Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pork is sweet, filling, flavorful, nutty, and simply delicious. The meal is gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole30, Paleo, and high-calorie.
We all know that pork and apples go well together. But did you know that these two are great with butternut squash, too?
This recipe is the perfect fall (or winter!) delight to clear out your apple and squash stockpile. But I have to admit, I love it even in the summer!
This recipe is sweet, meaty, filling, with touches of crunchiness and herbs that give it a satisfying texture and flavor.
All in all, it is a wholesome meal that’s enjoyed without a shred of guilt. I had to emphasize that because you will most definitely be tempted to reach for seconds.
The combo of ingredients here is to die for. And I suggest you give this recipe a try as it is. However, keep in mind that the filling can easily be customized to your liking.
Table of Contents
Ingredients and Substitutes
2 medium butternut squash – When buying your butternut squash, make sure that its skin has a beige hue without any green tones.
That means that the squash is ripe, which is exactly how you need it in this recipe.
2 tbsp olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil works best here.
1 white onion – Chopped. This recipe uses white onion.
1lb pork mince – I love this recipe with ground pork, but turkey can also be a good substitute. Plus, it feels as festive as the combo of squash and apples.
1 tsp garlic powder – You can also get away with using fresh garlic.
1 tsp Italian seasoning – You can use a combination of your preferred dried herbs instead.
1 tsp oregano – Feel free to substitute it with another herb
1 medium apple –The variety of apples here is not that important. However, it’s better if they’re a bit firmer because they go through a cooking process.
1 cup spinach – Fresh spinach leaves are used. Baby spinach will work, too.
½ cup dried cranberries – I love dried cranberries because they’re super festive. But you can use another type of dried fruit, too.
½ cup walnuts – You can easily substitute with pecans or some other nuts.
Salt and black pepper – To taste.
Parsley – Chopped for garnish
How to Make Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pork
Step 1. Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds and strings by scooping them out.
Step 2. Drizzle the halves of the squash with 1 tbsp olive oil.
Step 3. Then, arrange them onto a prepared baking dish with the cut side down. Place in the oven and let them bake for 40 minutes. For larger squash, it may take up to an hour.
Step 4. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Start by adding about a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions there.
Step 5. Add the ground pork to the pan after sauteing for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, oregano, stir well, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the pork has whitened.
Step 6. Add chopped apples, spinach, and walnuts, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 7. Give the mixture a nice stir, and cook for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
Step 8. Remove the baked squash from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes until it is safe enough to handle. Then, scoop out some of the flesh to make space for the stuffing.
Step 9. Fill the halves up with the pork mixture. Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes and garnish with some chopped parsley.
What Can You Stuff Your Butternut Squash With?
Butternut squash is a pretty versatile ingredient that can handle and take on many different flavors and textures.
Besides this pork and apple recipe, there are many other stuffing varieties that you can play around with.
Sausage, rice, lentils, quinoa, mushrooms, cheese, and even tofu will work well with squash.
Can You Eat the Skin on Butternut Squash?
Definitely! Once you roast your squash, there is no need to discard that browned skin. Quite the contrary!
Butternut squash skin is rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Consuming it would definitely increase your nutrient intake.
Watch How to Make
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Pork
- 2 medium butternut squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion finely chopped
- 1 lb pork mince
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 medium apple chopped
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425F and get your baking sheet ready.
- Cut your butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings. Drizzle each half of the squash with a total of 1 tbsp of olive oil, and place the halves with the flat part down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the squash has softened. IF the squash is larger, it might take up to 60 minutes.
- Heat up a frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add in chopped onion and sauté for around 3-5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add pork mince to the pan. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and oregano. Stir and cook until the pork has whitened – it will take about 4-5 minutes.
- Add apple, spinach, cranberries, and walnuts – give it a good stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and black pepper.
- Once the squash has cooked, flip the halves and scoop out some of the flesh to make space for the pork mince. Make sure you leave a border of squash for eating.
- Fill up the squash with the pork mince and broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.