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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Italian Chicken Loaf

This image courtesy of Nicole Alekson

This is one of those comfort foods that seem to make everyone happy in autumn. I often serve it in individual bowls so everyone can enjoy their own stuffed squash half. While the acorn squash tastes fantastic with ground chicken, it's just as good with ground turkey, beef or pork.

NotesCindy's Note: If you have Italian seasoning, you can use 2½ teaspoons in place of the dried herbs. Also, if you're short on time, you can microwave the onion, pepper and carrot with 1 tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute. Let cool, then asdd to the chicken mixture.

Serves2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish

Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 MINUTES

Cooking Time1 min

Cooking Time - Text60

Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturemeaty, savory

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, or olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1½ Ibs (750 g) ground chicken
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

  2. Brush 2 tablespoons of the coconut or olive oil on the bottom of a large roasting pan or baking dish.

  3. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp with a tablespoon. Place in the prepared pan.

  4. Place the ground chicken in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

  5. Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, add the onion, pepper and carrot and cook for 3 minutes.

  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from heat and let cool.

  7. Add the egg, salt, pepper, basil, thyme, parsley and red pepper flakes to the ground chicken. Then add in cooled vegetables. Combine well with your hands, but do not overmix.

  8. Scoop the mixture into the 4 acorn halves, distributing evenly.

  9. Bake for 1 hour and enjoy!


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