This recipe for Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash is a flavorful, nutrient-dense, hearty meal. Basically, it’s all the flavors of Christmas wrapped up in one recipe.
It combines balanced portions of protein, carbs, veggies, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied and full all night long. It’s packed with nutritious foods that help promote health and healing in the body, while pleasing your taste buds.
How to Make Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash
Anything “stuffed” sounds complicated. I get it. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that this Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash is easy as 1, 2, 3. I’ll prove it:
- Bake the acorn squash in the oven.
- Sauté all the veggies in a large skillet and add the ground turkey.
- Scoop the seeds out of the squash, stuff with turkey mixture, and bake some more.
Key Ingredients to Make Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash (Duh!)
Acorn squash is a Winter staple in my diet. Not only is it tasty, but also super good for you. It’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. Hello, cold and flu season. It’s high in fiber and potassium, too!
Poultry should always be bought at the highest quality you can find. At Whole Foods, I prefer to buy Step 3+, when I can. Be sure to look for organic, pasture-raised poultry. Or, better yet, buy from your local farmer!
Adding fresh cranberries to this recipe, adds a hint of holiday flavor.
I love a good sweet and savory combination, which is why pear is key in this recipe. A ripe pear adds subtle sweetness to this tasty dish!
Health Benefits of Fresh Cranberries
Fresh, raw cranberries are rich in nutrients. Although not as sweet as dried and sweetened cranberries, fresh cranberries offer many health benefits! Once cooked and added to other ingredients, they taste less bitter and more flavorful.
Cranberries are best known as a superfood and rightly so. They are loaded with:
- Vitamin C and E
As a result, cranberries can help treat urinary tract infections, improve digestion, and boost your immune system! If you’re on the hunt for additional cranberry recipes, these Paleo Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies are a must-try!
- 2 tbs cooking fat (ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil)
- 4 small acorn squash (or 2 larger ones)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 8 oz white mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Carefully, cut off the top of the acorn squash (where the stem is). Also, cut off the bottom of the squash to provide a flat surface (to sit upright). Place the squash (bottom side down) on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tbs cooking fat to a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute the onion untitl golden brown. Add celery and mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the skillet and cook with veggies until the turkey is completely cooked through. Season with garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and add in cranberries and pear. Saute for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
- When the acorn squash are done baking, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F.
- Using a spoon, carefully carve out the top of the squash and spoon out the seeds/flesh. Repeat on other the squash. If only using 2 large acorn squash, slice them in half.
- Spoon the turkey filling into the whole squash or half squash. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve warm!