Twice-Baked Acorn Squash with Beef and Vegetable Filling

September 17th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

For the kick-off of “Cents”-able and Savory last week, I shared with you a recipe for a super-fast BBQ sauce. This week I wanted to give you a seasonal entree that wouldn’t break the bank.

Enter stuffed squash! At my farmers’ market last Saturday, I picked up a couple of organic acorn squash from one of my favorite vendors. They were real beauties. While I love a good, simple acorn squash puree, I decided to stuff these firstfruits of autumn with something equally mouthwatering.

I chose to use grass-fed ground beef to fill them, along with lots of veggies. Instead of putting the focus on the meat and using a full pound or more, I cut it back to just half a pound and bumped up the seasonal veggies—most of which I bought at the farmers’ market. By slashing the amount of meat you use in a recipe, you can afford to purchase higher quality cuts from sustainable farms.

Eating with the seasons not only allows you to save a buck or two here and there, but it also offers you the opportunity to taste what’s fresh from local farms. And in my opinion, that’s priceless.

Twice-Baked Acorn Squash with Beef and Vegetable Filling – serves 4

For the squash:

2 medium acorn squash

Olive oil, for drizzling

Sea salt and black pepper

For the filling:

1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 lb. ground grass-fed beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped small

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3-4 large leaves of kale, thick ribs discarded, finely chopped

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tbs. tomato paste

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup raisins

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half crosswise through the squash’s “equator.” Scoop out the seeds and discard. Trim ends of squash halves so that they sit upright and don’t wobble or tip over. Arrange squash cavity-side up in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Drizzle each with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour water into the dish to come about 1-inch up the sides of the squash. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until squash flesh is almost tender when pierced with a knife, about 45-55 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: heat olive oil a skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook—crumbling up with a wooden utensil—until browned and crumbled. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and kale. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to get tender—about 5 minutes. Add poultry seasoning, paprika, tomato paste, and water. Cook, stirring, until tomato paste and water form a sauce around the meat mixture—2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in raisins. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the filling evenly among the baked squash halves, keeping them in the pan with water. Cover filled squash with aluminum foil and return them to the oven to heat everything through—about 10-20 minutes.

Serve immediately with a simple tossed green salad on the side.


This post is linked to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.


  1. Sounds lovely!

    Thanks for sharing,
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  2. this recipe is awesome. i put a big pat of butter over the stuffed squash b4 they go into the oven for the 2nd time.

  3. This sounds so comforting and delicious! Yum.

  4. I loved this recipe. I left out the raisins and tomato paste but otherwise followed it. It was delicious. I’m also gluten free.

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