Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

I really enjoy asking people about their families’ holiday traditions. Some are quirky, fun, or downright weird. I think my favorite answer has been from a former professor: “Our family’s tradition was to not have any traditions.” Basically, they didn’t do the same thing every year. They tried different foods, usually with an ethnic theme. I will admit, one of our little family’s favorite Thanksgiving was when we skipped the traditional food and ordered Chinese instead.

However, I am a bit of a sucker for the “normal” traditions. This dish is kind of a cross of new and old ideas. It’s got all the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving – turkey, cranberry, sage, starch – but with some flair. If you are only feeding a small group this Thanksgiving and want to go with something only a little out of the box, this is for you. For the rest of us, it is a delicious dinner any night of the week. Enjoy!

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash (Serves 4)

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, quartered, seeded
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 oz lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried sage

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Place squash quarters in baking dish.

2. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, brown turkey with onion, celery, and carrots. When meat is cooked thoroughly, deglaze pan with water. Add cranberries, applesauce, and sage. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Evenly distribute turkey mixture over squash quarters. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover, and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 230
Protein: 18 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 59 mg
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 77 mg

Recipe Notes: Not all of the filling will fit in the squash pieces. I usually just kind of spread it over the whole dish and hope for the best. You can easily scoop up the excess when serving.

Source: adapted from a recipe from friends

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