This stuffed butternut squash with ground beef dish is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and makes a delicious meal. The beef is subtly spiced with cinnamon and clove for wonderful depth of flavor. A topping of crispy oregano panko bread crumbs completes the dish.
Why make this recipe?
This stuffed squash dinner is delicious, satisfying and very easy to make with pantry ingredients. Cinnamon and clove both go really well with beef and with the sweet and nutty flavor of butternut squash and make this dish special. (For more delicious cinnamon-spiced beef dishes, be sure to also check out this cinnamon clove beef Stroganoff and these cinnamon meatballs!)
Ingredient notes & substitutions:
- You can substitute canned tomato sauce for the canned crushed tomatoes.
- You can use ground beef that’s 80 percent lean or leaner than that.
How to make it:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F., then pierce the squash 2 to 3 times with a paring knife and lay on a baking sheet. Bake until soft.
Step 2. While the squash is in the oven, cook the beef until no longer pink. Spoon the grease out of the pan, then transfer the cooked beef to a bowl and set aside.
Step 3. Wipe the pan with a paper towel. Saute onion in olive oil until starting to soften, then stir in cinnamon and clove.
Step 4. Add the beef back to the pan, then stir in salt and crushed tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 5. Take the squash out of the oven and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then scoop about half of the flesh out of each squash half and set aside.
Step 6. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Fill the squash halves with the beef.
Step 7. Top the beef with the scooped out flesh.
Step 8. Mix panko with olive oil and dried oregano, then spoon on top of the butternut halves. Transfer back to the oven and bake until starting to brown.
How to serve it:
Serve the stuffed squash by itself or with a green salad.
More delicious spiced dinner recipes:
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Full Printable Recipe
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Ground Beef
- measuring cups and spoons
- knife and cutting board
- paring knife
- baking sheet
- cast iron pan with lid
- wooden spoon
- paper towels
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 pound ground beef (80 percent lean)*
- 4 teaspoons mild olive oil, divided into 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon
- ½ onion, peeled and diced
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes** (~9 ounces)
- ½ cup panko
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pierce the squash 2 to 3 times with a paring knife, then lay the entire squash on a baking sheet.
- Bake the squash whole until a paring knife goes through easily (about 1 ½ hours).
- When you have about 20 minutes left on the squash, cook the beef.
- Add the ground beef to a cast iron pan to which you have a lid and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink and beginning to brown (5 to 7 min.)
- Spoon the grease out of the pan and discard, then transfer the cooked beef to a bowl and set aside.
- Wipe the inside of the pan with a paper towel, then heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in it. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften (2 to 3 minutes).
- Stir cinnamon and clove into the onion, then add the cooked beef back in.
- Stir in salt and crushed tomatoes, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.
- Take the squash out of the oven and let cool for a minute.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Transfer the cooked squash onto a cutting board and carefully slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then transfer the squash halves back onto the baking sheet.
- Scoop about half of the flesh out of each squash half and set aside. Fill the squash halves with the beef, then top the beef with the scooped out flesh.
- Mix the panko with the remaining olive oil and the dried oregano. Spoon the mix on top of the butternut halves, then transfer them back to the oven and bake until starting to brown (5 to 8 minutes).
- Serve hot by itself or with a green salad.