March 12, 2013

Acorn squash stuffed with Moroccan-spiced beef

It's the time of year when I am trying my best to use up the last few winter squash remaining in our stash and still make them interesting and creative -- and yummy so that we aren't too tired of eating them! These stuffed acorn squash were inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart Living. I changed them up a bit with what I had on hand. Normally, I would have included some couscous in the stuffing or on the side, but since we are limiting our gluten these days, I just decided to stick with the beef. One half of an acorn squash was plenty for a meal, so this should easily serve four people. Personally, I find acorn squash to be rather bland and they aren't one of my favorite winter squash - that's why I like to use them in recipes that really pack a flavor punch. I love Moroccan flavors (you'll find them quite a bit on this blog) -- especially the use of cinnamon in savory dishes -- which is a perfect compliment to the squash. 

Hopefully you aren't too tired of winter squash yet, but if you are, just go ahead and pin this recipe for this coming fall. It's a fun recipe as well because you can eat the bowl!

Acorn squash stuffed with Moroccan-spiced beef
2 medium-large acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
olive oil
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef, preferably pastured/grass-fed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro (or mint)   

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil the bottom of a large baking dish. Place the acorn squash cut-side down into the baking dish. Bake until the flesh is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the halves over, and let cool slightly. While the squash cooks, make the stuffing. 

Place the raisins in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let sit until they are plump, about ten minutes, and then drain.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and stir. Then add the ground beef and the cinnamon, cayenne, and cumin. Stir often, breaking the meat apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the raisins, pine nuts, and fresh herbs.

Divide the stuffing among all the acorn squash halves. Press it down firmly to use up all the stuffing. Return to the oven and bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately, scraping a bit of the acorn squash with each bite.

What was I cooking one year ago?: Irish oaten rolls
Two years ago?: turkey sloppy joes 
Three?: green chile and cheese cornbread


  1. Everything is better when it's stuffed! These look pretty and delicious. Am I a bad vegetarian for thinking so? Haha

  2. I will miss summer squash when it is gone. Never thought to stuff it with Mococcan beef though! I need to try this :)

  3. I absolutely love Moroccan flavors, so I know that I've love these - they look SO good!!

  4. I love stuffed vegetables. I don't cook with a lot of Moroccan flavors but I bet I would like this!

  5. These look really delicious, love the stuffing which makes a filling meal.

  6. I ate a lot of zucchini stuffed with meat as a kid, but this is much more interesting. Love the flavors!

  7. I've been to Morocco and I loved the kitchen there. Those squashes look divine!

  8. Mmm..what a great sweet and savory combo!

  9. Awesome way to serve acorn the Moroccan beef in it...looks beautiful Amy.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  10. I love the spicy beef but would probably use peppers as I can't stand squash!

  11. Oh how I am going to miss squash! This sounds like such a tasty farewell recipe!

  12. I love acorn squash! Great recipe, easy for the weeknights :)

  13. Hi Amy, that's a very scrumptious and delectable dish. Look very inviting too. YUM YUM!

    Have a nice day.


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