Tex Mex Stuffed Acorn Squash

By January 26, 2016

These Tex-Mex inspired stuffed Squash can be filled with whatever you have on hand: beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, etc. Use meat in the first step, or skip entirely for a vegetarian version. For a garnish, add sour cream, minced candied jalapeños or chopped cilantro.

 3-4 acorn squash
 Oil
 1 lb ground meat (chorizo, ground beef, or turkey)
 2 tbsp Tex Mex Spice Blend: combo of chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder
 1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 1.5 cups)
 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
 2 tsp - 1 tbsp minced candied (or regular) jalapeños (to your spice preference!)
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1 tsp salt
 1 cup chopped tomatoes (if using frozen, thawed and drained)
 1 cup sweet corn (if using frozen, thawed and drained)
 1 cup cooked black or pinto beans
 1 cup shredded cheese (pepper jack, chipotle gouda or smoked cheddar)
1

Preheat oven to 375.

2

Cut squash in half from stem to blossom end (so that both sides are the same.) Scoop out and discard seeds. Add a very small amount of water to a sheet pan with sides, and place the squash cut-side down on the pan. Bake about 35 minutes, then turn squash halves over and bake until the inside of the squash is fork tender, another 10-20 minutes depending on size.

3

Meanwhile, add some oil to a large skillet bring over medium heat. Add ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned-- 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle Tex Mex spice blend over top, and cook for another minute or 2. If you're using chorizo, use much less or no spice blend (it's already spiced.) Remove meat from pan and set aside.

4

To the drippings, add in a little more oil (especially if you're using a lean meat like turkey) and add onion, bell pepper (if using) and jalapeños; cook, stirring often, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Add in salt and garlic; cook for 1 more minute.

5

Stir in tomatoes, corn, and beans and scrape up any browned bits. Add back in meat, reduce heat and cover to cook for about 10 more minutes.

6

Reduce oven to 325 when you remove the squash. Using a fork, pull apart some of the squash flesh from the rind and then add in filling and mix together (sort of like a twice-baked potato). Top with shredded cheese.

7

Place squash halves filling-side-up on the baking sheet, and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes, maybe with an additional minute under the broiler.

8

Extra filling can be used to stuff an omelet, tacos or quesadillas.

If you have extra filling, use it as leftovers the next day in an omelet or fold into tortillas for oven-quesadillas (400 degrees for 10 minutes.)

Ingredients

 3-4 acorn squash
 Oil
 1 lb ground meat (chorizo, ground beef, or turkey)
 2 tbsp Tex Mex Spice Blend: combo of chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder
 1/2 onion, finely chopped (about 1.5 cups)
 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
 2 tsp - 1 tbsp minced candied (or regular) jalapeños (to your spice preference!)
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1 tsp salt
 1 cup chopped tomatoes (if using frozen, thawed and drained)
 1 cup sweet corn (if using frozen, thawed and drained)
 1 cup cooked black or pinto beans
 1 cup shredded cheese (pepper jack, chipotle gouda or smoked cheddar)

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 375.

2

Cut squash in half from stem to blossom end (so that both sides are the same.) Scoop out and discard seeds. Add a very small amount of water to a sheet pan with sides, and place the squash cut-side down on the pan. Bake about 35 minutes, then turn squash halves over and bake until the inside of the squash is fork tender, another 10-20 minutes depending on size.

3

Meanwhile, add some oil to a large skillet bring over medium heat. Add ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned-- 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle Tex Mex spice blend over top, and cook for another minute or 2. If you're using chorizo, use much less or no spice blend (it's already spiced.) Remove meat from pan and set aside.

4

To the drippings, add in a little more oil (especially if you're using a lean meat like turkey) and add onion, bell pepper (if using) and jalapeños; cook, stirring often, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Add in salt and garlic; cook for 1 more minute.

5

Stir in tomatoes, corn, and beans and scrape up any browned bits. Add back in meat, reduce heat and cover to cook for about 10 more minutes.

6

Reduce oven to 325 when you remove the squash. Using a fork, pull apart some of the squash flesh from the rind and then add in filling and mix together (sort of like a twice-baked potato). Top with shredded cheese.

7

Place squash halves filling-side-up on the baking sheet, and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes, maybe with an additional minute under the broiler.

8

Extra filling can be used to stuff an omelet, tacos or quesadillas.

Tex Mex Stuffed Acorn Squash

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