Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squash (3/4-l pound each)
- 5 ounces bulk turkey sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10-12 minutes.
When the squash is tender, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Fill the squash halves with the meat mixture. Top with the shredded cheese and return to baking sheet. Bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes.
Other variations for meat filling are: bulk pork or Italian sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, barley, and topped with Mozzarella cheese seasoned with Thyme.
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