Add some pizzazz to your Taco Tuesday, by serving these stuffed acorn squash filled with your favorite Mexican flavors and textures.
We have Mexican cuisine at least once a week. Typically, a taco bar rates high on the list of our favorites, followed by tortilla soup and nachos.
I love how the flavors of cilantro and lime go so well with the textures of rice and beans. Speaking of rice and beans, Mexican dishes are usually low on the financial totem pole. They don't contain any fancy and hard to find ingredients and they almost always call for rice and beans, the most cost-efficient staple in your pantry. In fact, most of the ingredients needed to make this Tex-Mex Stuffed Acorn Squash – you probably already have in your kitchen.
Go ahead, go take a look. I'll wait.
The Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a winter squash that resembles…acorns. They are perfectly sized to hold individual servings of pretty much anything, such as this Mexican flair. Because these gems are meatless, we will use the meaty part of the acorn squash to add some bulk and substance. We can't categorize this as vegan because of the generous amount of cheese. And I wouldn't advise skipping on the cheese because once melted, it is the very ingredient that holds everything together.
Oh glory, the stuffing! But not the Thanksgiving turkey stuffing. Have you ever stuffed your Thanksgiving turkey with Mexican flavors? Neither have I, but I have stuffed acorn squash with glorious and delicious Mexican essence. A medley of rice, black beans, fresh tomatoes and Mexican cheese blend sit proudly in already cooked squash bowls. This makes it an easy dinner option and it re-heats beautifully the following day.
You can go a step further and soak and sprout the rice and soak and sprout the beans for more nutrients and health benefits. I also prefer to use frozen corn instead of the canned variety to avoid unnecessary BPA exposure. Even better if corn on the cob just came off the grill. Just slice those kernels straight off the cob with a sharp chef's knife and you're good to go.
- 2 small-medium acorn squash
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup organic black beans
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon unrefined salt
- 1½ cups Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 1 lime, juiced
- fresh cilantro, chives, jalapenos, sour cream, lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 425F. Halve squash crosswise. Scoop out seeds, discard. Set squash halves, cut side down, on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes.
- (Note: If using this method, select the smallest squashes so both can fit in the pot)
- Place trivet in Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
- Thoroughly wash the squash. Place it directly onto the trivet and secure lid. Push "manual" button for high pressure for 3 minutes. When time is up, do 5 minutes NPR (natural pressure release) then quick release to release all pressure. Open the lid and allow the squash to cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled, cut squash crosswise and scoop out the seeds.
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Combine rice, beans, corn, tomatoes, spices, and 1 cup of cheese. Add juice from 1 lime and toss gently.
- Scoop stuffing evenly into the 4 squash halves. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the stuffed squash and plate, and garnish with favorite toppings such as sour cream, cilantro,and peppers.