Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Last week I wrote about hanging on to summer with this summer squash dish.  Now that it’s mid-month, I’m slowly starting to embrace October.  I even stocked up at my favorite local farm market on some fall squashes – spaghetti and acorn.  I have spaghetti squash mastered, but acorn I typically just roast and use as a side dish. This time it became the star of the meal.This Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe was inspired by a posting one of my girlfriend’s put up on Facebook.  The original recipe featured sausage, which is not something I eat, so I re-worked this recipe to feature a leaner meat of ground turkey.  And since I’m finally coming to terms with this whole “fall” thing, I even put a Thanksgiving spin on the dish with the addition of cranberries.

Acorn squash is bursting with antioxidants from the high amounts of vitamins A and C. Throw in some healthy B vitamins, including folate, along with a rich source of fiber, and you have the perfect base for a meal.  The ground turkey provides a lean source of protein, while the sweet cranberries add antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits (just make sure to use a low sugar variety).  Save the seeds from inside the squash to roast for 10-15 minutes in a 350ºF oven using a little olive oil and your favorite seasoning for a satisfying snack of protein, fiber, magnesium, and zinc.

Mr E, who is very vocal in his dislike of most things squash, gave this one 2 thumbs up.  If you have a squash hater in the house, give this one a try.  It may even make them re-think their relationship with squash!

RECOMMENDED REGISTRY ITEMS: chef’s knife, large non-stick skillet, measuring cups & spoon set, silicone spatula

Try out this Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash for your next fall-themed dinner.  

Tell me what you think by giving a shout in the Comments below. 

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Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 stuffed squash

Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

    For the Squash:
  • 2 acorn squash (See Notes)
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil (See Notes)
  • Fresh ground pepper, for seasoning
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried ground rosemary
  • 1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 dried cranberries
  • 1C seasoned breadcrumbs (See Notes)
  • 1/2 C grated asiago cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1 TB fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the top and bottom off of squash to create a flat surface, then cut squash in half to create to "bowls". Discard the seeds (See Notes). Pour 2 TB olive oil over the flesh of the squash and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Roast flesh side up for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool once finished.
  2. While the squash is roasting, heat 1 TB olive oil on medium heat in large non-stick skillet. Cook shallots 3 minutes until translucent.
  3. Combine pepper, rosemary, mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  4. Add turkey to mixture and cook 5-6 minutes until no longer pink.
  5. Mix in the cranberries, breadcrumbs, and asiago until combine and the cheese has melted. Sprinkle in parsley and remove from heat.
  6. Place 1 C of filling into the acorn squash, plus extra to create a rounded top. Sprinkle asiago cheese on top and cook in 400ºF oven for additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe makes 4 servings. If you are going to make 2 servings on another night, roast the second squash that night for optimal freshness.

For additional flavor, use an herb infused olive oil. You can make your own or use a pre-made version, such as the rosemary olive oil from Carter & Cavero.

In place of seasoned breadcrumbs, use cornbread crumbs. Use day old cornbread and break down into crumbles to obtain 1 C.

Squash seeds make a delicious snack! Once they are removed, drizzle with olive oil and coat with your favorite seasoning. Roast in 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes.

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This recipe was adapted from BuzzFeed Video

Nutrition Info

1 stuffed squash= 479 calories, 13g fat (3g sat fat), 62g carbs, 6g fiber, 32g protein, 367 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog.

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Turkey & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash | Nutrition Nuptials | Mandy Enright MS RDN RYT

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