Plus browned butter bread crumbs… but that just seemed too crazy long to add into that title!
The site is back to normal. YES!
And Friday could not come fast enough!
To celebrate Thursday and the anticipation for Friday, I have stuffed squash for you! Oh yeah, it is delicious. All roasted up with some butter and brown sugar.
That right there? Yeah, I could call that dinner and be so happy.
Actually, all fall food is making me so happy.
Please tell me I am not the only one lighting the pumpkin spice candles every single night, eating at least two honeycrisp apples a day, roasting a butternut squash every other day, dunking apples in caramel, adding pumpkin and cinnamon sugar to everything, caramelizing onions left and right, browning butter at least once a day and roasting a chicken once a week?
It is so my happy place. So cozy and the smells? The smells are like no other. It’s just awesome. I am obsessed with fall and I did not even know that was possible. It’s so possible
But whatever, I am loving every single minute of it.
Well, at least I’m trying too. The last couple days have been pretty crazy and just miserable (except for my hikes – so gorgeous here now), but things are looking up!
The idea for these came from these Healthy Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Skins that people kind of go crazy for. They’re so good, I think it is the combo of sweet and spicy.
As many of you know by now, this is kind of my favorite combo.
So they were a smash (sorry, I have smashed pumpkins on the brain)!
So good, the sweet brown sugar roasted squash mixed with the spicy chicken, the spinach and then couscous filling – so good! Then topped off with some sharp cheddar cheese and finished with browned butter bread crumbs!!
Yup, I am fully addicted to brown butter, but that’s been pretty obvious lately. I am also fairly sure that tomorrow’s post will most like include more. I seem to have fallen hard.
The squash take a little time since you have to roast them for close to an hour, but there is nothing hard about them and they can completely be made ahead of time and just thrown in the oven before dinner to re-warm and melt the cheese! Feel free to add any left over chicken you have on hand.
Roasted a chicken on Sunday and have the meat leftover? Use it! It would be perfect for this!
These cute little acorn squash halves are fall comfort food done just a little bit healthier. Which in my book still includes CHEESE… and of course browned butter.
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp or melted
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders or breast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 3 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced (use less for less heat)
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked couscous (may sub rice or quinoa)
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Browned Butter Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush the insides of each acorn squash with 2 tablespoons melted butter and then sprinkle on the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place in roasting pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and swirl the liquid around the flesh of the squash and coat it well, trying to use up all the sauce/butter that formed while baking, then discard any remaining liquid.
While the squash the squash is baking also bake the chicken. Place the chicken in a baking dish and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is no long pink in the middle. During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the chopped spinach to one side of the baking dish and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Place back in the oven until the spinach is wilted, about 5 -10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes, then shred the chicken with two forks or your hands.
In a medium size bowl combine the remaining olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, fresh cilantro, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Mix the spinach, chicken, cooked couscous and chipotle sauce together. Now grab the acorn squash halves and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and acorn squash is crisp.
While the squash bakes make the brown butter bread crumbs. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter. Melt butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Quickly remove from the stove and whisk about 30 seconds longer. Let sit 2 minutes and them stir in the Panko bread crumbs.
Remove the acorn squash from the oven and top with fresh cilantro and the browned butter bread crumbs. Devour!
The squash can be made ahead, stuffed and then refrigerated until ready to eat. Just bake as directed.
Ah, heck yes!
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #halfbakedharvest.