Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

As the air gets crisper and the leaves turn golden, it’s time to welcome the cozy flavors of fall into your kitchen. Joining us in the ciKitchen today is the talented guest chef, Colleen Hatton, who’s ready to share a delightful recipe that captures the essence of autumn: Italian “Lasagna” Stuffed Acorn Squash.


  • 2 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat and Prep: Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set it aside for later.
  2. Prepare the Squash: Brush each acorn squash cut half with ¼ teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet until they become tender, which should take about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Sauté the Beef: While the squash is baking, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and lean ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and brown the ground beef while breaking it up as it cooks. Once browned, drain any excess grease.
  4. Assemble the Dish: Remove the roasted squash from the oven and flip them over. Place a quarter cup of ricotta cheese in the bottom of each squash half. Then, divide the meat and marinara mixture between the squash halves. Top each with a quarter cup of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese over each.
  5. Final Bake: Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional ten minutes or until the squash is tender, and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  6. Garnish and Serve: To finish, garnish your Italian “Lasagna” Stuffed Acorn Squash with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for that extra burst of flavor.