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Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Acorn Squash

Makes 4 servings. This recipe is pretty versatile. You can use the turkey mixture as a filling for any favorite baked winter squash—delicata, spaghetti, honeynut—or use it as a topping over whole grain pasta. Serve with a giant, colorful salad on the side.


  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 additional tbsp, divided
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped, about 1½ cups
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • cups pasta sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Carefully cut and remove the top and bottom ends of the squash. Slice in half down the middle so the squash halves look like a flower, and scoop out the seeds. (Another way to slice the squash is to cut it in half from stem to tip.)
  • Brush the insides of the hollowed out squash with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place, hollowed side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • While the squash is in the oven, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the turkey and thyme leaves, raise the heat to medium high, and cook, breaking up the large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta sauce and dried cranberries, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until warmed through, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the cooked squash from the oven. Fill each squash "bowl" evenly with the turkey mixture. Top each with additional thyme leaves as desired.