Hello friends! Welcome to Djalali Cooks, I am so happy you’re here today. Thanksgiving is only three weeks away! Can you believe it?! It’s not often I bake sweets for us at home, but my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins last weekend have inspired me to go full-on fall flavors this year. It’s no wonder really, fall flavors are comforting and warm. And who doesn’t want that this year?Fall isn’t fall without squash; butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin…there are so many great recipes for squash. Today, I want to share a Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe that is perfect for customizing to your personal taste.
Herbs and spices really play up the fall flavors for the stuffing, while the squash and caramelized onions lay the foundation flavor. For the stuffing, I have one pound of ground pork but you can use turkey or beef if you like. To that we will add mushrooms and the caramelized onions. Let’s get started: preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then, let’s get the onions going because they will take about an hour.
This is when a mandoline slicer will be your best friend. It makes very quick and tearless work of thinly slicing a large yellow onion. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into your large skillet and heat it over low heat while you slice the onions. Toss in your sliced onions and add a generous pinch of salt. Give it a stir and revisit every 10 minutes or so to give it another stir.
When the onions have been on for about 30 minutes, cut your Acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. You can do two Acorns for four people; or you can do one Acorn, for a two person serving – with leftover filling for another dish later in the week.
Place the squash, cut side up on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper over each half. Then, turn them cut side down and bake for 20 minutes, or until they’ve browned and have a soft texture when poked with a fork.
While the Squash is roasting, brown your ground pork in a skillet over medium high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt at the start of cooking and stir, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Once it’s mostly cooked through, add the spices: 2 teaspoons celery seed, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground sage.
Stir to combine then add your roughly chopped mushrooms.
Once you’ve stirred in the mushrooms, add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, turn the heat to medium low and let the mixture cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Give it a taste test and add a little more salt if you think it needs it.
Now your Squash should be ready. When you pull your squash, leave the oven on. The onions have been on for about an hour now…
The squash is out of the oven and the pork mushroom mixture is simmering. My onions are cooking for another 10 minutes. Now, let’s add some fresh rosemary and sage leaves to the pork mushroom mixture. Remove about one teaspoons’s worth of fresh rosemary leaves from their stems and give them a rough chop. Then, chiffonade* about 6-8 sage leaves and stir the fresh herbs into the pork and mushroom mixture.
*Chiffonade cut: Stack the leaves, roll them tightly, then thinly slice the leaves perpendicular to the roll.
You can go so many different ways with the toppings for this dish. I am doing toasted walnuts, grated parmesan and more fresh rosemary. But another great way to go would be toasted walnuts with blue cheese crumbles and dried cranberries. Or toasted pine nuts, feta and fresh oregano.
Toast your nuts (about a cup) on the stovetop over medium low, in about a tablespoon of salted butter. You can add whatever spices you like. I have added a little cayenne and a teaspoon of sugar to mine. Once they become golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes), they’re done!
So now, let’s combine the pork and mushroom mixture with the onions. Be sure to mix them in well, so that you won’t have clumps of onions. Then use a slotted spoon to fill each squash. you can fill and pack it down a bit then mound another spoon-full on top. Put in the 450 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Plate up your Stuffed Acorn Squash!
Place each squash on a plate and drizzle some olive oil over the whole thing, then sprinkle on the cheese, walnuts and rosemary leaves.
I think this Stuffed Acorn Squash is a perfect fall dish. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and FLAVOR, this one is a keeper – especially if you’re avoiding bad carbs and gluten. It’s super filling, and very satisfying.
Thank you so much for reading today’s post. I do hope you try this perfect-for-fall recipe. Be sure to let me know if you make it; how it works for you; and how you made it your own! Coming this week, I will have a subscription box so you can sign up for an email alerting you to every new post, plus special subscription-only content. And don’t forget, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly
Stuffed Acorn Squash
A stuffed squash is a meal unto itself and this recipe has it all: flavorful savory pork filling, plus the mellow sweetness of acorn squash. gluten and dairy free, this recipe is a healthy way to indulge in the flavors of fall.
- 1-2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb. Ground Pork (or Turkey, or Beef)
- 1 Package Crimini or White Mushrooms, roughly chopped
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Ground Sage
- 2 tsp. Celery Seed
- 1 tsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Fresh Rosemary Leaves
- 6-8 Fresh Sage Leaves
- Olive Oil drizzle
- Grated Parmesan
- Toasted Walnuts
- Fresh Rosemary Leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slowly sauté thinly sliced yellow onion over low heat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and pinch of salt for one hour.
Meanwhile, place Acorn Squash halves on sheet tray, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Turn squash cut side down and roast for 20-25 minutes. Squash is done when the cut sides are browned and the flesh is tender.
Meanwhile, brown ground pork with a pinch of kosher salt. Once mostly cooked through, add garlic powder, ground sage and celery seed.
Add mushrooms to pork, reduce heat to medium low and add soy sauce. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until squash and onions are ready. Then add the fresh rosemary and fresh sage to the pork and mushrooms.
Stir onions into the pork and mushroom mixture.
Fill each squash half with pork and mushroom mixture (about two slotted spoon's worth) creating a small mound of filling above top of squash.
Bake filled squashes at 450 degrees for 5 minutes.
Plate and top with a drizzle of olive oil, grated parmesan, toasted walnuts and fresh rosemary leaves.
Toppings: Toast your nuts (about a cup) on the stovetop over medium low, in about a tablespoon of salted butter. You can add whatever spices you like. They are done once they become golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Alternate toppings: Toasted walnuts with blue cheese crumbles and dried cranberries. Toasted pine nuts, feta and fresh oregano.