Acorn Squash Stuffed with Ground Turkey and Rice. This hearty meal is packed with goodness. The mix of ground turkey and squash is a winning combination! Together they make a belly-warming meal that is sure to become a favourite fall recipe.

One of the elements I love about this dish is the presentation. When you’re preparing the acorn squashes to be cooked, save the tops! You can use them to add a final autumn touch before serving. The gourds’ tops complete the presentation and make this a fun and festive dish on the table. Whether they are your main meal or served as a side dish for a family gathering, like Thanksgiving, they are sure to be admired.

For this recipe, you can use whichever style of rice you prefer in the stuffing. Brown, white, jasmine, basmati, wild mix – it’s up to you. The rice is prepared in advance as per package directions and then added into the stuffing.

How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

To prepare the squash you’ll cut the tops off of two acorn squashes and save them for later. You will also shave off some of the bottom, so the squash sits flat (without rocking). Next, you’ll scoop out all the seeds until the centres of the squashes are clean. 

Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly grease a large baking dish and place the squash in it. Brush each half with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. When they are ready, remove the squash from the oven and allow them to cool down before adding the stuffing. Turn down the oven to 375 F.

While the squashes are baking, it’s time to work on the stuffing.

How to Prepare Ground Turkey and Rice Stuffing

To make the stuffing, heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook the ground turkey for about 15 minutes, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon (to save juices) and transfer to a large bowl.

In the same pan, cook red and yellow peppers and onion over medium heat for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as they cook. Once they are lightly browned, add them to the bowl that includes the ground turkey.  

Time to Fill the Squash

Using a tablespoon, gently scoop out some of the squash from each half, leaving about 1/2-1/4 inch layer around the edges. Mix the squash (that you scooped out) into the bowl with the other ingredients. Add in the rice and parsley, gently stirring to combine. 

Fill each squash half with the stuffing mixture until you’ve used it all. Put it back into the oven (at 375 F) and bake for 15-20 minutes until the stuffing is heated through completely.

Serve on a platter and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Optionally, place the top of the squashes back on top of two of the halves (the other two won’t have a top). 

Most importantly, enjoy!

If you’re looking for more fall squash recipes, try our Fall Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Chicken, Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Quinoa Casserole, and Baked Squash with Apple Stuffing.

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Acorn Squash Stuffed With Ground Turkey and Rice


  • Author: Emily Smith

Description

This stuffed acorn squash is a perfect family meal to enjoy during the cold weather season. The mix of ground turkey, rice, red and yellow peppers, onions, and parsley complement the richness of the squash beautifully.


Ingredients

acorn squash 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
225 grams ground turkey (1/2 lb.)
small onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups of cooked rice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  1. Cut the tops off of two acorn squashes and save for later. Shave off some of the bottom of each squash, so it can sit flat (without rocking). Scoop out all the seeds until the centres of the squashes are clean.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly grease a large baking dish and place the squash in it. Brush each half with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp.) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. When they are ready, remove the squash from the oven and allow them to cool down before adding the stuffing. Turn down the oven to 375 F.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook the ground turkey for about 15 minutes, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon (to save juices) and transfer to a large bowl.

  4. In the same pan, cook red and yellow peppers and onion over medium heat for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as they cook. Once they are lightly browned, add them to the bowl that includes the ground turkey.  

  5. Using a tablespoon, gently scoop out some of the squash from each half, leaving about 1/2-1/4 inch layer around the edges. Mix the squash (that you scooped out) into the bowl with the other ingredients. Add in the rice and parsley, gently stirring to combine. 

  6. Fill each squash half with the stuffing mixture until you’ve used it all. Put it back into the oven (at 375 F) and bake for 15-20 minutes until the stuffing is heated through completely.

  7. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Optional: place the top of the squashes on top of two of the halves (the other two won’t have a top). 

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