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This warm dinner recipe combines ground pork and flavorful fall ingredients like butternut squash and cranberries to make a wonderful, easy meal. Paleo, Whole30, and AIP
This post was updated in Oct 2021 – made the recipe fully AIP-compliant and much easier to make.
This dinner recipe is not for you if you don't like your food groups touching, but if you are like me and love a good mish-mash of food, then you'll love this.
It brings together a ton of fall ingredients and is also a great dish for those of you who know you need more greens but don't like them by themselves.
It comes together in about 40 minutes and is also quite filling and comforting on a cold fall or winter night.
What does it taste like?
The flavor is kind of like breadless stuffing meets weeknight dinner with a whole bunch of ingredients like cranberries, butternut squash, spinach/chard/kale, apples, celery, and ground pork. It's lightly herbed with thyme and sage to really get that fall flavor.
Meal prepping this pork dish
This is a great meal prep option as you can make the whole thing up to 5 days ahead of time and just store in the fridge. When you want to eat it reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
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Cranberry Pork Bowls Recipe
If you make this pork dish, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo!
Cranberry Pork Bowls (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
- 1 medium Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (divided)
- 1/2 tsp dried Sage
- 2 tbs Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, or Olive Oil (divided)
- 1 medium Onion (diced)
- 2 stalks Celery (diced)
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 lbs Ground Pork (or Ground Turkey or Chicken)
- 1/4 tsp dried Thyme (finely chopped)
- 2 Apples (cored and diced)
- 1 cup Cranberries (fresh, frozen, or dried*)
- 1 bunch Baby Spinach, Kale, or Chard (chopped and tough stems removed)
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place diced squash on the baking sheet and toss with 1/4 tsp sea salt, the dried sage, and 1 tbsp of the oil.
- Roast squash for 20-30 min or until soft.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp oil and then add the onions and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
- Add the ground pork to the pan, breaking it up with your hands. Season with the remaining 1/4 tsp of sea salt and the dried thyme. Continue to cook, breaking up the pork with a spatula or wooden spoon, until the pork is browned and cooked all the way through.
- Add the apples and cranberries to the pot and stir well. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach (or kale or chard) and the squash to the pot and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the greens have wilted. Serve!
This was absolutely fabulous! Will definitely be adding it to my recipe box and making again and again. Thank you!!!
Taste delicious but I had some confusion in the recipe. How much is ‘a bunch’ of spinach? is it a 10 oz bag? or half a bag? I made a guess when I made this.
Also, I got what I consider to be a medium squash and had way too much. [extra for breakfast (: ] Could you tell me the pounds needed based on your experience?
I have looked a lot for good tasting AIP recipes and this is wonderful.
Eh, the “bunch” of spinach is typically a large handful. But typically when we say something like a bunch it’s definitely up to interpretation – a large handful or more, depending on how much you want. If I wanted it to be really specific I would’ve given a weight (hopefully that makes sense). As for the squash, I’d have to go to the store to get another one to weigh it. I usually just pick one that isn’t small and isn’t large, ha – I know, again ambiguous, but this recipe doesn’t need to be super precise. I guess if you make it again use a smaller squash unless you want the leftovers again?
Could the pork be substituted with ground chicken or ground turkey?
Sure can – I actually mention that in the recipe, so just follow the directions and you should be good to go!
Do you serve this over the squash? Or is the squash incorporated into the pot?
ops, when I updated the recipe it appears I forgot to mention that, haha. Thanks for pointing that out – it’s added in step 8 now (mix it in with everything else)
This was so flavorful, so delicious! It’s a keeper!
So yummy! I love recipes with so many vegetables incorporated.
I’m glad you liked it!