Welcome the fall and winter with this mild and buttery acorn squash filled with a flavorful, herbed stuffing and topped with melty cheese!
I have a bit of a hard time letting go of summer, but if I’m going to be honest, I really enjoy the fall where we live. There is nothing like living somewhere surrounded by so many trees that paint the sky with fall colors come October. And the cooler air gives me a great excuse to flip the oven on come dinner time for these sweet little stuffed squashes!
This is the time of year to start stockpiling those winter squashes.
They are so (so!) cheap, and make for a very nourishing but frugal meal. Stuffed squash is a weekly menu item in my house come September and October through a good majority of the winter. These little acorn squashes last weeks on the counter, or in a cool dry area for a good month or so! When I see the in season pricing, I load up!
Acorn squash is a nice one to start out with serving kids because the flesh is very mild in flavor and just picks up the taste of the butter you smear all over it! You can stuff it with your favorite cooked veggies and meat, top with fun, melty cheese, and it’s a perfect frugal, seasonal, family meal!
Make the stir fry “stuffing” part the night before (or early morning), and just store it away – then just needs to be stuffed into the squash after the squash roasts – super quick hands on time. You can also have the kids scoop the seeds out of the squash while you do other things! Quick throw the squash in the oven when you get home from school or work and do homework with the kids, finish up emails, etc.
- 1 medium acorn squash or 2 small, halved and seeds scooped out
- ½ lb grassfed ground beef
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 5 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup cooked long grain white rice (cooked quinoa would work, or if you are grain free just leave the grain out or use cauliflower rice)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Sea salt/pepper to taste
- 1 cup raw cheese, grated
- 2-3 TB blanched almond flour (if you are nut free you can use bread crumbs or just leave it out)
- Place the halved acorn squashes flesh side up on a baking sheet, butter the flesh, and then salt and pepper the flesh. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 50 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the filling (the filling only takes about 20 minutes to make so you can either make it ahead of time or make it a half hour into roasting the squash so they are done at the same time). Start by browning the ground beef. Make sure you season the beef with salt and pepper while it cooks. Set the beef aside. Leave the fat behind in the pan.
- Melt a few TB of butter (or bacon grease makes this taste amazing!) in the pan and add the onion with a big pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chopped kale and seasoning cook about 5 minutes until the kale is softened.
- Stir in the cooked beef and cooked rice to combine.
- Stuff the middle of the roasted squash with the cooked kale and beef filling. Really stuff it all in there. Sprinkle cheese over the top, then the almond flour. Put little pats of butter over the top of the almond flour topping to brown it up while it cooks.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the top.
For more real food dinner ideas follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!
More real food ideas you might like ::
Gluten Free Lasagna