Stuffed acorn squash is filled with a Cuban ground beef mixture with olives, tomatoes, onions, and spices. This Picadillo Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is a healthy low carb option for an easy lunch or dinner!
Living in South Florida, I grew up eating a lot of Cuban food. It is still one of my favorite cuisines and I especially love picadillo. This recipe for Picadillo Stuffed Acorn Squash is made quite often in my household. Since winter squash is in season right now, it's what I used in this recipe, but any type of squash can be utilized in this dish. In the summer months, I use hollowed out "boats" of zuchnni or yellow squash and fill them with the picadillo.
Right now it is freezing cold in New England with about 3 feet of snow on the ground. I totally get the fact that it's January and winter and that's just what happens during this time of year, BUT it's hard to accept for a Florida born and raised girl like me.
I really love living in New England and I especially love being close to the fantastic city of Boston. It's just that I hate winter...a lot...like really a lot. To deal with it, I like to cook tropical dishes and pretend I'm on a beach, basking in the sun, with a fruity, frozen drink.
The acorn squash whole and then cut and seeded. Cut the acorn squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
How to make the best stuffed acorn squash
My favorite way to make stuffed acorn squash is to fill it with picadillo. Picadillo is a ground meat mixture, similar to hash, and flavored with spices and tomatoes. My favorite is a Cuban style picadillo with lots of sliced green olives and I like making it with ground turkey or chicken when I want a lower fat option. The mixture can also be made a day before as a time saver.
My favorite way to use picadillo is use it to stuff empanadas, but I'm trying to eat healthier/low carb meals right now, so stuffing a acorn squash with it instead of inside a flaky dough.
Make this Picadillo Stuffed Acorn Squash for a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious dinner tonight!
Picadillo Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squashes , cut lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion , chopped
- 1 medium sized green or red bell pepper , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound lean ground beef (can substitute ground turkey or chicken)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup pimiento-stuffed green olives , sliced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C degrees.
- Place acorn squash halves cut side down in a baking dish with ¼ inch water. Cover with foil and bake 40-50 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the picadillo filling (this can also be made the day before):Place olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions, green pepper, and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add cumin and oregano and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Add ground beef, turkey, or chicken and cook together with vegetables for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.
- Add tomato paste, sherry, water, sliced olives, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco to mixture. Combine well and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Remove acorn squash halves from oven and fill with picadillo mixture. Place back in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until squash is fully cooked throughout. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Store leftover picadillo in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze up to 3 months