Acorn Squash with Turkey and Apple Stuffing

10 Oct



Fall is here! Time for skinny jeans and leggings with boots, snuggling under blankets on the couch, and — most importantly — delicious, rich and filling dinners.  Without a doubt fall is my favorite season to spend in the kitchen. It’s finally cool enough to make having the oven heating a comfort rather than a curse. The more frequent outdoor dreariness encourages me to get creative with the colors on my plate. And, best of all, fall produce overlaps with the last of summer’s bounty to provide an amazing variety of ingredients.

Last Thursday we entered our final full month of CSA deliveries for the season. Snuggled in among the ears of corn, new potatoes and honeycrisp apples in our crate were two big, beautiful acorn squash — a first for our kitchen. After some thought, I decided that it would be best to let this new vegetable play a starring role rather than a measly, ho-hum side dish. I am so glad I did.

I served one squash half per person with a scoop of brown rice and apricot pilaf, garnished with the toasted squash seeds (why throw away good nutrition?). Recipes follow.

For the stuffed squash:


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 scallion, diced (white part only)
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Halve the acorn squash and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Prick squash halves all over with a fork and place in a baking dish.
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Using hands, mold mixture into squash “bowls”, mounding if necessary. Pour 1/4 inch water into base of baking dish.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until squash are fork-tender.
For the squash seeds:
  1. Place seeds in a colander and rinse under water, separating them from squash membrane.
  2. Dry seeds thoroughly.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, toss to coat.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until crunchy.
For the rice pilaf:


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • pat of butter
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. Prepare brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add apricots and cook until warmed through and softened, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir apricots and parsley into rice. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon and stir to combine.
  4. Serve garnished with toasted squash seeds.
Recipes serve four.

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