It's rare that I get a cookbook and am instantly so incredibly inspired by it,…
Acorn squash is stuffed with a Lebanese rice mixture called hashweh that is layered with warm spices of cinnamon, ground beef and tart cranberries.
Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
As soon as fall rolls in, we buy all the squashes and find fun ways to pop their naturally sweet flavors. Roasted kabocha with pomegranate and tahini is one way or lentil stuffed delicata squash is another favorite.
But for the sweet buttery notes of acorn squash, Lebanese hashweh was the perfect stuffing. Hashweh or hashwee is a spiced rice dish with cinnamon, allspice and cumin that’s cooked with ground beef (or lamb) and garnished with toasted pint nuts.
Once hallowed out, acorn squash is the perfect vessel to hold a hearty rice filling and the warm flavors paired so well with the squash.
How to Roast Acorn Squash
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while you prep the squash.
Wash the outside of the squash well and dry and with a strong knife and confident force, cut the squash in half, horizontally.
Then scoop out the seeds and compost. You may need to cut off a flat piece of the squash so the cut side can stand up with out tipping over.
Brush olive oil all over the inside of the squash and sprinkle with salt, pepper and allspice then place on a baking sheet, cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet (brush with more oil to make sure it doesn’t stick) and bake for 30-35 minutes until just barely tender.
Remove from oven and let cool before stuffing with filling.
Add Stuffing to Squash
Once your squash is roasted about halfway through and it has cooled slightly, add about a half cup of filling into the hollowed shells, gently pressing the filling in.
Drizzle a bit more olive oil then pop back into the oven to finish cooking for another 20 minutes. You may need to cover with foil if the tops get too dark too quickly.
What to Serve with stuffed Acorn Squash
This is meant to be a gluten free main course and is so fantastic on it’s own. To make it more of a complete meal, serve with:
Stuffed Acorn squash with Spiced Rice
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon ghee divided
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 small red onion chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked Basmati rice washed and rinsed
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or dried currants
- Fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
- Pre-heat Oven: Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and wash and dry the acorn squash.
- Prep Acorn Squash: Cut squash in half, horizontally and scoop out any seeds. You may need to cut a small piece of the bottom off so the squash can stand up without topping over.
- Roast Squash: Brush olive oil all over the inside of the flesh and season with allspice and salt. Place squash on a foil lined backing sheet cut side down and roast for 25-30 minutes until just barely cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Make Rice Filling: While the squash roasts, make the spiced rice filling. Heat a pot over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add ground beef and onion and cook until meat is filly cooked through and onion has softened.
- Add garlic and spices and give everything a good saute.
- Add basmati rice and give everything another stir and pour in stock. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Toast the Pine Nuts: While rice cooks, make the toasted pine nuts. Melt ghee in a small skillet and add pine nuts. Saute until pine nuts just begin to toast and turn golden brown and small nutty. Remove from heat and set aside, they will be very hot.
- Once rice is done, fluff with a fork and add toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries and chopped parsley.
- Stuff Squash with Filling: Add a heaping half cup of filling to squash, depending how large your squash are and lightly drizzle the tops with olive oil.
- Finish Cooking Squash: Place back in the oven and continue roasting until squash is fully cooked, another 20 minutes. You may need to cover with foil so the tops don't get too dark too quickly.
- Once done, let cool slightly before serving and garnish with extra fresh herbs.