Autumn flavors abound in this savory stuffed and roasted Autumn Stuffed Delicata Squash With Apple Bourbon Sauce! Sage, apple, and walnuts elevate lean ground chicken (turkey, beef) from tired to tantalizing... Finish it with a simple apple bourbon sauce for a rustic, flavorful, and (relatively) easy fall dish.
When you see "squash" in the title do you get excited and check out the recipe, skip over it, or think "yuck!"? I definitely fall in with the first group. I love all varieties of squash - summer and winter. Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of herbaceous vines in the gourd family cucurbitaceae, and an important food source in most cuisines. This table lists many varieties, but is not exhaustive. Given that we are in late October, and pumpkins hold sway, you might find it interesting to note that pumpkin is indeed a squash, there is no botanical distinction that makes a pumpkin a pumpkin. Any hard-skinned squash could be called a pumpkin!
|Summer Squash Varieties||Winter Squash Varieties|
|Ronde de Nice (AKA Gourmet Globe)||Turban|
|Lufa (or Loofah)||Carnival|
|Calabash (Opo or Long Melon)||Banana|
|Gold Rush||Sweet Dumpling|
If you are a squash lover, do you have a favorite? My current favorite is the delicata squash. As its name suggests, this squash has a delicate skin or rind. It's edible! 😀 If you're like me, you despise breaking down most winter squashes. The battle with the chef's knife (or cleaver) can be a dangerous one in which appendages are at risk... Not so with the delicata squash. That quality alone makes it a smart choice for stuffing and roasting. Then considering its sweet flavor and creamy texture, what are you waiting for? Let's get this dish in the oven!
Cut these beauties lengthwise, and use a spoon to remove the pulp and seeds. Make the stuffing mixture, stuff them, and place them in your preheated oven. While they roast, make the apple bourbon sauce. These squash cook through more quickly than many of their cucurbita cousins, and you can enjoy the tender skin right along with the flesh. The apple, sage, and walnut in the stuffing may remind you of some of your favorite fall holiday dishes! Serve with a lovely green salad like my Arugula and Fig Salad With Chèvre and Candied Walnuts and a glass of chardonnay... a meal that is sure to please this time of year!
Autumn Stuffed Delicata Squash With Apple Bourbon Sauce
- 2 delicata squash 1 per serving
- 1 small onion peeled and cut in chunks
- 1 medium apple peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- a generous handful of fresh sage
- a generous handful of parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/2 pound ground meat see notes
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/3 cup panko
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Apple Bourbon Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup good apple cider
- 1/4 cup chicken broth/stock
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt +/-
- fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 convection roast.
Slice the delicata squash in half lengthwise. Scrape the pulp and seeds out with a spoon. Set the halved squash on a baking pan or sheet.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the onion and apple. Pulse until finely minced. Using a fine sieve or cheese cloth, press the liquid from the onion/apple mixture. Add to a mixing bowl.
Add the walnuts, sage, parsley, and garlic to the processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add the ground meat, egg, panko, and smoked paprika to the mixing bowl.
Using your hands (please!) thoroughly mix all ingredients together.
Press the mixture into each delicata squash half.
Place baking pan into the preheated oven. Roast until tender and browned on the edges, and the meat mixture is firm - about 25 minutes +/-.
While the squash is cooking, make the sauce. To a small saute pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and minced shallot.
When the shallot is fragrant and soft, add the bourbon, and cook until liquid reduces by about half.
Add the apple cider, chicken broth, dijon mustard, and vinegar (if using).
Cook until mixture slightly is reduced - about 4 to 5 minutes.
Season with salt and several grinds of pepper.
Serve each stuffed squash half with a generous spoonful of the apple bourbon sauce. You can eat the skin!
I love ground chicken thigh meat in this dish. Use your preferred lean ground meat. Macros are based on regular (not extra lean) ground turkey.
I love a bit of acidity in sauces, but that's not for everyone. Feel free to skip the vinegar.
Acorn squash, little dumpling, or any small winter squash makes a good substitute. Cook until tender when pierced. Keep in mind the skin may not be palatable.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal): 570 calories; 30 g protein; 16 g carbohydrates; 30 g fat.