The fall season brings a variety of squashes to the market that we don’t see at other times of the year. Pumpkins may get a lot of attention, but there are many other versatile, brightly colored, and nutrient-packed squash varieties to add to your dinner menu. Sweeter, denser, and more firm in texture than summer squash, the fall varieties can easily stand up to strong seasonings and can be used to make soup, casseroles, risotto, lasagna, and even desserts.
One of the easiest fall squashes to use is the Acorn Squash so try this Mexican inspired stuffed squash for dinner.
Mexican Style Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is made for stuffing and lots of flavor
Ingredients For the Squash:
- 1 medium-sized acorn squash, about 2 lbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Ingredients For the Filling:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- ½ cup bell pepper, finely diced
- 6 oz ground beef (turkey, pork or chicken) (I used two hamburgers)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of your favorite taco seasoning mix
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if you have it)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the squash on a cutting board. Trim the pointed end of the squash by cutting just enough of the pointy tip to create a flat bottom. Cut the squash in half, horizontally, (across the center). Scoop out the seeds but be careful not to break a hole in the bottom of the cavity.
- Place the squash halves cut side up in a baking dish and brush the flesh all over with olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Bake in the oven until the flesh of the squash is fork-tender, about 45-50 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
- While the squash is baking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and ground beef and season with the salt and pepper. Brown the beef, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off excess fat if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the taco seasoning and dried oregano. Toss spices to incorporate with the beef for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir until incorporated with the meat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the beef broth. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm until the squash halves are cooked.
- Once the squash halves are cooked, evenly distribute the beef mixture between the two squash halves by filling the cavities of the squash. Sprinkle each with half the cheese. Return the squash to the oven and bake until hot and the cheese is melted.