MAKE: Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
The flavor profile of this snazzy dinner is simply spectacular: the salty, spicy filling pairs so well with the sweet, creamy squash and the cheese is a nice, mild addition to it all (and who doesn’t love melted mozzarella?). There are a ton of places for you to customize this, if you like. The bell pepper can be swapped for corn or even broccoli (finely chopped), you can sub the meat for something like turkey sausage, and go nuts with the cheese (Swiss, cheddar, really anything will work).
I liked this so much I’d consider making it for myself on Sunday and eating scrumptious, gorgeously healthy lunches every day of the week. If you’re pressed for time on weekday nights, bake the squash over the weekend. That way, you’re only a half hour away from an ideal dinner.
Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash
Makes six squash halves.
3 acorn squash, halved stem to tip and seeds scraped out
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 c. chopped bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder, cumin, oregano, and brown sugar
1 (15) oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
2/3 c. prepared salsa
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Cilantro, optional, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place squash, cut side up, onto foil. Spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool.
2. Bring small pot of water (about 1 qt) to boil. Add chicken breasts; reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook ten minutes. Remove and shred or dice.
3. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute 5 minutes or until softened.
4. Add salt, pepper, chili, cumin, oregano and brown sugar. Stir and let cook 1 minute.
5. Add beans, chopped chicken, salsa and 1 c. of the cheese. Stir to combine.
6. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill cavities of squash with filling and top with remaining cheese.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Serve, topped with optional cilantro as garnish.
Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.
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