How to make Taco-stuffed Hubbard squash
Taco-stuffed Hubbard squash is hearty, healthy and flavorful. Loaded with a chili and cumin seasoned filling, it is a delicious twist on taco night and one of my favorite Hubbard squash recipes.
Stuffed Hubbard squash is a great make-ahead meal and there are many variations to suit nearly every diet – from vegan or vegetarian to meat-filled like this one.
Small Hubbard squash roughly the size of a large acorn squash are the perfect size for this recipe.
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Taco-stuffed Hubbard squash
Taco Tuesday gets a fall makeover with this gluten-free stuffed squash recipe. Like most people, we are fans of pretty much anything related to tacos. Last year, I made pumpkin tacos and they were gone in a flash.
This time, I’m changing it up with something a little different. I’ve chosen small Hubbard squash to fill, but if they are unavailable, substitute with acorn.
For another stuffed Hubbard squash recipe, try this pork, apple and wild rice-stuffed version.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Hubbard squash – Look for the smallest squash you can find, about 1.5 lbs. each. If you can’t find blue Hubbard squash, use acorn or your favorite winter squash.
- Brown rice – Brown rice is a whole grain rice with the inedible outer hull removed. If you prefer to use white or yellow rice, go for it.
- Ground turkey – My “go to” ground meat. Use ground beef if you prefer, however, you will have to drain the fat off before adding onions and tomatoes if you do.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes give a great flavor and tang to this filling. Use canned tomatoes for convenience.
- Black beans – A great source of protein. You can use pinto beans as a substitute. I used canned beans as a time-saver, but you could cook your own ahead of time.
- Onions – The base for nearly everything that comes out of my kitchen. If you don’t like onions, scale back on them and try grating a small amount into the turkey. It will disappear into the filling and you won’t bite down on a piece of onion.
- Corn – Use frozen or canned, whatever you have.
- Seasonings – Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), ground black pepper, cumin, chili powder and granulated garlic provide the taco flavor we’re looking for.
- Cheese – I used a 4 blend Mexican cheese, queso fresco would also be terrific here.
- Cilantro (not pictured) – For some people, this herb tastes like soap. If you are one of them, feel free to omit or substitute with scallions or parsley for a bit of freshness.
This taco-stuffed Hubbard squash is easily made vegetarian by omitting the ground turkey. The filling is hearty enough to stand on its own and provides plenty of protein for vegetarian eaters.
How to make
The first thing we need to do is prepare the squash. To do this, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Save them to make roasted Hubbard squash seeds for a delicious snack.
Drizzle with olive oil and season the inside with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down to ensure beautiful, caramelized edges.
While the squash is in the oven, make the filling. Brown the ground turkey with the taco seasonings, then add onions and tomatoes.
Add cooked brown rice, corn and canned black beans to the pan to finish the filling.
Fill cooked squash halves and return to the oven. To finish, top with cheese and chopped cilantro.
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Taco-stuffed Hubbard squash
Taco-stuffed Hubbard squash is a delicious and healthy twist on taco night.
- 2 small Hubbard squash, 1 1/2 lbs. each
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt + 1/2 tsp., divided
- 1 tsp. black pepper + 1/2 tsp., divided
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 c. black beans, canned
- 1/2 c. corn, canned or frozen
- 4 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5
- Cut Hubbard squash in half, scoop out seeds and drizzle olive oil over the insides of the cut squash. Season halves with a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Place squash halves, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
- While squash is in the oven, start the filling by browning ground turkey in a 12" skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add remaining salt and pepper, granulated garlic, cumin and chili powder to the pan.
- When turkey meat is almost cooked through, add onions and cook for 5 - 6 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Add cooked brown rice, black beans and corn to turkey mixture and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for an additional 6 - 8 minutes, or until squash is ready to come out of the oven, then remove from heat.
- Remove squash from oven and carefully flip over. Fill each half evenly with filling and return to oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, top with cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes until is bubbling and melted.
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro over squash halves before serving, if desired.
You can use one larger Hubbard squash and simply cut each half in half after roasting, to serve 4.
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Serving Size:1 half
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 806mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 42g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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