Cranberry Barley Risotto Stuffed Squash

Happy Turkey Week! How was your weekend?

This weekend we celebrated Turkey Day a few days early with our Durham friends. Friendsgivings are the BEST! So many different dishes to try, people to meet, toddlers to chase… but I had the hardest time deciding what to make!

Last year I made these sweet potato empanadas, but for some reason I just didn’t feel like putting them together this year! I was inspired a few weeks ago by this post from fANNEtastic Food, a creative alternative to traditional stuffing. I made a few tweaks and also stuffed some butternut squash since I tend to like the sweetness of butternut a little more than acorn. But if you serve these on their own, the acorn halves make a perfectly portioned serving!

Stuffed Squash w/ Cranberry Barley Risotto and Pepitas

Stuffed Squash w/ Cranberry Barley Risotto and Pepitas

Ben caught me in action, slaving away in the kitchen. Post workout, no makeup, sweaty mess I am… #reallife

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These are actually pretty simple to make… and depending on how many mouths you want to feed, you could easily do it all on just one big cookie sheet and one big saucepan.

Stuffed Squash w/ Cranberry Barley Risotto and Pepitas
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Side
Cuisine: Thanksgiving, Fall
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
Looking for a fun way to lighten up your usual Thanksgiving stuffing? These little stuffed squashes taste as pretty as they look!
Ingredients
  • 2-3 acorn squash, halved (I sliced off the bottom of each half so they would lie flat in the pan!)
  • 2 medium butternut squash, halved
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp each fresh sage and parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • crumbled bacon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • extra pepitas (optional)
  • honey for drizzling (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Scoop out seeds from squash.
  3. Place squash halves skin side down on a large baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake 30 min or until tender. Remove from oven.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat about 2 tbsp olive oil on medium-high. Add celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, sage, and parsley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender- 5 or 6 minutes or so!
  5. Add barley and cranberries and give it all a stir. Add cider, water/stock, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15-20 min until all liquid is absorbed. Stir in pepitas.
  6. Scoop filling into center of squash (I had to scoop a little extra out of the long part of the butternut squash to make room).
  7. Top with goat cheese, bacon crumbles, extra pepitas (if desired), and a drizzle of honey. Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes until heated through.
Prepping ingredients.

Prepping ingredients.

Saute veggies, herbs and cranberries until tender.

Saute veggies, herbs and cranberries until tender.

Add barley and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Add barley and cook until liquid is absorbed.

Allow roasted squash to cool to the touch

Allow roasted squash to cool to the touch

Scoop filling into squash halves and return to oven to cook until heated through

Scoop filling into squash halves and return to oven to cook until heated through

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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