Saturday, October 5, 2013

Roasted Super Stuffed Squash

It's Fall, I want it to be. Why? Because Fall means cooler weather, boots, gorgeous leaves changing and crunching underfoot, hot drinks- Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Wassail, and Chai, and wonderful Winter squash.
Okay, so there are other things about Fall that I love too. I love that the mosquitoes have gone away for sure! But let's talk squash. This is the first Winter squash I've picked up since, gosh before summer, end of spring. I don't even remember. I saw these at the store and had to get them, I just want Fall to come SO badly haha. I stuffed these with spiced beef and quinoa, topped them with bacon, mushrooms, and onions. Ah-maz-ing.  Drool worthy. The beef itself is so good I could just eat it plain. I am having a bowl of just spiced beef now, nom nom. If you have any leftovers of beef, onions, mushrooms, squash, throw them into an omelet. Thank me later.
Are you ready for Fall? Has Fall arrived where you are? Or do you live in a place where seasons don't even change?
I updated this post to include use of my pressure cooker, which is an Instant Pot. You can also saute the bacon in the Instant Pot, but I like my squash roasted (that and I can't fit 3 of them into my Instant Pot).

Give Peas A Chance Roasted Super Stuffed Squash

6 slices of bacon, or half a package
*Reserve bacon grease

3 small/medium squash- Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, etc.
1 tablespoon maple syrup (omit for no added sugar)
Salt and pepper

3/4- 1 pound lean ground beef, or turkey/chicken
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon Summer Savory
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon granulated onion or 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper
3/4 cup chicken stock

3 cups Quinoa, cooked in chicken stock* See note for Pressure Cooker instructions*

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Saute

1- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 large onion
8 ounces of white mushrooms, sliced

Roast the squash and cook the bacon
  1. Place bacon on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer. 
  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven, turn it on to 375 degrees.
  3. Wash the squash, cut each one in half and remove the seeds for roasting later.
  4. Cut a sliver off the end of each half so that the squash is level when placed cut side up.
  5. Brush the cut sides and insides of the squash with maple syrup.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Once bacon is crisp remove it from the oven.
  8. Pour bacon grease into a small bowl, for later use.
  9. Place the squash cut side down onto the baking sheet, there should be enough bacon grease on there to caramelize the squash and maple syrup.
  10. Bake the squash for 45-50 minutes.
While the squash is roasting
  1. Start cooking the quinoa in chicken stock.
  2. Brown the ground beef with all the seasonings.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and simmer/low boil until the beef is fairly dry.
  4. TASTE, season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Transfer the beef mixture into a bowl.
  6. This portion can be done in an Instant Pot on the Saute function. Set it on high, saute.*
Stuff the squash
  1. Mix the quinoa and beef together.
  2. Stuff each squash half with the mixture.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
While the stuffed squash is baking
  1. Add bacon grease to a hot pan, or to the liner of your pressure cooker on the saute function.
  2. Cook the onions and mushrooms until translucent.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve
  1. Top each squash with onions and mushrooms.
  2. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
  3. Garnish with cilantro, parsley, and/or sliced jalapenos.

To make this in a Instant Pot:


  1. Cook the bacon on saute mode.
  2. Remove bacon and pour the grease out of the pot.
  3. Brown the meat with seasonings on saute mode until cooked through.

  1. Cut each squash in half.
  2. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. Put 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot.
  4. Put the trivet or a steamer basket into the liner.
  5. Place each squash half into the Instant Pot liner.
  6. Cook on MANUAL, HIGH/MORE, for 3-4 minutes. Start with three. 
  7. Once the cook time is over, do a quick release and test each squash to make sure it is tender.
  8. Add more cook time if needed.
  1. Soak the quinoa in cool water for 5 minutes, drain well.
  2. Add water or stock, I like to add hot liquid. Cold liquid can be used, it just takes longer to come to pressure. (Ratio for quinoa:liquid is 1:1.5, so for every cup of quinoa, I use 1.5 cups of liquid.)
  3. Place lid on Instant Pot per manufacturer instructions.
  4. Press manual, high pressure, ONE minute.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, press cancel and set a timer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. After timer goes off, release pressure, remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  7. Continue with recipe as noted. 

I hope you'll try this dish, it's so yummy and filling. Perfect gluten free meal.

For more Instant Pot recipes, click HERE.

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