Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have to admit, I’ve had this recipe for awhile now and have failed to make it for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason is that is seemed like it was going to be really involved. In reality, it wasn’t that involved, just time consuming.

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6

Serving Size: 1/2 squash

Calories per serving: 259


  • 3 acorn squash, (3/4-1 pound each)
  • 5 ounces bulk turkey sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper,chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.



I didn’t make 6 of these. Instead, Michael and I split one squash so I altered the recipe to make just the one.

Michael cut the squash in half and I baked it in a shallow dish in water for about 40 minutes. While it was cooking we watched the Dexter finale (holy crap!).  After the show was done Michael cooked the ground turkey meat in the skillet. I chopped and prepped everything.

The actually preparation of this dish didn’t take very long and was pretty easy. The thing that took the most time was cooking the squash ahead of time.

I realized pretty quickly that we’d made too much of the meat mixture. Oh well–leftovers! The squash was done. I flipped them over and prepped them for the meat mixture.

I used a ladle to spoon the mixture into the squash. It was messy. Then I added some fresh cilantro and topped it with the Swiss cheese.

I used slices of cheese instead of shredded. It worked great. Save time and just use a slice. (It also saves on calories because you won’t overdo it with using just one slice.) I put the squash back into the oven to bake and we enjoyed salads while we waited.

Dinner was finally done and it smelled homey and delicious. The cheese was melted and oozing over the side of the squash. I put black olives on top (I forgot to put them inside the squash).

The dish was difficult to eat and very messy. I suggest using a spoon. But other than that it was a decent recipe. We needed to add more spice to the meat mixture because it was rather bland.

I liked the idea of stuffing squash with things, though. I would make this again but with more seasoning.

QUESTION: What’s your favorite stuffed squash?

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