Who’s gearing up for the holidays? This recipe for stuffed Acorn Squash is perfect for your holiday feasting! Filled with apples, fresh cranberries, toasted pecans, sweetened with brown sugar and apple cider…it has holiday food written all over it! It’s simple, can be prepared ahead with just 30 minutes needed to finish it, and it is elegant-looking as well as delicious.
I added stuffed acorn squash to our Thanksgiving lineup a few years ago, but sadly I forgot about it. This year I’ve been on an acorn squash kick and it came to mind. This recipe combines two side dishes into one! You get your cranberry sauce and a beautiful winter squash together…which, if you’re following my train of thought, leaves more room on that holiday plate for other goodies! *wink*
The cranberries are combined in a saucepan with apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and cooked just until the cranberry skins pop. This mixture is thickened slightly with some corn starch and a titch more apple cider; then, combined with cubed apple and pecans.
The acorn squash is steamed in the oven for about 30 minutes, removed and stuffed with the apple/cranberry mixture. At this point, the dish can be covered and refrigerated. It finishes with an additional 30 minutes in the oven prior to serving. For smaller portions, just cut the completely cooked acorn squash in half, or in thirds, to feed four or six with a single squash.
If you’re looking for something new to add to your holiday food repertoire, this is it!
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider (or apple juice), divided
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh grated is best)
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 cup apples, peeled and cubed
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- In a small, shallow casserole add ¼ inch of water.
- Place the acorn squash cut side down into the casserole.
- Place the casserole into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the acorn squash is steaming, in a small saucepan, add the cranberries, ¼ cup of apple cider (reserving the 1 tablespoon remaining), brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Cover the sauce pan and simmer on low just until the skins on the cranberries pop.
- In a small bowl, add the corn starch and the reserved tablespoon of apple cider and whisk with a fork until smooth.
- Once the skins have popped on the cranberries, add the corn starch mixture to the cranberries and allow to simmer about 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the apples and pecans and pour the cranberry mixture over the top.
- Stir to combine.
- Remove the acorn squash from the oven,
- Drain the water from the casserole, add the acorn squash back into the casserole, cut side up.
- Fill the squash with the apple cranberry mixture.
- At this point, you can cover and refrigerate this for a couple of days, or:
- Place the casserole back into the oven and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot.