My typical Monday? It goes about as smoothly as stilettos on cobblestone.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

There’s the inevitable waking up late, because no matter how hard I try I cannot humanly peel my eyes open at 7:30am on a Monday, ever. So by the time I half stumble, half catapult out of bed around ten to 8, my day is already pretty much in shambles.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

By the time I chug a glass of water, haphazardly manage to shower, and begin fumbling with my espresso machine to the muted grumbles of CNN, the gravity of the long day ahead begins to hit me. It seems like Monday’s are always scheduled to overly ambitious proportions, so much so that basic human necessities like bathroom breaks, lunchtime, and breathing are left unallotted for. So it’s no surprise that Monday dinners tend to be a complete disaster, am I right? Salads sheepishly ordered from Seamless, pre-packaged dinners from Whole Foods that cost more than a mortgage, leftover pizza that’s inhaled self-loathingly? It happens.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

Because when, exactly, does one find time to plan a healthy, lovely little Monday night dinner? A meal that should be charmingly meatless, quickly pulled together, and totally seasonal because seasonal eating is cool?!

Well… good news.

I find it for ya.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’ve always been a big believer in keeping my Monday diet tight, because whenever I eat healthy on a Monday the rest of the week seems to seamlessly follow suit. Making time for Monday meals that are nutritious + delicious isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated mess, either – These stuffed acorn squash are the perfect example of how a little bit of effort can yield a huge, healthy payoff that’s perfectly portioned for two.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

While this meal does take about an hour to pull together, the individual steps are super simple, plus there’s loads of downtime in between where you can organize your laundry, send those last few emails, open that bottle of Monday red, whatever. Acorn squash are a beautiful food, and because they’re so damn pretty I stupidly assumed they would be difficult to work with too – Not the case! A few slices and scoops is all you need before your squash is ready for roasting, and if you’re a coconut oil freak like me then you’ll love that it’s used liberally here.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

A simple marinade of coconut oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon (plus pinches of salt + pepper) bring out amazing sweetness from the squash, plus the sauce caramelizes into a thick, syrupy consistency that’s all sorts of insane. This recipe only calls for a tablespoon of sugar, but if you’re looking to cut back on sweets, I feel ya! Raw honey or agave can be swapped for the brown sugar, and if you’d rather enlist EVOO over coconut oil, that’s fine too. Once the squash is roasted you stuff it with the caprese filling {savory!}, then send it back to the oven for 15 more minutes of heating. In just a few easy steps you’ve got a crazy tasty, totally pretty dinner that’s filling, fit, and ready for major Instagram tagging.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

The caprese filling here is a low-key mix of farro, basil, tomatoes, and bocconcini, but feel free to experiment with whatever you’ve got lying around – Use orzo or quinoa in lieu of farro, add in sun-dried tomatoes, or sub in ricotta or smoked mozzarella for the bocconcini. Keep things fresh and playful – You’ve got this! Plus, if your man insists on some extra protein you can easily add a meat component too. Simply cook up ground chicken, pork, or beef, then add it to your filling like the rest.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

And whether you go heavy with the finishing touch of balsamic, or delicately add only a spritz? That part is alllll you. x

Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Acorn Squash
  • 3 tbsps Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Cooked Farro
  • 1/2 cup Bocconcini (Mini Mozzarella Balls), halved
  • 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halve
  • 2 tbsps Fresh Basil, diced
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cooking spray to grease
  • Balsamic vinegar to drizzle

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Using your sharpest kitchen knife, slice ~1/2″ off either end of your squash. Next, halve squash length-wise, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Transfer squash to greased baking dish.
  3. In small mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon, mixing well. Use a pastry brush to amply coat each squash half with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 425F for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized.
  4. While squash roasts, in another bowl combine the farro, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and EVOO, tossing well to coat.
  5. When squash is finished roasting, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. At the same time, lower oven temperature to 375F.
  6. Once squash is cool enough to handle, stuff with as much caprese filling as possible. Return squash to oven and bake at 375F for another 15 minutes until cheese has melted and the tomatoes just begin to blister. Serve immediately, drizzling with balsamic vinegar if desired.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squashso yums.

Dinner for Two: Caprese Stuffed Acorn Squash