Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash doubles as a hearty fall dinner or a great game day appetizer.
It takes a little advance planning because the pork gets the low-and-slow treatment in the slow cooker, but the meat can be made a day ahead of time and reheated after the squash is roasted.
Or, just make the meat itself! There are tons of options here. If you omit the honey, this recipe is Whole30-friendly and just as tasty.
Inspiration hit me one day when I was eyeing a batch of leftover pulled pork that I’d made the day before. How could I take it up a notch and create something new? This Paleo Pulled Pork Stuffed Squash Recipe was the result.
The tender pork combined with the sweet-tangy honey mustard is a natural match, and the delicata squash made the perfect serving boat.
If you like a little bit of extra heat, try sprinkling on a pinch of red pepper flakes for garnish.
Delicata squash are cylindrical and generally smaller than a butternut, and they’re usually found in the market in the fall. You’ll recognize them by their yellow skin with long green stripes. The skin is thin and edible – no need to peel them, and the flesh is creamy and a bit sweet.
Experiment with different types of squash if you can’t find delicata – acorn would work well – but instead of four squash, you’ll probably only need two.
Or, how about slicing a butternut squash into wedges, roasting those, and piling the pulled pork high on top to serve? That sounds utterly delicious. The bottom line is that there are tons of ways to take this recipe in your own direction!
I slice the squash boats in halves or thirds for appetizer portions or keep them whole for dinner. Serve with a side salad or some roasted veggies for a complete meal.
- 3 lb (1361 g) pork shoulder or pork butt
- 2 tsp (10 g) fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) stone ground mustard, divided in half
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) raw honey (omit for Whole30)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 small delicata squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tbsp (15 mL) melted fat or oil of choice
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- You’ll make this recipe in two parts. First, make the pulled pork because it needs 8 hours in the slow cooker. Overnight works really well.
- Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, then rub all over with the salt and half the mustard (about 2 tablespoons / 30 mL). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the meat, place in a bowl and shred with two forks. (The cooking liquid can get quite salty which is why I don’t shred it in the slow cooker itself.) Mix in the other half of the mustard, the honey and the cayenne pepper.
- About 45 minutes before you want to serve the food, get the squash roasting in the oven. This can be done ahead of time, too, and then everything can be reheated.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C). Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Arrange the squash halves on the sheet with the empty boat side facing up, and drizzle with the melted fat or oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then roast for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender and starting to lightly brown.