Last Updated on November 9, 2021
Fall is finally here, and with cooler temps and longer nights, we’re ready to turn to hearty, comforting food. This stuffed squash recipe is a weeknight delight using ButcherBox’s 100% grass-fed bison, a leaner alternative to ground beef. The stuffing features wholesome ingredients and fall flavors like wild rice, pears, apples, kale, and diced apricots. A hot honey glaze gives it a sweet and spicy kick.
Don’t have an ingredient in the list? Feel free to substitute (or even add) your favorite ingredients and flavors—ground beef, for instance, if you don’t have ground bison. Make this dish for friends and family or enjoy it for a comforting but lightened-up dinner at home.
- 4 acorn squashes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cups finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup diced Bosc pear about 1/2 pear
- 1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apple about 1/2 apple
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons Mike’s Hot Honey
- Heat oven to 375F°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut stems and bottoms off acorn squash and halve them horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Lay the squash cut side up on the lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before flipping them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, combine wild rice with 3/4 cup chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When it comes to a boil, cover and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed, then set aside.
- Preheat a large skillet or a cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, onions, celery, and green pepper and cook, stirring, to soften the vegetables and draw out their flavors. Turn the heat down to medium-low if they start to take on any color.
- Add the bison to the skillet and cook until browned and no longer pink. Add the soy sauce, sage, and thyme. Stir the meat mixture well and add the chopped kale. Cook until the kale is wilted, then turn off the heat.
- Add the pears and apples to the meat mixture. The heat will gently cook the fruit through without making it too mushy.
- Add the rice and dried apricots to the pan and stir stuffing mixture well to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Take the squash out of the oven and flip cavity side up. Change oven settings to broil. Drizzle squash with hot honey and return to the oven to set the honey glaze under a broiler, 3 to 5 minutes. When done, take the squash out of the oven.
- Cool the squash for a moment, then divide the bison mixture between the squash, stuffing the meat in each cavity. Drizzle more hot honey on top. Garnish with sunflower seeds and thyme sprigs. Serve warm.
Louiie is a chef, recipe developer, food photographer and stylist based in Las Vegas. While working the line at Bazaar Meat, Louiie merged her twin passions of the visual and culinary arts. She has tested and developed recipes for Anova Culinary, Bon Appetit, and EATER. She also co-hosts and produces a food and hospitality based podcast, 2 Sharp Chefs and a Microphone. She frequently shoots architecture, food, and people for Eater Vegas. In her free time, Louiie loves to turn her phone to airplane mode, travel, do yoga, cook outdoors, and spend time with her naked cat, Dobby.