Chipotle Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe with Ricotta, Orzo, and Pecans
Wonderfully spicy, this chipotle stuffed acorn squash recipe with ricotta, orzo, honey, and toasted pecans is a perfect autumn dish to warm you from the cold. I recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder and then tasting the filling - if you want a little more spice, feel free to add another 1/4 teaspoon to the mix. You're also more than welcome to increase the honey in the recipe, if that's your thing. If you're like me and really, really like honey, you can drizzle your squash with a touch more before you dig in. Feeds 4 as a side, 2 as a main dish.
Course Entree, Side Dish
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 40minutes
Total Time 55minutes
Author Stephanie Stiavetti
3/4cupuncooked orzo pasta
1/2teaspoonground chipotle chili pepperdivided
Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Carefully slice acorn squash in half from top to bottom. Use a spoon to remove all seeds and stringy bits. Set the squash, cut-side up, in a baking sheet and brush the exposed flesh with melted butter. Slide into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until squash flesh is soft.
While the squash is cooking, toast the pecans in a skillet over medium-high heat, agitating once a minute to keep them from burning. Toast until they are fragrant and turn a deeper brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before chopping coarsely.
While the squash is still cooking, prepare the orzo according to the instructions on the package, making sure to salt the cooking water (about 1 tablespoon). Once done, strain the orzo and set aside.
Combine ricotta, honey, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle, and salt. Stir well and taste. If you'd like a little more heat, add another 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle. Gently fold in orzo and 1/2 cup of pecans, making sure not to mash the pasta.
Once the squash is done, fill the cavity of each with 1/4 of the ricotta filling. Slide the squash back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with more chopped pecans.