This Pomegranate & Chicken Stuffed Acorn Squash is loaded with texture and savory flavor. It’s an insanely satisfying, cozy, simple meal that has a fancy feel.
A couple weeks ago, I was listening to The Federalist Radio Hour (which I love), and Mary Katherine Ham talked about her experience at her alma mater’s football game the prior week. It was a perfect day and it looked like the Bulldogs were going to win… and in a crushing last-minute twist, they didn’t.
Of course, that’s insanely frustrating. And if you’re a fan of any sports team, you know that losses (and wins) feel very personal. After a loss, you probably think, “Why me?” I certainly do.
Well, a person Mary Katherine met the game told her that someone needed that win more than she did on that particular night.
I am really not a person who says, “Everything happens for a reason.” I don’t believe that there’s a magic force that’s deciding who needs what particularly badly at any given time. Despite that, I think it’s a nice thought, and it makes me a little more patient and understanding.
This past week was the first week since coming back to school I’ve been able to stream the Ohio State football game in my room (because my wi-fi is finally fixed). I was all curled up in bed studying for my midterm today and editing pictures and eating snacks galore – and the Buckeyes were winning.
And then they weren’t. Ugh. I was texting my parents, who were watching at home, and
silently quietly cursing and asking why this was happening.
…I get a little worked up over nothing sometimes if you couldn’t tell.
The Buckeyes lost on Saturday night. I was annoyed and exhausted. Nighttime football games go past my bedtime. I was just about to click out of the livestream when I stopped to listen to the Penn State coach’s interview. He said his niece and nephew lost their dad earlier last week and that the win was for them.
Okay, yeah. They needed that boost more than I did.
Getting to cook some on Friday afternoon was my boost for the weekend. See, I’ve been living on leftovers, which is great for efficiency, but not quite as great for creativity. So when I got home from discussion and study group on Friday, I started chopping. What did I get? This soup (amazing) and this squash (wonderful).
Inspired by the deliciousness I shared on Ellie’s blog earlier this month, I stuffed a roasted acorn squash with shredded chicken, sautéed mushrooms and onions, wilted spinach, and tangy pomegranate seeds. It was a great choice, and makes for an utterly satisfying meal that has a ton of flavors and textures. It’s as excellent for allowing chance to craft your bites as for building them yourself.
And now I officially want to eat all my food out of squash bowls.
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1 t. coconut oil
- 1/3 c. chopped onion
- 2 c. sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/8 t. oregano
- 2 T. white wine
- 6-8 oz. chicken, cooked and shredded (about 3/4 c. shredded)
- 1/2 c. pomegranate seeds
- 3 c. spinach, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut acorn squash in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet.
- Place squash in the oven to roast until you can pierce the skin with a fork, about 35-40 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add garlic and onions to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add sliced mushrooms to the garlic and onions and cook about 1 minute. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add white wine and chicken to the skillet and mix. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add pomegranate seeds to the chicken mixture. Feel free to pierce some to release the juices better.
- Toss chopped spinach with the chicken mixture to wilt and remove from heat.
- Remove squash from the oven and flip the halves over to cool slightly.*
- Divide chicken mixture between squash halves and enjoy. You'll have extra filling, but that's okay. There's nothing wrong with overflow!
- *Be careful with this - the squash are going to be very hot. I recommend using paper towels or some oven mitts.
- Cooking for more than 2? This is easily multiplied!
- Cooking for 1? The halves store well in the fridge for about 3 days. I usually reheat them in the microwave for a total of 2 minutes, with a break after 1 minute to release some steam. You could also put them in the oven until heated through. Or eat them cold - I've done that and actually really like it.
Nutrition facts for this will vary a ton depending on the size of your squash and how much of it you eat. Regardless, it’ll be delicious and packed with potassium, protein, and produce.
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It’s week 5 of the Autumn Produce Challenge with Kayla and Priya. Celebrate with us by linking up your best winter squash recipes below! And don’t forget to join us next week – Halloween – with your favorite pumpkin recipes!
Are you a sports fan? Yes! College football and NHL hockey are my favorites, but I’ll watch anything. I generally don’t care about baseball, but I’m still excited about the World Series.
How do you give yourself a boost? Cooking, blogging, yoga, working out, and talking to people who lift me up come to mind.