Good Morning guys!
Hope you are staying warm. Chicago is once again in the “Polar Vortex…” Seriously, who came up with that? I am so ready for this winter to be over and be able to go out and get fresh air, take walks and grill out. Keeping my fingers crossed that March brings some warmer temps.
Today I am excited to have Anna and Lisa from Garnish with Lemon here to share their Mexican Stuffed Acorn Squash. I don’t know about you but I love squash and the thought of stuffing it with delicious ingredients and turning it into a meal is just perfect.
I have been a huge fan of Garnish with Lemon for some time now and love seeing the wonderful recipes they come up. Some of my favorites are their Crostini with Whipped Feta and Tomatoes (I have made this for a party and loved it), Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and Carrot Ginger Soup. But these are just a few of their family friendly dishes that I love..there are so many more. Stop by and check them out yourself–I know you will be fast friends! 😉
Hello Cedar Spooners! I’m Anna, and I blog with my friend, Lisa, at Garnish with Lemon. We’ve long been fans of Julia and A Cedar Spoon and were thrilled when she asked us to guest post while she enjoys time at home with her newly expanded family. (Aren’t those boys adorable??) A big thank you to Julia for having us. Now, without further adieu, let’s get on to the reason you’re here: the food.
Winter has not released its grip on us quite yet, and we’re still craving hearty, belly-warming meals at our house. This Mexican Stuffed Acorn Squash combines many of the flavors that my kids crave (tacos! nachos!) in a healthier vessel: acorn squash. It’s actually a brilliant pairing as the naturally sweet squash is the perfect foil for the southwestern seasonings of cumin, chili powder and diced green chiles. And, of course, a little bit of melted monterey jack cheese on top doesn’t hurt. 😉
You could easily make this without the sausage and add in some extra tomatoes and beans, but I love the substance and flavor that the small amount of sausage adds to the dish. Make the filling while the squash is baking or prep it in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to roast the squash. The size of squash that I’ve used varies. Sometimes it’s two large acorn squash and sometimes it is three smaller ones, just depending on what’s available at the market.
But, truthfully, the filling is the best part. It’s so tasty that I’ve been known to make extra to have on hand for other meals. It is excellent on tortilla chips with melted cheese for nachos and makes a great partner for roasted potatoes and a fried egg as part of a savory morning hash. Gotta love a meal that does double (or even triple) duty during busy weeks!
- 3 Acorn squash (about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds each), sliced in half, seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 pound mild Italian ground sausage
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 15 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet and place squash on pan, cut side down. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender (depending on size of squash).
- While the squash is baking, place oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes or until sausage is browned on all sides. (You’ll need to break it up as it cooks.) Add onion and bell pepper to the pan, cooking for another 5 minutes or until onions are soft and sausage is cooked through. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin and heat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and beans and stir until combined. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 15 minutes or until excess liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide sausage mixture evenly among baked squash halves and top each half with 1/4 cup cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
- Serve warm.