Mexican Stuffed Squash is a great, protein-filled way to use your summer produce
They are my personal favorite methods for preparing veggies. You really can't go wrong with a stuffed bell pepper or roasted asparagus. You just can't.
And when you have an abundance of squash, you need to find more ways to eat them than just making squash casseroles.
The Recipe ReDux theme for the month of July is Fresh from the Garden: The season of bountiful produce has arrived. Whether your produce comes from the farmers' market, a CSA share, or a plot of dirt out back, show how you are using fresh July fruits or veggies.
I don't have a garden (I can't keep a plant alive to save my life), but I do spend a lot of time in my local produce department.
Creole tomatoes and squash are all over the place. Yellow squash has been on sale every time I go to the store, so I keep buying it. Which means I have an abundance of squash in my kitchen.
Luckily, I'm obsessed with this stuffed squash, so I've been enjoying it all week. And I think you will be too.
I love that it is super healthy, packed with veggies, and filled with lean protein.
You can always skip the cheese if necessary (but it makes it sooo good, so don't skip it if you don't have to) or substitute chopped mushrooms for the ground meat if you want to go vegetarian.
I used leftover taco meat (you'll need about 2 cups).
If you don't have leftover taco meat, you can just sauté 8 ounces of ground beef or turkey with 1/2 cup diced onions. Drain and then use in the recipe as you would the leftover taco meat.
Remember when you get your squash ready, you want to leave a little border and you want to save some of the insides of the squash. You'll put some in the mixture that you stuff in the squash.
This is a great, light summer meal.
I've made these multiple times when feeding a large group of people because you can make them ahead of time and then just heat them all on a baking sheet.
I find that three halves fills me up, but you can always serve a side like rice or quinoa to help absorb some of the juices.
Mexican Stuffed Squash
- 2 teaspoon olive oil divided
- 2 pounds yellow squash about 4-5 medium sized
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 cups leftover taco meat see notes*
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces cheddar grated
- 1 medium avocado sliced, optional
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped, optional
- Preheat oven to 375*F. Line a baking sheet with foil (if desired for less clean up). Add 1 teaspoon of oil to baking sheet.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop insides out of squash. Do not discard insides -- chop them & set aside. Place squash cut side down, onto oil, and cook for 9 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and leftover taco meat. Add spices and 1/2 cup of the reserved insides of squash. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Flip squash over to be cut side up and arrange so the squash are close together on the baking sheet. Evenly fill squash with ground beef mixture. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Top each with cheese. Turn on the broiler. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with avocado and/or cilantro if desired.
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