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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

This is a guest post from Sammi of Grounded & Surrounded

I don’t know about you, but winter squash used to intimidate me. I would warily eye it from across the grocery store and wonder if it was to eat or only to be used as holiday table decor. You see, I didn’t grow up eating winter squash and, to be honest, it has only been within recent years that I even knew what a winter squash was.

Like many of you, I didn’t realize that pumpkins, butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squashes are all considered winter squash. And lo and behold, they can be transformed into the most delicious recipes!

You will find the key to cooking winter squash is patience. Patience peeling (if needed), patience scooping out the seeds, and patience with the longer than normal cooking time. With that said, your patience will not be in vain once you taste your delicious and simple recipes.

DIG DEEPER


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This particular acorn squash creation graces our table each Thanksgiving as well as a few other times throughout the year. The filling made of fresh apples, soft pecans, and tart dried cranberries drizzled with sweet maple syrup bake just long enough for the flavors to infuse the squash and produce the most delicious and filling side dish.

As you can see, gone are the days of my winter squash intimidation. My hope is that after trying this simple recipe yourself you will feel the same way too!

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Here is what you need:

2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
2 small apples, peeled and diced
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
4 Tbsp butter, divided
2 Tbsp maple syrup, divided
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400F. Cut each acorn squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 2: If the squash does not sit flat, use a large knife to cut the outer skin little by little to create a flat surface on the underside of the rounded squash. Try not to cut to deep as a whole in the bottom would allow all the sweet juices from the filling to leak out.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 3: Place each flat bottomed squash  half (orange flesh side up) on a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 4: Next, stir together the filling of diced apples, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, coconut sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 5: Then divide the filling between the four squash halves until each squash is heaping full.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

Step 6: Top each stuffed squash with a tablespoon of butter divided into quarters. lastly, drizzle the tops of each squash with a 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup. Bake for 60-75 minutes. After the squash has baked for 30 minutes loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the filling from burning. Squash is done when tines of a fork are inserted into the flesh of the squash with ease.

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side DishSammi Ricke likes to keep things simple, delicious, and nutritious in her kitchen. She enjoys the challenge of finding unique ways to incorporate “just one more whole food” into every meal while leaving just enough room for life’s essentials: chocolate and peanut butter. If you are looking for “healthified” versions of your family’s favorite meals be sure to visit Sammi’s Grounded & Surrounded Blog. You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash | Food Made Simple | Holiday Meals| Meatless Meals | Side Dish

19 Comments

  1. November 9 at 01:31PM

    I have been wanting to experiment with stuffed squash lately. Apple filling is a new idea, I just might have to try it.

    • November 9 at 06:10PM

      Well good timing then! I just know you will enjoy this recipe, Ashley! Blessings to you 🙂

  2. November 11 at 06:02PM

    I also have an acorn squash making it’s rounds around my kitchen. 😉 Maybe I will give this recipe a try.

    • November 15 at 10:29PM

      Oh, I hope you will! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment, Neena. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Magan Lakeway
    November 12 at 11:57AM

    Wondering if this is doable with less time in oven. Have similar recipe (only filling is a spicy quinoa) where filling is made stove-top while acorn squash is baked in microwave. Finishing touch after filling squash is 10 minutes in a 450 oven to brown up the top a bit. This recipe would be a nice change up — a lively change to the typical “brown sugar and butter” topping for this squash. Thanks for sharing!

    • November 15 at 10:39PM

      Hi Magan! I am sure this recipe could be done in the microwave. I have have not tried it, but I would love to hear how it turns out! Happy cooking!

      • Magan Lakeway
        November 16 at 01:46PM

        Bought ingredients today. Will do squash in microwave: “Use knife to make holes. Nuke 3 minutes to soften squash. Let cool a big and then cut in half. Scoop our “yuk”. In baking dish, add 1/8 cup water, set squash cut side down (overlap okay, doesn’t need to be flush to dish), cover twice with plastic wrap, pierce wrap. Nuke 5-7 minutes. You can tell when it’s done by pressing on flesh with finger, but the good ole “poke with a knife” thing works well too. 🙂 The stuffing I can do on the stove while all this “microwaving fun” is going on.

        • Magan Lakeway
          November 16 at 01:48PM

          Oh, the first three minutes of nuking is for the purpose of making the squash easier to cut. If I make the knife “vent slots” in the squash along my eventual cut line, that also is helpful in the cutting process. Am I the only one with problems trying to cut an acorn squash in half without softening it up a bit???

          • November 19 at 01:10PM

            You are definitely not the only one! I always microwave butternut squash before I peel it. 🙂

            • Magan Lakeway
              November 20 at 07:43AM

              My dad says two minutes. How long do you nuke yours for?

              • November 20 at 09:39AM

                I usually do 3 minutes 🙂 Happy cooking!

        • November 16 at 01:49PM

          Wow! Love it, Magan. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe adaptation! I am sure it will come in handy for those that are running short on time, but REALLY want to eat this side dish. 🙂

  4. Rebecca B
    November 13 at 01:53PM

    I’m going to try this out this weekend with a small sugar pumpkin since I have one sitting on my counter.

    • November 15 at 10:39PM

      YUM! I just know it will taste delicious, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. November 16 at 08:23PM

    Just bought some acorn squash – can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • November 19 at 01:10PM

      Wonderful! I am so excited for you to try this recipe, Roseann. Enjoy!

  6. November 17 at 07:58PM

    So festive and fun!

    • November 19 at 01:11PM

      Thanks Bethany! I feel the same way. This side dish is wonderful any time of the year, but especially during the holidays 🙂

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