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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Chicken
with spinach salad

Active: 25 min Total: 1 hr
Stuffed squash makes for a show-stopping main dish that can be assembled ahead of time and finished in the oven before serving.
Smarts: If you're short on time, follow the instructions to pre-cook the squash in the microwave and finish it in the oven.
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Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Chicken:
  • Rotisserie chicken, small - 1, meat removed and shredded
  • Acorn squash, medium - 2, halved
  • Foil - for cooking
  • Salsa, store-bought - 3/4 cup
Spinach Salad with Oranges and Avocados:
  • Oranges - 1, segments
  • Avocados - 1, chopped
  • Mustard, dijon - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 4 oz
  • Almonds, sliced - 1 oz

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Rotisserie chicken - Take meat off the bone and chop with a knife and fork. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
  2. While oven is heating, prepare squash for roasting. Slice 1/2" / 1.3cm off the stem and base (this will create an even surface so the squash halves won't roll around as they roast). Slice the squash in half midway between the stem and base. Scoop out and discard seeds (an ice cream scoop works great for this).
  3. (If you are short on time, microwave the squash halves until very tender and skip ahead to Make Step #5.) Place squash, cut-side down in a large baking dish. Fill dish with a thin layer of water ~1/4" / .6cm deep. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the squash is very tender and can be pierced easily with a fork, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. While squash roasts, combine chicken and salsa. Taste and season with some salt.
  5. When squash is tender, remove foil and drain water out of pan. Turn squash halves over so they form bowls. Season the inside of the squash lightly with some salt. Spoon chicken into the “bowls”.
  6. Return squash to the oven and continue roasting, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, segment oranges and chop avocados. Whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. Add olive oil while whisking.
  8. Just before serving, toss spinach, oranges and avocados with vinaigrette (start with half and add more until the salad is dressed to your liking). Top with almonds.
  9. Serve squash (don’t eat the peels) with some extra salsa if you'd like. Enjoy with salad.

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (63)
Gluten-free (6)
Paleo (14)
Vegetarian (9)

36 reviews

I used tomato paste, onion, and jalepenos from an adobe sauce can instead of salsa. It added a sort of smoky flavor. The squash was over-baked.

By: Kate
Posted: Apr 06, 2020
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

Everyone loved this when we made it. Even people that were unsure. We added so rotisserie chicken seasoned with taco seasoning to the filling.

By: Dawn
Posted: Jan 18, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

So good!! We've made it a few times. My 2 year old is on a quinoa phase so I subbed that for the rice. Definitely would recommend doing it!! So good! Hubby loves it and keeps buying more acorn squash lol.... I think he's hinting.

By: Chris
Posted: Feb 13, 2018
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Cooked the squash in the IP (w/ 1 c. of water for 5 mins). Added some chicken sausage to the rice mixture and served with some guac. Hubby really liked it!

By: Sarah
Posted: Feb 03, 2018
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

We expected to not like this, but it's like an enchilada without all the carbs! Soooo good, filling, and healthy to boot. I chose 3 medium acorn squash. Cut and hollowed as instructed, then steamed in the microwave 3 minutes while the oven heated up, just to shorten cooking time. The black beans I made ahead in the IP. As for the salad, halved the mustard and added thinly shaven red onions. Forgot the almonds. Very rich and filling.

By: Laurel
Posted: Jan 14, 2018
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Skipped the beans for my family; wonderful comfort food, this!

By: Colleen
Posted: Jan 08, 2018
Diet: Original
0 Helpful