Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ground Turkey and Acorn Squash Casserole

I was looking for a way to use half of a cooked acorn squash, so I searched the Internet for recipe ideas. After reading a few recipes, I combined the following ingredients for a superb and easy fall dinner. This recipe serves 2 to 4, depending what side(s) you serve with it. I suggest serving it with Pear Tossed Salad, a recipe I will share next.

Ready to bake

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ to ¾ lb. ground turkey
1 tablespoon onion, minced
¼ cup celery, chopped
½ jalapeño, chopped - optional
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ acorn squash, cooked and cubed
1 apple, cored and chopped - peel, if you prefer. I left some some skin on the apple
2 to 3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon truvia brown sugar blend
2 to 4 tablespoons pecans or walnuts, chopped - I used pecans
1 tablespoon Smart Balance buttery spread, melted

Directions

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey, stirring to cook and brown. Add onion, celery, jalapeño (if using), and seasonings. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  

Remove from heat and stir in squash, chopped apple, raisins, and brown sugar blend. Place ingredients in casserole dish. Top with chopped nuts and drizzle with melted butter. 

Leftovers after baking

Bake in 400°F oven until heated through and nuts are browned--20 to 30 minutes.

This dish may look dry before baking; however, the cooked squash and raisins make the dish moist. I read some recipes that suggesting mashing up the cooked squash, although I thought it would be better cubed. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients/vegetables according to your preference, such as, bacon and/or green bell pepper.