Beef Curry Stew in Edible Acorn Squash Bowls


In this acorn squash recipe you get a two for one: A delicious edible bowl, plus the generous amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium that acorn squash provides.

Any type of squash can be a bowl, but the size and shape of acorn squash makes it an especially good choice. Cut the squash in half, lightly coat in oil or butter, then roast until soft. Fill it with soup, stew, chili, or meat sauce. A pile of sautéed greens in a squash bowl isn’t a bad way to go, either.

In this recipe, a spoonful of the roasted squash bowl with a spoonful of the coconut beef curry stew poured inside is like edible autumn. Warm spices, creamy coconut milk, tender beef, sweet squash…this dish has it all. Plus, crunchy, salty squash seeds sprinkled on top if you like.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour to roast in the oven


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or unsalted butter, divided (30 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 ml)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled (2.5 cm)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (15 ml)
  • 1 pound beef chuck cut into small 1/2-inch pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper (450 g/13 mm)
  • 1 cup beef broth (240 ml)
  • 1 13.5 fl oz can coconut milk (398 ml)

Recipe Tip: When buying the acorn squash, pay attention to the size and choose one you can imagine cutting in half and using as a bowl.


Preheat oven to 400 °F/205 °C.

Slice each acorn squash in half lengthwise, from tip to stem. Slice a little bit off the bottom, so each squash half sits flat on a table, without wobbling. Scoop out the seeds and stringy middle, keep the seeds if you want to roast them (see below) and discard the stringy part. Carve enough out of the middle so there will be room for a cup or so of the beef stew.


Rub a tablespoon of coconut oil/butter over the flesh of each squash. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the squash halves. Season each squash lightly with salt. Arrange cut side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Put shallot, ginger, garlic, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender, and process until everything is very finely chopped (or just chop everything by hand). Set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil or butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook beef until browned on all sides. Turn the heat down to medium if the meat starts to burn. Add more oil between batches if the pot seems dry.

With all the meat back in the pot, add the shallot mixture and curry powder and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add beef broth and 1/2 the can of coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. At the same time, put the baking sheet of acorn squash in the oven. Cook each until the squash is soft and can easily be pierced with a fork and the meat in the pot is tender, about 1 hour.

Remove the squash and meat from the oven. Add the remaining coconut milk to the meat.

Roasted Squash

Ladle the beef stew into the acorn squash bowls before eating. Top with roasted squash seeds, if you like.

To roast seeds:

Rinse the seeds with water to remove any stringy parts clinging on, then pat dry.

Coat the seeds lightly in oil of your choice, then sprinkle with salt. Spread the seeds out in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 300 °F/149 °C oven, just until the seeds start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.



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13 thoughts on “Beef Curry Stew in Edible Acorn Squash Bowls”

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    1. I used ground chicken and chicken bone broth. Was excellent!

  1. The fact that this dish is made in an acorn squash bowl definitely makes it unique and better yet it means less dishes when you’re done!

  2. Thank you worker bees. You’ve inspired me to elevate the gourd serving game to use a big pumpkin for a party soup serving vessel. That, our puts bottles and bottles of non primal Southern Tier Pumking Beers into it (the only beer I drink for two weeks a year. And it packs a wallop! Too many and I’m in the fields with Charlie Brown).

    Byproduct pumpkin guts also means roasted pumpkin seeds!

  3. This looks great. This also looks like a great concept for Thanksgiving leftovers in the form of an acorn squash turkey pot pie with sweet potato crust

  4. I made a double batch last night for my family, thinking that I would have leftovers, and they were all eaten. We all enjoyed this recipe!

  5. I made this last night for the whole family. It was a hit. But even better, the next day I sauteed two portobello mushrooms in clarified butter until slightly browned, sliced them into bite-sized chunks, added them to the leftover stew, and simmered for 5 minutes. I stumbled onto something amazing.

  6. I made this dish last weekend and wow, it was delicious. My wife, who is not primal despite my ongoing efforts to persuade her, stated it was one of the best things I had ever cooked. Admittedly the bar was not very high, but still we were both thrilled with how it turned out.

    I made a few minor tweaks, for example marinating the beef in lime juice prior to cooking, and frying off the shallots first, so they started to caramelise, but otherwise I pretty much stuck to the recipe, which is unlike me. Thanks Mark. This recipe is a keeper for sure.