Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Chicken enchilada flavors stuffed into acorn squash instead of tortillas
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken enchilada-stuffed acorn squash, easy dinner recipes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 440 kcal
Author Adapted from Food Network Magazine


  • 2 small acorn squash halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 small or 1/2 large fresh poblano chile pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or Hot Shot combination of black pepper and cayenne
  • 15 ounces red enchilada sauce 1 can
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast shredded
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese 4 ounces
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream optional
  • Fresh cilantro chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Place acorn squash halves, flesh side up, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour enough water in the dish to barely cover the bottom. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Cool.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften and look translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  4. Add enchilada sauce and chicken to saucepan. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  6. Mix about 1/3 of the cheese into the chicken mixture. Divide the chicken mixture among the squash halves and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  7. Garnish with Greek yogurt or sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Gluten-free? Look for a gluten-free brand of enchilada sauce or make your own.

Watching sodium? Skip the added kosher salt, cut back on the cheese, and/or make your own low-sodium enchilada sauce.

Watching fat? Use a lower-fat cheese or cut back on the amount you use, look for a lower-fat enchilada sauce (or make your own), and/or use a little bit less olive oil.

Time-saving tips:
(1) Cook the squash in the microwave, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes instead of baking it in the oven.
(2) Cook squash the day before and refrigerate overnight (unstuffed).
(3) If you don't have any leftover cooked chicken, use rotisserie chicken or cook some the day before.
(4) Make the sauce the day before (minus the chicken), then add the chicken and reheat the sauce before stuffing the squash.

Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.