A few years back, the task of cooking the Thanksgiving meal somehow got passed down to me. Before my parents became empty-nesters and began to spend more time in Korea, on Turkey Day, my mom would prepare several of her infamous Korean holiday recipes while I made the classic Thanksgiving side dishes, like stuffing and green bean casserole. Now I fly solo. Well, except for the turkey that is. I need my Hungryman to do that bc the process of prepping and bring the bird is not my cup of tea. We cooked an entire bird for the first time last year, and it was indeed a glorious sight to behold. Not to mention its perfectly roasted and herbilicious flavor.
At our house, it's not the turkey that steals the show. With my sister and brother, the word Thanksgiving seems to be synonymous with stuffing. I have plenty of text messages from them reminding me that I must make it or else face their wrath. Perhaps this year, I'll just make 4 different kinds of stuffing and call it a day ^_^. That wouldn't be so hard to do as there are plenty of unique recipes out there.
It's no secret that I adore butternut squash, and I do everything I can to get my fix before they start costing a fortune again. As I was thinking about different stuffing recipes to experiment with, I thought why not stuff these orange beauties? The inspiration for this actually came from my Loaded Southwestern Quinoa Sweet Potatoes. Apparently, I like my orange veggies and fruits ginormous ;).
While I normally use sausage, I opted for lean ground turkey in this recipe. Shh…don't tell my siblings. As for the bread, I'm sure you're aware of the endless possibilities going from white bread to whole grain. But for stuffing, I almost always prefer cornbread, not just bc I'm a lover of all things corn, but bc it imparts a light, slightly nutty flavor and sweetness to the dish. I took a little shortcut and used the packaged Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix. I'm with Megan from The Kitchn when she says that learning to let things go is a beautiful thing during the holidays.
This truly was an easy recipe to prepare. Probably the hardest part was cutting the butternut squash in half, and I even managed to find an easy way out of that - enter Hungryman.
Even after Thanksgiving has come and gone, this is a dish I see myself enjoying as long as the weather stays cool. Hope you will give this a try if you are on the look-out for something different.
Do you have a favorite stuffing recipe? If so, please feel free to share the recipe or leave a link ;).
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Ib lean ground turkey I used 93% lean
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 granny smith apple diced
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 6 oz cubed cornbread stuffing mix I used Pepperidge Farm
- ½ - ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 eggs
For the butternut squash:
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease baking dish or line with aluminum foil. Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds and strings. Arrange cut side up in baking dish and brush lightly with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake until tender, about 45 min to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let squash cool before handling. Scoop out most of the flesh.
For the stuffing:
- Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and cook turkey, about 8-10 min, breaking it up with a wooden spoon to avoid oversized clumps. Remove turkey from skillet, then wipe down skillet with a paper towel. Add butter and cook onion, celery, and apple until tender. In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, veggies, cornbread stuffing, scooped out butternut squash, chicken broth, and eggs. Mix until well incorporated.
- Add stuffing to hollowed out squash and top with generous amounts of parmesan. Bake uncovered until stuffing is cooked through and cheese has melted, approx 15-20 min.