Stuffed Acorn Squash

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When autumn rolls around, and the crisp air carries the scent of fallen leaves, it’s the perfect time to embrace hearty, comforting dishes. Stuffed acorn squash is a seasonal masterpiece that combines the nutty sweetness of acorn squash with a flavorful filling, creating a satisfying meal that captures the essence of fall. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore the art of making stuffed acorn squash—a delightful dish that’s as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palate.

Stuffed Acorn Squash is a hearty and wholesome dish that combines the natural sweetness of acorn squash with a savory and flavorful stuffing. Its origins can be traced back to traditional North American and Native American cuisines, where winter squashes like acorn squash were commonly grown and used in various recipes.

  • Native American Influence: Native American tribes, particularly those in the northeastern United States, were known to cultivate and use various types of squashes, including acorn squash, as a staple food. They would stuff these squashes with a mixture of ingredients like beans, corn, and wild game.
  • Colonial Era: As European settlers arrived in North America, they adopted and adapted Native American culinary practices. The idea of stuffing acorn squash with a combination of ingredients evolved during this period.
  • Modern Variations: Today, Stuffed Acorn Squash has become a versatile and popular dish. It’s enjoyed in many variations, often featuring a stuffing made from ingredients like ground meat, vegetables, rice, quinoa, or breadcrumbs. It’s a perfect representation of how traditional recipes have evolved over time.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed acorn squash is not only a feast for the senses but also a celebration of autumn's bounty. The tender roasted squash is filled with a hearty mixture of grains, vegetables, and aromatic herbs. This dish is perfect for family dinners, holiday gatherings, or as a comforting weeknight meal.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 45 mins Total Time 1 hr 5 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 4 Calories: 361.78 Best Season: Fall

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Acorn Squash:

For the Filling:

For Garnish:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Wash the acorn squash, then carefully cut each one in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits using a spoon.

  3. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

  4. While the squash is roasting, rinse the quinoa or wild rice under cold water. In a saucepan, combine the quinoa or rice and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa or rice is cooked. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  5. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and turn golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped spinach or kale and cook until wilted. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried sage.

  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa or rice, sautéed vegetable mixture, dried cranberries or raisins, and chopped pecans or walnuts (if using). Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

  7. Once the squash halves are tender and roasted, remove them from the oven. Carefully turn them over, so the cut side is facing up. Fill each squash half with the prepared filling, packing it in slightly.

  8. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the filling is heated through, and the tops are slightly crispy and golden.

  9. Remove the stuffed acorn squash from the oven. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and, if desired, grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 361.78kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.34g16%
Saturated Fat 1.41g8%
Sodium 564.86mg24%
Potassium 924.07mg27%
Total Carbohydrate 63.33g22%
Dietary Fiber 7.16g29%
Sugars 16.4g
Protein 8.8g18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.

Note

Tips and Variations:
  • Protein Boost: You can add cooked ground sausage, crumbled tempeh, or tofu to the filling for an extra protein kick.
  • Nut-Free Version: Omit the nuts if you have allergies or prefer a nut-free version.
  • Vegan Option: To make this dish vegan, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or use a dairy-free alternative.
  • Herb Substitutions: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor profile. Rosemary, oregano, or paprika can be delightful additions.
  • Extra Veggies: Add more vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or corn to the filling for extra color and flavor.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Stuffed acorn squash is a hearty and satisfying meal on its own. However, you can pair it with a simple side salad, roasted Brussels sprouts, or steamed green beans to create a well-rounded dinner. A drizzle of balsamic glaze or a dollop of Greek yogurt can also add a delightful finishing touch.
Allergen Information:

Here's the allergen information for Stuffed Acorn Squash:

  • Nuts: Some stuffing recipes may include nuts like walnuts or pecans. Be cautious if you or your guests have nut allergies and choose a stuffing recipe without nuts or use a suitable substitute.

  • Dairy: Certain recipes may contain dairy products like cheese. Opt for dairy-free cheese or omit it if needed for lactose-intolerant or vegan diets.

  • Gluten: If you're following a gluten-free diet, ensure that the stuffing ingredients, such as breadcrumbs or grains, are gluten-free.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing a beverage with your Stuffed Acorn Squash can enhance the dining experience:

  • White Wine: A crisp white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc complements the mild sweetness of acorn squash and the savory stuffing.

  • Red Wine: A light to medium-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir can also be a good choice, especially if the stuffing includes herbs and spices.

  • Cider: If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, consider pairing with a glass of apple cider or sparkling water with a slice of lemon.

Storage and Leftovers:

To store and enjoy leftover Stuffed Acorn Squash:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover stuffed squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave or oven until warmed through. You can also enjoy it at room temperature.

  • Freezing: While acorn squash itself freezes well, the texture of the stuffing may change when frozen and thawed. If you have leftover stuffing, consider freezing it separately.

Keywords: stuffed acorn squash, vegetarian fall recipes, autumn comfort food, easy stuffed squash.

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