recipe: spiced stuffed squash


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ½ c. pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ c. dried cherries (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese (I used a firm raw goat’s milk cheese)
  • Balsamic vinegar


Halve acorn squash and remove seeds. Cut a small bit off the bottom so they sit up correctly. Place opening up in a microwave and cover with parchment paper or cling film. Heat on high for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat pine nuts until aroma is released. Add ground beef and brown; do not drain. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cinnamon, cocoa and cayenne pepper. Stir until beef is well coated. Add ginger, and optionally dried cherries. Stir until aroma is released. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fill squash with beef mixture and return to microwave for 5-6 minutes on high. Cover with grated cheese and melt in microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Serve, drizzling balsamic vinegar over each squash half. Goes well with quinoa and sweet potatoes.

If guests prefer a more “rich” meal, add brown sugar or butter to the toppings.

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