It’s that time of year again, and the squash recipes are in full swing! My favorite types of meals are the one’s that require minimal effort, and don’t require multiple side dishes to make them complete. That’s exactly what this recipe is! This Stuffed Acorn Squash is not only easy to make, but it’s an incredibly nutrient-dense meal in-and-of-itself!
With the perfect mixture of sweet and savory, you’ve got to try this festive dish this fall!
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
For the longest time, I had no idea you could cook with any other squash other than spaghetti squash and butternut squash. And while those are both great…I was majorly missing out!
Acorn squash encompasses a sweet, nutty flavor, and is dense in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and much more! It’s perfect for stuffing, roasting, to use in soup, or even as a side dish!
We are firm believers that healthy food starts with healthy cookware. There are two brands in particular that are our go-to’s that we fully trust to ensure our food is free of toxins!
Xtrema is my go-to for any stovetop cooking, and was perfect for frying up the filling of this recipe! Xtrema’s all natural ceramic will never leach unsafe chemicals into your food, even when you’re making reactive tomato-based sauces! Naturally non-scratch, ceramic cleans easily and can be used safely everywhere from the freezer to the dishwasher. Xtrema crafts their 100% ceramic cookware with the environment in mind, too, because they want to minimize the impact of their eco-conscious manufacturing practices.
The market is flooded with so many non-stick (but toxic!) baking pans. In some ways it is easier to locate a healthy cookie recipe than it is to find a healthy pan to bake them in.
Ingredients for my Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash, like mentioned above, offers a sweet nutty flavor. It’s incredibly versatile, has numerous benefits, and is perfect for fall! In this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, acorn squash’s sweet flavor is paired with a savory stuffing for the perfect combination!
A major complaint I hear is how difficult it is to cut open acorn squash before cooking. And I agree…it is! However, I’ve got great news! There’s absolutely no need to slice them before baking! To cut down on the time of this recipe, I simply place the whole squash on my baking pan, and cut open once the skin is tender.
Turkey is the main protein in this recipe, but is totally optional if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. The quality of your meat absolutely matters, and while organic is a huge step in the right direction, isn’t quite enough. Read this article for more information on choosing the highest quality meats!
Sweet onion is a delicious addition to this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. And they are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients!
I love mushrooms for both their flavor, and their nutrients! Anytime I can throw them into a recipe, I do. Mushrooms are filled with selenium, copper, b vitamins, and more, and are very anti-inflammatory!
Apples offer a sweet flavor to this mostly savory stuffing, and offer a good dose of vitamin c and k, and potassium among much more. As a tip, you should resist the urge to peel the apples. The skin is actually where many of the nutrients and much of the fiber are found!
Celery gives this filling a pleasant, slightly crunchy texture. It offers vitamins such as vitamins a, c, and k, amongst supporting healthy digestion!
Dried cranberries offer a slightly sweet and tart flavor, and chewy texture to this filling. Because they’re incredibly high in polyphenols, making them extremely anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and much more! (Blumberg et al., 2013)
However, most brans of dried cranberries are filled with added sugar. As an alternative, I use dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice! Here is my favorite brand.
Now since we’ve covered the benefits of the recipe, I hope you’re excited for the full recipe! Let’s get into it.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
This Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is the perfect, nutrient-dense, fall recipe for the whole family!
- Prep Time: 10 Min.
- Cook Time: 75-85 Min.
- Total Time: 85-95 Min.
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- 4 med.-large Acorn Squashes
- 1 Pound Ground Turkey (omit for vegetarian or vegan, and replace with more mushrooms)
- 1 med. Sweet Onion
- 2 Cups Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Apple (I used honeycrisp)
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 tsp Sage
- 1/2 tsp Fennel + more to taste
- 1.5 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
- Begin by preheating the oven to 400º F. Place acorn squash on a non-toxic baking sheet (such as one from Pampered Chef).
- Place acorn squash in the oven for approx. 35 minutes, or until flesh is tender, and easy to slice.
- While baking, slice onions, mushrooms, apples, and celery. Set aside.
- On a non-toxic skillet (such as Xtrema), fry up ground turkey (I use avocado oil) until thoroughly cooked, and crisp if preferred. Remove from skillet, and set aside.
- In the same pan used to cook the turkey, add in onions, mushrooms, apples, and celery, and saute until tender and crisp. Add in dried cranberries, and cooked turkey, and coat in sage, fennel, and Himalayan pink salt.
- Once acorn squash are finished cooking, remove from the oven, and carefully slice in half (squash may release a lot of steam, so proceed with caution). Using a fork, remove seeds, and toss, or save for roasted seeds.
- Fill each acorn squash half with stuffing, and place back in the 400º F oven for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove, and serve warm!
Blumberg, J., Camesano, T., Cassidy, A., Kris-Etherton, P., Howell, A., Manach, C., . . . Vita, J. (2013, November 6). Cranberries and their bioactive constituents in human health. Retrieved October 31, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3823508/