Easy, warm, and comforting, these Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash are the perfect weeknight meal.
Winter squash makes an ideal vessel for stuffing, and the acorn variety is no exception.
When it's roasted, the interior flesh becomes caramelized and slightly sweet. This flavor profile pairs so great with many different fillings, but especially the flavors of Morocco.
The very distinct flavor of lamb was what I was looking for as a base to my stuffing. If lamb isn't your thing, you could definitely substitute ground beef or sausage.
Don't be scared of Moroccan spices either, I'd be willing to bet you have every single one of them on hand in your spice drawer. I was surprised to see that I did!
After roasting the squash, simply remove most of the flesh and combine it with the ground lamb mixture. Stuff all of that goodness back inside of the squash and back in the oven they go.
Before serving, top them with crumbled goat cheese and toasted pine nuts and you have yourself a flavor packed meal that is deceptively easy.
Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb (can sub ground beef or ground sausage)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Goat cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut each acorn squash in half through the stem. Scrape out and discard the seeds and inner membrane.
Place the squash halves cut side down on the prepared pan. Roast in preheated oven until a sharp knife is easily inserted through the outside of the squash, 40-60 minutes.
Remove squash and allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Saute onion for 5-8 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add garlic and continue to cook for one minute. Add lamb, and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through. Drain off fat. Add salt, pepper, and spices. Stir well.
Stir in cranberries.
Once the squash has cooled, scoop out the cooked flesh, leaving 1/4 inch in tact. Stir flesh into lamb mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Divide batter evenly between squash shells.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with goat cheese and pine nuts.
There are many things you can substitute in or out of this recipe. If you don't have cranberries, you can use golden raisins or even pomegranate seeds.
I was tempted to add 1 cup of cooked quinoa, but decided not to at the last minute. I think it'd be delicious though!
Use any nut or any crumbly cheese that you have on hand for the topping.
If you like stuffing things, try making this or baking these!