Stuffed Acorn Squash is the Perfect Weeknight Dinner

Stuffed acorn squash ideasIt’s getting darker earlier and the nights are starting to feel crisp, which means it’s beginning to be the season for winter squash. While pumpkins and butternut get all the attention, acorn squash is a fun way to mix up dinner. It’s also a super nutritious base for a meal: It’s high in vitamin C (which boosts your immune system), potassium and antioxidants. A fun way to serve this squash is to stuff it with different ingredients. Here are three fun options:

Fall Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe from Whole Living
Serves 2
1 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/3 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped kale
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
Juice from 1 lemon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with 1 teaspoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast squash cut-side down until tender (about 30 minutes), then flip over and set aside. Pour 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add onion and cook while stirring until tender (about six minutes). Add sage, thyme, beans, quinoa and kale to skillet, stirring until greens have wilted (about two minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Divide stuffing between squash halves, return to oven, and roast until golden (15 to 20 minutes). Sprinkle halves with hazelnuts and lemon juice. Stuffed squash can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to three days.


Southwest Stuffed Squash
Recipe from Skinny Mom
Serves 4
2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
¾ cup drained and rinsed black beans
1 diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Your choice of toppings (reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese, diced tomato, reduced-fat sour cream, salsa, fresh chopped cilantro or diced green onion)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, then scoop out and discard seeds (or save seeds and roast them!). In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the raw beef, onion, black beans, bell pepper and spices. Stuff ¼ of the mixture (about ½ cup) into the center of each squash. Place squash in a roasting pan or 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Add one inch of water to the dish, cover with foil and bake for one hour or until squash is tender and the beef is cooked all the way through (center of the squash should be 160 degrees). Garnish with toppings of your choice.


Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe from Taste of Home
Serves 2
1 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
1 cup chopped, peeled apple (Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are good options)
4 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash cut-side up in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Fill centers with apple and bake for 30 minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and honey. Cover and microwave on high until butter is melted (about 15 to 20 seconds). Drizzle mixture over squash halves and sprinkle with cinnamon. Return to oven and bake a second time, uncovered, until tender (another 25 to 30 minutes).


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Photo credit: Pastilla the Mannequin

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