Apple Butter-Pork Burger with Acorn Squash Puree

Makes 6 Servings

  • Total Time: 65
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45


  • 2 lbs. reduced-fat ground pork (4% fat)
  • 6 whole grain English muffins, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp. apple butter
  • ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • ½ Tbsp. + 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 6 slices smoked gouda
  • 1 acorn squash
  • ½ cup low-fat or fat-free lactose-free dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve and seed the squash and cut into large chunks. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and roast on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, or until a fork comes clean out of the squash.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the pork, apple butter, sage and ½ Tbsp. of thyme, and season to taste. Mix together and form into 6 equal patties.
  4. Once the squash has cooled enough to touch, spoon the meat from the skin and into a food processor.
  5. Blend together the squash, milk, and 1 tsp. of thyme until smooth.
  6. Cook the burgers over a hot grill to desired doneness, flipping only once.
  7. Assemble the burgers: layer the arugula onto the bottom of the English muffins, place the burger on top, and, add the cheese slices, and finish with a generous spread of the squash puree.
  8. Serve right away and enjoy.


Tips/Tricks - Note with alterations the nutritional values will be affected, including lactose content

**Double the batch of puree and offer it as a creamy lactose-friendly side to dinners throughout the week. Or, stir extra puree into a pot of hot pasta as a simple sauce.

**To make the puree more savory than sweet, add a couple teaspoons of ancho chili powder or 1 smoked chipotle pepper before you puree the acorn squash.

**Applesauce would also work with the burger, in place of the apple butter.