Meat Lover's Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash are filled with all of the flavors and spices of the autumn season including two kinds of ground meat and naturally sweet handpicked apples.
You are just going to love this Meat lover's Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash as it is savory, naturally sweet and slightly spicy. It is also happily gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo friendly too.
Seriously, I don't know how this Meat Lover's Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash can taste so darn good and yet be so good for you. The secret is using fresh in season ingredients.
What spices do you think of when you think of autumn/fall? Well of course, that has to be cinnamon as this spice is a great accompaniment to apples and acorn squash. Sage as it goes really well with Turkey. Rosemary is super fragrant and whether you have fresh or dried don't skimp on this spice, or you will be sorry. Dried chilis to warm you up is a must try spice in these Meat Lover's Apple stuffed Acorn Squash.
Why 2 kinds of meat? Well, why not!!! Actually, a mixture of turkey and lean beef really makes this dish moist and juicy and a great way to keep this dish lean and mean. You could also use ground lamb or anything your heart desires.
Have you had a chance to hit the apple orchard this fall? We are just amazed at al of these new breeds of apples. You will want to use a crisp apple that can hold up to the cooking process. We used gala apples but you can also use green apples, fuji or honey crisp or other crunchy apples. We also cooked our apples just slightly on the stove top as we love the apples to still have a little bite to them.
Acorn squash are just these perfect little naturally sweet containers to hold this delicious savory herbed meat lover's apple stuffing. You could also use butternut squash, kabocha squash and other naturally sweet squash of choice. Dad taught us this quick and easy trick to roast squash. If you put the squash cut side down on a baking sheet with a little water it helps steam them first then flip them over with a little olive oil and spices to get toasty browned. This is a very good thing as it helps keep the squash moist and cook faster in the oven.
Meat Lover's Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash is going to be your new go to fall/autumn recipe.
If you like squash, have you tried our ....
For dessert, how about a Cardamon Ginger Butternut Affogato
Meat Lover's Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash
cut in half, seeds removed
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
( or coconut oil, if you prefer) 1 tablespoon is for the meat and apple stuffing and the other tablespoon is for the final roasting of the acorn squash)
- 1 onion
small peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic
peeled and minced
- 2 small apples
gala apples (or crispy apples of choice like granny smiths, fuji, etc)
- ¼ pound ground turkey
- ¼ pound hamburger
- 1 tsp rosemary
dried or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped.
- 1 tsp cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- 1 tsp sage
- ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
or to taste (optional)
- salt and pepper
- pomegranates optional - seeds to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F ( 204 degrees C).
- Carefully with a sharp and sturdy knife ( We used a Chinese clever), cut the acorn squash in half going with the natural grooves of the squash. (You could also use butternut, kaboacha or other naturally sweet squash that you desire. You will have to adjust the cooking time according to the size of your squash.)
- Line your baking tray with waxed paper/ parchment paper (just for easier cleanup) and place your acorn squash down in the pan, cut side down. Place about ½ to ¾ cup water in the pan to help steam the squash. Bake the acorn squash between 30 minutes to 40 minutes or until your can push the fork easily into the outer green covering of the acorn squash. (Our acorn squash were fork tender in 30 minutes)
- While your acorn squash are baking in the oven, prepare your meat eater's apple stuffing for the acorn squash. In a medium frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, garlic and apples and saute just until to start to become fork tender. You want to leave them a little crisp for texture. (Remove apple, onion and garlic mixture from pan and set aside) Add the ground turkey, ground lean hamburger, rosemary, cinnamon, sage, dried red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and cook until ground meats are browned ( about 5 minutes) Add the apple mixture back in with the meat mixture and stir. (Fresh herbs are the best and if you have access to them, that is preferred, but you will need to add more herbs as fresh herbs are not as strong as dried herbs, in many cases)
- When the acorn squash are fork tender, flip over so that cut side is up. Brush on olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle on a little ground cinnamon. (If you have a sweet tooth and really need an extra sweet and savory dish then drizzle on a little maple syrup to the acorn squash halves before adding the meat eaters apple stuffing mixture) Spoon the meat eaters apple stuffing inside the acorn squash halves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes more or until the edges of the acorn squash turn lightly browned and the meat mixture gets a little brown crust. Remove from oven.
- Garnish your Meat Eaters Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash with pomegranate seeds and enjoy!