Acorn Squash : Untapped Fall Veggie

In the midst of Fall with Halloween fast approaching we think of apple picking, costume parties, prepping for trick-or-treaters and pumpkin carving. But what about the out-shined Acorn Squash?

Instead of the usual dinner routine, switch it up! I’ve recently seen squash inspired dishes popping up on restaurant fall menus, which got me to thinking I’d like to try my own rendition at home. I found this great recipe via Half Baked Harvest. It combines my favorite flavors of sweet and spicy with a little bit of kick.

Try this new recipe and let me know what you think!

Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash

(that’s certainly a mouth full)

Ingredients

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp or melted

4 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ pound boneless skinless chicken tenders or breast

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoon lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

3 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced (use less for less heat)

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup cooked couscous (may sub rice or quinoa)

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Browned Butter Bread Crumbs

½ cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Brush the insides of each acorn squash with 2 tablespoons melted butter and then sprinkle on the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and swirl the liquid around the flesh of the squash and coat it well, trying to use up all the sauce/butter that formed while baking, then discard any remaining liquid.
  3. Place the chicken in a baking dish. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is no long pink in the middle. During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the chopped spinach to one side of the baking dish and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Place back in the oven until the spinach is wilted, about 5 -10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes, then shred the chicken with two forks or your hands.
  4. In a medium size bowl combine the remaining olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, fresh cilantro, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Mix the spinach, chicken, cooked couscous and chipotle sauce together. Now grab the acorn squash halves and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and acorn squash is crisp.
  6. While the squash bakes make the brown butter bread crumbs. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter. Melt butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Quickly remove from the stove and whisk about 30 seconds longer. Let sit 2 minutes and them stir in the Panko bread crumbs.
  7. Remove the acorn squash from the oven and top with fresh cilantro and the browned butter bread crumbs. Enjoy!

Thank you to our friends at Half Baked Harvest for this delicious stuffed squash…yum!

If you try this recipe let me know what you think? Pictures please!


Meredith Banzhoff
Meredith Banzhoff

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