When the cooler weather starts to set in, I delve into my recipes to create some warm, comforting meals. You will often find me keeping busy in the kitchen on those blustery fall days.
Pumpkins and squash make quite a few appearances between the start of school and the winter holidays.
I had lots of fun coming up with different fruit and vegetable combinations. Squash and apple always paired well together. I even enjoyed a few spoonfuls myself.
Stuffed acorn squash makes a delicious meal or side dish paired with turkey or chicken. You can use a combination of any of your favorite ingredients from savory to sweet to compliment your meal.
Remembering how much we loved the combination of squash and apples, I decided to experiment with a stuffing of apples, nuts, and cranberries.
The results were as good as I thought that they’d be. This is THE taste of Autumn distilled down into one bite!
Make this for your family for a weekend treat or prepare it for a Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration – either way, it’s going to be a hit.
Cooking By The Numbers…
Step One – Prepare Squash
First, preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Then split your squash down the middle lengthwise.
I like to use cheap knives (read Chicago Cutlery) for attacking thick skinned fruits. No way am I letting my good chef’s knife be abused in such a manner.
Pull out all of the seeds and connective tissue and discard or clean and and roast like pumpkin seeds.
Step Two – Prebake
Pour about a quarter inch of water in a baking pan and place the fruit in it flesh side down. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes (you can get away with a bit less if you’re using convection).
I used a convection toaster oven for this but depending on the size of your squash, you may be able to fit only three halves at a time.
Step Three – Prepare the Stuffing
Peel the apples with a fruit/vegetable peeler and then dice into small chunks.
Place the brown sugar, walnuts, diced apples, cranberries, cinnamon and butter in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix.
Step Four – Add the Goodness
Add the mixture to the hollow cavities and place back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from oven and drizzle with honey if you like. Serve while still warm.
Do you have other ways to prepare acorn squash? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Like this recipe? Get more ideas for winter squash now or tell us your favorite recipe below.
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Photos, video, and additional writing by Mike Quinn, Video editing by Elis Foto © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally posted October 15, 2015. Revised and updated November 1, 2016.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.