November 15, 2023

Ground Pork Stuffed Butternut Squash

 

Ground Pork Stuffed Butternut Squash
Ground Pork Stuffed Butternut Squash is a healthy and flavorful fall meal that is perfect for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner. It is made with a roasted butternut squash that is filled with a savory mixture of ground pork, spices, and spinach, and topped with crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries and pecans. This recipe for Ground Pork Stuffed Butternut Squash is also easy enough to make on a weeknight or the perfect dish to serve as a side dish or main course for the holidays!The most time-consuming part of the recipe is roasting the squash, but this can be done in advance. The filling can also be made ahead of time. Once the squash is roasted and the filling is made, the dish comes together quickly.Are you looking for more holiday-inspired recipes? Check out some of my favorites!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

For the Pork Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • tsp pinch dry thyme
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pecans chopped
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat or feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Place the butternut squash in the microwave for 2 minutes (this will soften it up so it is easier to cut.
  • Slice the squash in half lengthwise.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strands tangled with the seeds.
  • Place the butternut squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cut sides of the butternut squash halves with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
  • Turn the squash halves over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.
  • Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 or 40 minutes until fork-tender.

For the Pork Filling:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and the diced onion, and cook it on medium heat for about 2 minutes until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, stir and then the ground pork, breaking it up a bit. Then add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme and continue to mix and break up for about 5 minutes or more on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.
  • Add fresh spinach and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the spinach wilts.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

For Assembling:

  • By this time, you have roasted the butternut squash for 30 or 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and turn the cooked squash halves cut sides up.
  • Allow them to cool slightly and then using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving about a ½ inch border along the sides.
  • Reheat the sausage mixture in the same skillet in which you made it to warm it up.
  • Divide the sausage filling among the 2 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher. (You may have some leftover meat, and you can save that for another time. Sometimes I make pasta and mix it in or I serve the extra filling over rice.)
  • Top with dried cranberries, pecans and cheese.
  • Optional: garnish with chopped cilantro.
Keyword gluten-free, healthy
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