With the holidays here, there is always so much focus on the holiday meal but what about the week of when you need something easy and filling to get you by while prepping? That’s where this tasty and Stuffed Acorn Squash with Beef, Pear & Kale recipe comes in. This will feed the family and wow them with flavor and beauty all while keeping the lift, low. The steps are simple and straightforward and the results are a dayum good meal. Not to mention, this dish pairs amazingly with Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn.
- Acorn Squash, halved and de-seeded– One of the best fall/winter squash varieties for roasting and stuffing. The skin becomes delicate and soft and easy to peel away from the flesh after it’s been roasted.
- olive oil— high-quality olive oil can make or break your dish. Don’t skimp on this ingredient!
- kosher salt— there are different varieties of salt and you’re looking for something more coarse than fine table salt but less chunky than rock salt. I’ve linked my favorite kind of salt for cooking!
- shallot– a shallot is if an onion and a garlic had a baby. Perfectly balanced in both flavors and less sharpness and bit than each of those ingredients on their own.
- ground beef– feel free to swap the ground beef for ground turkey or even chicken. Both turkey and chicken will be more mild in flavor but the overall dish will still be delish!
- fresh sage and thyme (or dried)– fresh sage brings a strong aromatic fall flavor to this dish, hard to be replaced but also not always worth it to buy fresh. if You swap for dried, reduce the amount as the dried herbs are more potent than fresh.
- red pepper flakes— you are free to omit if you cannot handle any spice but the recipe only calls for the tiniest bit to balance out the layers of sweetness.
- fig jam— an unlikely ingredient in this line-up of ingredients but it pairs so nicely with ground beef and adds sweetness without adding conflicting flavor like honey or maple syrup.
- bosc pears, diced– Bosc pears have a more firm, dense flesh than other pear varieties, so they are ideal for cooking as they hold their texture better than other varieties.
- Dinosaur kale, julienned– also called Tuscan kale or lacinato kale, is light in flavor and cooks down gently providing some great added nutrients to this dish.
- shaved parmesan– any kind of parmesan will do but this cheese is perfectly salty adding another layer of flavor into each and every bite.
- pomegranate arils– these bright and crunchy pomegranates add brightness, texture and a pop of sweetness to the dish.
The first step for this Stuffed Acorn Squash dish is going to be getting those acorn squash halves roasting. The best part about this dish is while the squash is roasting, you’re preparing the filling so all your time in the kitchen is maximized. Start by preheating the oven to 425°F. Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt.
Place that baking sheet into the oven to roast for about 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and browned. You can either peel the skin off before serving or serve in the skin, totally up to you. The nice part about roasting these acorn squash halves is the skin peels easily away from the flesh once it’s been roasted.
While the acorn squash roasts, prepare the filling. Heat a large cast iron or skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots to the hot oil. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
Next, ddd the ground beef, fresh sage, thyme and red pepper flake. Use a flat metal spatula to break up the beef while it cooks for about 5-7 minutes until no pink remains. You want to break up the beef nice and fine as it cooks. Once the beef is just about fully cooked, add the fig jam. Mix to incorporate and coat the beef in the slightly sweet jam.
Lastly, add the pears and kale and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Stirring continuously to ensure the filling mixture is evenly distributed.
When the squash has finished roasting, remove the squash from the oven and switch the oven to broil on HIGH.
Fill the acorn squash with the beef filling and top each with 2-3 tablespoons of shaved parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top each squash half with pomegranate arils and serve with Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn.
Looking for more delicious diners? Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Beef, Pear & Kale recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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- 2 Acorn Squash, halved and de-seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fig jam
- 2 bosc pears, diced
- 1 cup Dinosaur kale, julienned
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Roast for 25 minutes until fork tender and browned.
- While the acorn squash roasts, cook the filling.
- Heat a large cast iron or skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the ground beef, fresh sage, thyme and red pepper flake. Break up the beef while it cooks for about 5-7 minutes until no pink remains.
- To the beef and the fig jam, mix to incorporate into the beef and cook for 2 minutes.
- Lastly, add the pears and kale and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the acorn squash from the oven. Switch the oven to broil on HIGH.
- Fill the acorn squash with the beef filling. Top each with 2-3 tablespoons of shaved parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Top each squash half with pomegranate arils and serve with Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn.