Fall is taking its sweet time making its way to San Diego. And the infinite scroll on my Pinterest feed just offers too many pages of impeccably styled autumnal foods for my own good. With the allure of cool days and pumpkin-everything, there’s only so much more I can take of ice water and chopped salads for dinner. If you’re in the same boat, I wish I had a better solution than this one: let’s pretend. This week, I suspended my disbelief long enough to fire up the oven and whip up this roasted seasonal squashy treat. So worth it!
The result was savory, satisfying, and absolutely LOADED with nutrition. And while it gives off the vibe of a fancier weekend dinner, this thing is a 40 minute meal! I can hardly think of an easier way to break into the new season and fulfill your hearty home-cooking dreams.
The meaty chicken, earthy onions and mushrooms, and funky feta make a deliciously umami
-filled stuffing. I like to pair winter squash with savory flavors, as I sometimes find their powerful squashy sweetness overwhelming. But this time, to my surprise, when I dug into my half I found the flesh to be super mild and not too sweet at all. Maybe because it’s early in the season? I’ll consider it my reward for welcoming the new seasonal produce with open arms, because since it was more starchy than sweet, this squash boat was almost like a giant loaded potato skin. Really! Complete the experience by drizzling liberally with your favorite hot sauce.
Round out the meal with some fresh leafy greens – and don’t forget to complete your seasonal stylings with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries!
Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 generous cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
12-16 oz. ground chicken or turkey breast
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
5 oz. bag of baby spinach
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the acorn squash halves face down on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. While the squash cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ground chicken and spices and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and cooked through. Add the spinach and stir it into the mixture until it wilts. Stir in the fresh parsley, and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the squash from the oven, and flip the halves over to create boats. Distribute the filling evenly among the squash, and top each half with crumbled feta cheese. Return the squash to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.