Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pomegranate and Pecans

Every year fall rolls around I am anxiously waiting to get my hands on all types of squash especially butternut squash! Full of fiber, potassium and magnesium, squash might be one of the most nutritional and fulfilling vegetables we have. It’s super versatile in that it’s great in both sweet and savory dishes (even sneaking it into places you wouldn’t even realize squash could go!)

This is not just your average roasted butternut squash recipe that settles as a side dish. I’ve taken it a step further and made a complete meal that is both savory as it is sweet and filling. Stuffed with ground meat, added vegetables, sweet bites of pomegranate and roasted pecans this is a great meal to make ahead of time and eat throughout the week.

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pomegranate & Pecans

2 small butternut squash cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and roasted until tender

¼ cup butter or other cooking fat
1 lb ground turkey or pork
½ large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery finely chopped
3 stalks curly kale, torn into small pieces
¼ cup pomegranate arils
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350º.
1. Scoop out some of the flesh from the squash halves to create a “bowl” with ¼-½ inch of squash left around the sides to hold the shape. Set the scooped squash and the “bowls” aside.
2. In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp cooking fat over medium-low and add the onions and celery.
Saute until tender and golden, and then add the minced garlic and saute 2-3 more minutes, until fragrant.
3. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside.
4. Add the remaining cooking fat to the pan and increase heat to medium. Add the cinnamon and cumin and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the ground pork or turkey to the pan and cook until browned. Add the kale and salt and cook until the kale is wilted. Add the cooked onions and celery and mix to combine.
6. Turn off the heat and add the pomegranate arils and squash flesh and mix to completely combine.
Scoop the mixture into the squash bowls and top with chopped toasted pecans.
7. Bake 10-15 minutes to set the filling.
8. Serve warm and enjoy!