Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Stuffed Butternut Squash
This stuffed butternut squash is filling, nutritious and full of the goodness of fall.
I read this list of fall flavors recently: Flank steak, butternut squash, red quinoa, corn, Brussels sprouts, kale, candied walnuts, Chinese broccoli, Asian mushrooms, green apples, diakon sprouts, prawns, fresno peppers and scallions.
How inspiring is that list of fall ingredients?
I was actually so inspired by this list of ingredients that I created two recipes, but I’m just sharing one with you today and the next will come in a few weeks as a member of a virtual Thanksgiving potluck. Brussels sprouts are the star of that upcoming recipe and I couldn’t stop eating it. I can’t wait to share.
About this stuffed butternut squash:
For this recipe, I used butternut squash, red quinoa, kale, and scallions. And I threw some bacon and extra sharp white cheddar cheese in for good measure. This is ultimate comfort food, you guys. And it’s really quite simple to make!
You roast the squash, scoop out the insides, mix the cooked squash with all the other goodies, refill it, and then bake it a little longer! It’s crispy on top and so gooey and satisfying on the inside.
It is perfect as a main dish but would also be great as a side dish on Thanksgiving.
If you love the idea of stuffed squash, you have to try this amazing stuffed acorn squash, it’s one of my favorites!
PS: Did you know you can freeze quinoa? I always make the whole bag and then freeze it in 1-2 cup portions in freezer bags to quickly make recipes like this. It thaws easily overnight in the fridge.
- 1 large butternut squash (mine was 5 pounds)
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 pound of thick cut bacon, cut into ~1-inch pieces
- 2 cups loosely packed kale, chopped small
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 pound extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- thinly sliced green onions (1-2) to garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Rub or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes to an hour or until the flesh is tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease and saute kale in bacon grease over medium heat until wilted.
- When squash is cooked through, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Let squash cool slightly so it is cool enough to handle and then scoop out flesh, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Place flesh of squash in a large bowl and mash up with a fork. Add quinoa, bacon, kale, nutmeg, cheese, and thyme. Mix until well combined. Return this mixture to hollowed out squash and bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes and then cut into slices and serve, garnished with sliced green onions.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 638Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1520mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 38g
Husband’s take: Ben isn’t typically a huge squash fan, but with the addition of lots of cheese and bacon? He’s sold.
Changes I would make: None are necessary!
Difficulty: Moderate. Hollowing out the squash can be a little bit of a pain, but it’s still not bad.