Turkey chili stuffed acorn squash

Makes 4 servings

Kristal Burton

Kristal Burton
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

My favorite part about fall is the food. Specifically the squash. Squash is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is so incredibly tasty. Using squash in place of other starchier foods like bread, pasta and rice saves you a lot of calories and carbohydrates, which can help prevent unwanted holiday weight gain. This recipes is so tasty and filling it’s hard to believe it is healthy. Served inside of the acorn squash, it is also so visually interesting and will you having feeling the fall season, even if it is still 80 degrees outside.


• 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 pound of 93% lean ground turkey
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Pepper to taste
• 1/3 cup chopped onion
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 10 ounces (1 can) diced tomatoes
• ½ cup canned tomato sauce
• ½ cup water or chicken stock
• ¾ teaspoon cumin
• ¼ tsp chili powder
• ¼ tsp paprika
• 6 tablespoons shredded cheese (heaping ¼ cup)
• Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
• Dried cranberries for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place squash halves on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake for 30-35 minutes until soft.
2. While the squash roasts, brown turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat, breaking into smaller pieces as it cooks with a spoon. Once browned, add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, and paprika and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Remove the squash from the oven and flip over. Divide the turkey tomato mixture evenly between the 4 squash halves. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted, usually another 5 minutes. Top with cilantro if desired.