these acorn squash burrito bowls are a total choose-your-own-adventure style recipe. i have to say, i never really got into those books as a kid, which is funny, since it’s frequently my favorite way to clean out the fridge cook.
in the case of these acorn squash burrito bowls, we’re basically roasting some squash, then adding things that are yummy and in our refrigerator (or freezer – hello chorizo from a while back!). i tried making these a few different ways and they’re pretty hard to mess up, just don’t put anything you don’t like in them, mmmk? (not even if i suggest it below!)
my favorite version turned out to be vegan (!), but that was mostly just because it gave me another vehicle to eat the creamy garlic sauce i was gushing about on tuesday (since by now i’m running out of crackers…). predictably, my husband’s preferred version was the chorizo + cheddar + sour cream version. like i said, you do you.
the rest of the things i threw in were your usual burrito bowl suspects: black beans, onion, kale (ok, so maybe some not-so-usual suspects too…), avocado, rice (leftover rice is awesome here), cilantro, spices, etc.
truly, this recipe’s highest calling is providing you an opportunity to clean out the odds and ends in your fridge while the squash roasts. just please stick to a theme (i went with mexican-ish) so that we don’t end up with some sort of acorn-squash-celery-steak-tip-peanut-burrito bowl. because i do NOT take responsibility for how that comes out…
and because i’ve heard from a few of you lately that this kind of thing is helpful, here are a few meal planning ideas: if you’re excited about this delicious creamy garlic sauce situation, i recommend making these acorn squash burrito bowls and this broccoli white pizza within a few days of each other, so that you can use the same batch of creamy garlic sauce for both.
leftover black beans could go in roasted vegetable burrito bowls (all the burrito bowls all the time!) or spicy black bean soup. if you’re on a chorizo kick, how about mexican quinoa with black beans and chorizo?
and finally, i’m working on a spicy thai squash soup recipe that would use up that bit of squash that you scooped out here as well as the seeds from the squash. so throw that leftover squash in the freezer and stay tuned…
- 1 acorn squash, skin scrubbed clean
- 1/4 cup uncooked rice or 1/2 cup cooked (leftover) rice, see notes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1 cup canned low sodium black beans, with their liquid
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
- small handful of kale, thick stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup (2 oz. / 57 g.) shredded cheddar cheese or 1/2 cup (2 oz. / 57 g.) creamy garlic sauce
- 1 chorizo link, sliced, optional, see notes
- half an avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- salsa, optional
- sour cream, optional
- preheat the oven to 400° F. using a sharp, sturdy chef’s knife, stick the tip of the knife into the squash on one side of the stem, with the blade pointed towards the tip of the squash, opposite the stem. push the knife in until you reach the hollow center of the squash and the knife stops meeting resistance. continue cutting through the squash, going through the tip, until you get to the stem at the other end. slide the knife out and set it out of the way. grab the squash in both hands and pull it apart – it will split on one side of the stem. (note: my photos don’t reflect this because i didn’t think to google this until after i’d made the recipe, so if you’d like to see photos to demonstrate what you’re supposed to do, check out this article from thekitchn.) scoop the seeds and stringy bits out (a grapefruit spoon works really well); save the seeds. put the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet, prick the skin of the squash a few times with the knife, and bake until the tender (a knife easily slides all the way through the squash). this can take anywhere from 40 – 60 minutes, though i found it tended to take about 45 minutes.
- if you want to save and roast the seeds (to top soup, perhaps?): discard the stringy squash bits and rinse the seeds. after the squash has roasted for 30 minutes, check it with the sharp knife. if the squash is pretty soft but not yet done, add the seeds to the baking sheet to roast. if the squash still seems hard, wait to add the seeds so they don’t burn before the squash is ready. the seeds should only roast for 8 – 10 minutes. once the squash is almost done, just toss the seeds on the rimmed baking sheet around the squash and keep an eye on them after 7 minutes so they don’t burn.
- while the squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients. if you are starting with raw rice, cook that according to the package directions. if you have leftover rice in the fridge or freezer, you can skip to the next step.
- heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. when hot, add the onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft, translucent, and fragrant, but not yet browned. add the beans and their liquid along with the cumin and ground chipotle. stir until everything is combined and heat for a minute or two until the beans are heated through. remove from heat.
- in a large bowl (or in the pot used to cook the rice), combine the rice, beans/onions, kale, and chorizo, if you’re using that. stir to combine everything.
- once the squash is done roasting, use a spatula and pot holder to carefully turn the squash halves onto a cutting board to cool (cut side up) for a few minutes. after they’ve cooled for a few minutes, they will still be hot so grab a potholder to hold one half at a time and scoop out some of the soft flesh – about half-ish, so that you have more room for the rest of your fillings. a grapefruit spoon comes in handy but a regular spoon works too (save the flesh you scoop out for an upcoming soup recipe!).
- spoon the rice/bean/kale mixture into the hollowed out squash bowls. top with the cheese/creamy garlic sauce, avocado, cilantro, and anything else you like in burrito bowls. if you like, pop the burrito bowls in the microwave to melt the cheddar cheese. enjoy! leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days and can be reheated in the microwave.
rice it doesn’t matter if you start with raw rice or leftover rice but if you happen to have leftover rice in your fridge or freezer, this recipe is a great way to use it up.
chorizo the kind i used was spanish, which is already cooked and can thus just be sliced and tossed in with everything else. i bet mexican chorizo would also be delicious here, you would just need to cook it before combining it with the other ingredients. and that’s if you want to use chorizo at all – i thought these acorn squash burrito bowls were delicious without it.
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