Fall is here and I am loving the varieties of squash that greet me at my local Trader Joe’s. Just seeing those unique shaped beauties puts me in a fall state of mind. I didn’t particularly like squash when I was kid. I mean, it’s scary looking, and the texture can be off-putting to picky palates. As an adult, however, I crave the comforting taste of a sweet and savory stuffed delicata squash or the fun “pasta” dinner made with spaghetti squash.
Acorn squash is one of my favorites. It is the perfect vessel for stuffing or turning into a “bowl” of some kind. It’s subtle sweet flavor combines well with savory flavors, and is the star ingredient in a happy experiment that came to be this Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.
I was making myself lunch last Wednesday and opened the fridge to find some baked squash that I had batch cooked over the weekend. Sitting next to it was some leftover taco filling from the night before. I added my homemade pico de gallo, and came up with a quick and easy smoky, chipotle avocado sauce…and lunch was served!
This meal is very satisfying, but doesn’t leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.
Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squashes skin washed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds and string removed
For the filling:
- 1 package of meatless ground “beef”
- 1 can black beans drain and reserve half the liquid
- 1 onion chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning or more, if desired
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup water
For the pico de gallo:
- 2 Roma tomatoes finely chopped
- ½ yellow onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- ½ the juice of 1 lime or more if desired
- Salt to taste
For the Smoky Avocado Sauce:
- ½ -1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle each squash half with ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side up on a baking pan and roast 25-30 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
While the squash roasts, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute for five minutes, until translucent.
Add in the meatless ground “beef” and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans with the liquid
Add in the taco seasoning and water. Stir well to combine. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes until the filling becomes thick and the water is cooked through.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Place all of the ingredients for the Smoky Avocado Sauce in a food processor. Pulse on low until combined and creamy. Add salt to taste.
To assemble, scoop a generous amount of filling into the middle of each squash half. Top with the pico de gallo and a dollop or more of Smoky Avocado Sauce.