Twice Baked Acorn Squash

It’s Foodie Friday! We have another seasonal recipe for you today using some winter squash! We love a meal where all the components come together in one dish. This stuffed squash is the perfect comforting meal on a cool autumn day!

Twice Baked Acorn Squash

Ingredients
2 acorn squash
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup, divided)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 10oz container frozen spinach, defrosted
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 egg
Salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half and remove stem. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard or save for roasting later. Place squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet cut side up, drizzle each with a olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast squash for 40-60 minutes until tender (poke it with a fork to test) and lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Leave the oven on and reserve the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) over medium low until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the ground beef and increase heat to medium. Stir, breaking up the beef with your spoon, and cook until no pink remains, about 6-8 minutes. Drain if necessary. Allow to cool.

Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the interior of the squash with a spoon, leaving the outer skin intact. Place squash into a mixing bowl and mash using a fork or potato masher. Place defrosted frozen spinach in the center of a clean kitchen towel and wring out to remove as much of the water as possible. Add wrung out spinach, egg, cheese (reserve a little to top the stuffed squash if you like), cooled ground beef, about 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

Carefully fill the empty squash shells with the squash/beef mixture. You can top each with a little more cheese if you like. Place on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 18-25 minutes until filling is hot throughout and cheese on top is lightly browned.

Make ahead: squash may be roasted up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated. We haven’t tested this, but believe this recipe will freeze well. We would try completely assembling the squash and freezing before the second bake time. Bake from frozen and allow more cooking time.

You might also like: Butternut Quinoa Salad

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