Tired of the same old left-over turkey dishes? This Turkey Enchilada-Filled Acorn Squash is definitely a fun, flavourful and delicious way to use up left-over cooked turkey (or chicken).
We really loved this dish and notwithstanding the cheese topping and my slightly heavy hand with the sour cream :) this is a great vegetable and fibre-rich dish. The sauce is my homemade version of enchilada sauce, nice and spicy, combined with corn, black beans and cooked turkey or chicken.
Aside from the passive roasting time of the squash, the sauce comes together really quickly with canned corn and black beans, so it’s a great meal for a weeknight.
Cook’s Notes for Turkey Enchilada-Filled Acorn Squash
The enchilada sauce is pleasantly spiced for adult tastes. If you are cooking for kids who aren’t spice lovers, you may want to scale it back a bit.
Make this vegetarian, by skipping the meat and increasing the corn and beans in the sauce. Make it vegan by skipping the cheese and sour cream on top or replacing with vegan equivalents.
As mentioned, this is just as nice with chicken, either left-over cooked chicken or start with a rotisserie chicken.
If you prefer, you could use a store-bought enchilada sauce and skip the passata and spices.
The sauce is quite thick. If it seems too thick, you can thin with a splash of water or chicken stock.
Turkey Enchilada-Filled Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, cut in half, with seed and pulp removed
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4-1/3 cup diced jalapeno, seeds removed
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups passata (strained tomatoes in jaor canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- Pinch cinnamon
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup canned corn kernels or thawed frozen corn
- 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used half mozzarella half cheddar)
- Sour cream, to serve
- Chopped jalapeno or cilantro, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until tender (flip them over and test with a fork).
When squash is done, remove from oven and increase oven heat to 425 Carefully flip the squash over on the baking sheet so the cut side is up. Brush with a bit of butter, then generously season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand on the baking sheet while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, another 30-45 seconds. Add passata, tomato paste, cilantro, cumin, chilli powder, oregano, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add corn, black beans and turkey. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes, or until beans and corn are heated through. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, as necessary.
Place warm filling in to the roasted squash on baking sheet, dividing it between the 4 squash halves. Top with grated cheese. Place in to 425 oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with diced jalapeno or cilantro.