Ground Beef Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 acorn squash, halved at the stem, seeds removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

3/4 lb. ground beef

1 small white or yellow onion, diced

1/2 bell pepper, any color, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried paprika

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the squash halves on a baking sheet flesh-side up. Brush each half with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Poke the flesh side of each half a few times with a fork. Roast about 35-40 minutes or until the flesh is softened. Let slightly cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Careful not to poke holes in the skin, gently remove all of the flesh from each half and place into a large bowl. Place the skins back on the baking sheet.

In a large skillet up to medium-high heat, add the canola oil. Brown the ground beef. Drain; remove from pan. In the same pan up to medium-high heat, saute the onion for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for anther minute.

Add the onion mixture, ground beef, paprika, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, sage, cheese and pecans to the bowl with the squash. Mix together. Divide the mixture into the skins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sponsor: Utah Beef Council

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