by Olena

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Olena Osipov

Nothing screams fall like Stuffed Acorn Squash with ground turkey, spinach and the perfect blend of spices. This recipe looks so fancy but so easy to make. And tastes even better!

If you can’t get enough of fall squash cooking, try chicken alfredo spaghetti squash boats and butter chicken spaghetti squash boats.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed acorn squash officially marks Fall cooking in my kitchen.

This stuffed acorn squash recipe is surprisingly easy. Think sweet tender squash roasted in the oven while you quickly prep a delicious turkey stuffing on the stove top.

I also share an easy way to cut it without losing a finger!

Stuffed squash is quick enough to make for a weeknight dinner and fancy enough for your holiday table. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Meat: You can use ground turkey (like I did) or chicken. Ground beef is more fatty. If you do use ground beef, drain the fat while browning the meat.
  • Veggies: Acorn squash, onion and garlic. Pick smaller squash for individual portions.
  • Spinach: Kale is a great substitute for spinach.
  • Spices and seasonings: Fresh parsley, dried rosemary and tomato paste.
  • Cheese: Any hard cheese like cheddar, marble or colby cheese.

How to Make Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

There is a full recipe card below.

  • Cut and seed acorn squash: Start by placing a rubber mat under the cutting board to reduce sliding. Using a long serrated knife, cut through the skin of the squash, helping with a meat mallet. And then, just split open and scoop out the seeds.

how do you cut an acorn squash step by stephow do you cut an acorn squash step by step

how do you cut an acorn squash step by stephow do you cut an acorn squash step by step

  • Bake squash: First, brush the squash with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes with the cut side up in preheated 450 degrees F oven.
  • Prepare stuffing: Cook onion and garlic on large skillet until translucent. Then add turkey and cook for ~7 minutes. Finally, add the spices, herbs and spinach. Remove from heat and stir in half the cheese. cut up acorn squash halves seasoned with oil, salt and pepper on baking sheetstuffing mixture for stuffed acorn squash
  • Stuff: Add a scoop of stuffing to each pre-baked squash half. Then, sprinkle with more cheese.
  • Bake: Just another 25 minutes in the oven and it’s done!

stuffed acorn squash with grated cheese on top on baking sheet

How to Serve, Store and Make Ahead

Serve: Serve hot with an autumn inspired salad like this brussels sprouts salad or kale and quinoa salad with apples.

Store: Stuffed acorn squash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Make ahead: Turkey stuffing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours until ready to assemble.

More Squash Recipes

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Nothing screams fall like Stuffed Acorn Squash with ground turkey, spinach and the perfect blend of spices. This recipe looks so fancy but so easy to make. And tastes even better!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 288kcal
Author: Olena Osipov



  • 3 smaller acorn squash about 1.5 lbs each
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper


  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey extra lean
  • 3 cups spinach and/or kale packed and coarsely shopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup any hard cheese shredded & divided


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • To cut squash open, place a rubber mat under the cutting board and a towel on top. Place squash on the towel and cut through using long serrated knife, cut all around. You might get some help from a meat tenderizer but I found it wasn’t necessary. Now scoop out the seeds.
  • Place squash cut side up on a large baking sheet. Brush with 1 tbsp of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, prepare the stuffing by first placing large skillet on a low-medium heat. Add remaining avocado oil and tilt the skillet to coat. Add onion and garlic; cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Now add turkey and cook for another 7 minutes, stirring and breaking into pieces. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.
  • Stuff opening of each pre-roasted and cooled until safe to handle squash half with stuffing, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes or until tops start to turn golden brown. Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


    Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 383mg | Potassium: 1166mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2612IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 3mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    31 comments on “Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

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    1. 4 stars
      I used ground chicken and in place of spinach I had a kale salad mix that I chopped up and added in. Used thyme, basil and parsley. Very tasty.

    2. 5 stars
      This is my new go-to for impressing guests! Fool proof, incredibly tasty, and looks great! I add chopped portobello mushrooms and use fresh thyme and sage instead of the dried herbs. Thank you for this recipe!

    3. 5 stars
      I made this recipe for my family and we all loved it! I did make a couple of slight changes to accommodate what I had available (I used chopped chicken breast instead of ground turkey), and to make it cleanse friendly (I omitted the cheese). I’m looking forward to making it again with the cheese!

    4. 5 stars
      Love this recipe! I use a sweet Italian Turkey sausage. Instead of rosemary I include oregano, basil and thyme- these are my favorite herbs. It cooks up brilliantly and is fairly easy…but out looks impressive. Thanks!

    5. 5 stars
      A staple for dinner! If you have leftover turkey mixture, use it for breakfast! I did a bed of mixed greens with a sprinkle of olive oil and lemon juice, then topped with turkey mixture and two poached eggs. Delicious!

    6. 5 stars
      Love squash every which way! But this was new to me and so delicious! Thank-you, as always, I appreciate every new recipe.

    7. 5 stars
      This recipe has been in my “need to try” list since last year, but I was holding out for a good crop of acorn squash. Today I finally tried the recipe, and it is everything I hoped for! I know it will become a fall favorite!

    8. 5 stars
      The turkey stuffing is so good!!! So good! I didn’t mind the acorn squash with it but I am wondering how the stuffing would taste inside green peppers?? I might just stuff green peppers with this yummy turkey stuffing next time.

    9. This looks amazing – hoping I can find acorn squash. Squash is generally hard to find here in Mexico City. Yes it’s safe to come to Mexico City! The devastation is heartbreaking- but how the people came together is amazing. Most everything is still open – Businesses are already suffering because people feel guilty for going on with life. You just must go to the San Juan food market – if you want a food adventure. Happy to give any other tips or suggestions.

      1. Hi Melissa. I will be staying with friends in Interlomas. No idea where they are taking me. Where is San Juan food market?
        Glad to hear life keeps going on. My friends told me it’s such a huge city, nothing happened in their town. I just hope no more earthquakes but I mean can’t live in fear, right?! I would be open to all of your suggestions. No squash, huh?! You can stuff chayotes with this stuffing.:)

        1. Found some acorn squash super expensive but I splurged. No turkey though – ground turkey just doesn’t taste the same here. Making this tomorrow ?

          San Juan Food market is downtown Mexico City. It is open seven days a week. There is a little Mercado in interlomas we use to go to – we moved to a Polanco this summer- it’s Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. My favorite touristy things are the Turibus, Zocalo – Templo Mayor and basilica and presidential palace tour, Chapultepec Castle (my favorite), Pyramids Teotihuacan (La Gruta for lunch – cave restaurant – super cool show – make sure if you get water ask for bottled water. We somehow messed this up and my husband and daughter got sick.)
          Polanco (including food tour
          Villa Maria (has mariachi)
          El Moro (churros, chocolate, churro ice cream sandwiches)
          Tacos al pastor
          Have a wonderful trip

    10. Your not the only sad one about saying good bye to summer. It is my favorite season of all! Fresh produce, sunshine, etc. I’m one of those people that literally can’t wait for summer to roll around again. In the meantime, I’ll be making your fall goodies and reminiscing about summer. 🙂

      1. Right?! How can people say they are excited to cook with pumpkin again?! You can cook with canned pumpkin any time of the year but can enjoy true summer only 2 months of the year. So sad. Who cares about pumpkins?! Lol.

        1. It’s really hard to find canned pumpkin around here (western Washington) during the spring and fall unless you want to pay around 5 dollars a can! I stock up during the fall when it’s readily available AND less expensive!

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