Tender roasted squash filled with a delicious mix of turkey, vegetables, apples, and walnuts that makes for the perfect warming meal!
This stuffed squash could not be more seasonal. It utilizes the best of fall and winter produce, including my new favorite squash, acorn! For so long I turned to butternut whenever I wanted squash, but after trying delicata and becoming obsessed, I decided to try all the types of squash I could find, because they’re all so different! Acorn squash also doubles as the perfect bowl, making this meal just as fun to eat as it is delicious.
The sweetness of the squash makes it such a delicious pair for ground turkey, and with earthy kale and brussels, tart apples, and nutty walnuts added to the mix, the flavor combination is pretty magical.
The real star of the show here is the reduced balsamic drizzle that tops the stuffed squash. I am obsessed with reduced balsamic and tend to think it tastes good on just about anything, but this dish in particular is 100 times better with it. It adds the perfect touch of sweetness and bitterness that compliments each ingredient.
During colder months, I notice my food cravings shift so much. I no longer crave fresh romaine salads and raw carrots, but instead want heartier foods like warming stews or curries and root vegetables. This meal is perfect and one of my absolute favorites because it tastes like comfort food, but still has a great balance of carbs, fat, and protein, that leaves me feeling satisfied. Despite being filled with vegetables, it really doesn’t feel veggie heavy at all! The flavors work so well together that it just tastes like utter deliciousness in each bite.
If you’ve never tried acorn squash, you must! Either way, this recipe is guaranteed to make you happy. I can’t wait to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments below or by tagging me on Instagram if you try it out!
- 1 small acorn squash
- ¼ lb ground turkey (I recommend 100% dark or a mix of light and dark meat)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
- ½ cup brussels sprouts, sliced
- ¼ cup apple, chopped (I love honeycrisp)
- ½ cup kale, finely chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup balsamic
- olive oil for cooking
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut the top ⅓ of the squash off and scrape the seeds with a spoon from the two pieces of squash. Cut the bottom tip of the larger piece off so it can sit evenly on a plate. Coat the pieces in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place flesh side down on a baking tray. Let roast for about 40 minutes, until tender and browned.
- While the squash cooks, reduce the balsamic by placing it in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and let lightly simmer until it reduces in volume and becomes thick. Once thickened, pour the balsamic into a small bowl to let cool and continue thickening.
- Place the ground turkey in a mixing bowl with the garlic powder and a generous dash of salt and pepper. Mix together (I find it's easiest to do this with my hands) until well combined.
- Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once heated, add the yellow onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until slightly translucent and browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey mix to the pan and break up using a spatula or wooden spoon as you sauté. Continue sautéing until the turkey is one color and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set the turkey and onion mix aside on a plate.
- Reheat the same pan over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once heated, add the brussels sprouts and apple and sauté until the brussels and crispy and the apples are tender.
- Add the kale and continue sautéing the veggie mixture until the kale is wilted.
- Turn the heat to low and add the turkey mix back in with the veggies, as well as the walnuts. Sauté everything together until heated through.
- When the turkey and vegetable filling is done, flip the squash from the baking tray and transfer to a plate. Stuff with the mixture and top with a generous drizzle of the reduced balsamic.