Fall Delight: Roasted Acorn Squash with Flavorful Fall Produce Stuffing
As autumn sets in with its cooler days, it’s the perfect time to embrace the rich and comforting flavors of the season! Our Roasted Acorn Squash with Fall Produce Stuffing recipe is a delightful way to savor the essence of fall, while also reaping the benefits of nutritious ingredients. Whether you serve it as a hearty side dish or turn it into a complete meal, this recipe is sure to become a seasonal favorite.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Yield: 4 acorn squash halves with filling Serving Size: 1/2 stuffed acorn squash
- 2 Acorn Squash, halved and de-seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs (use half the amount if using dried herbs)
- Chopped sage and thyme leaves will evoke the classic Thanksgiving dressing.
- Including 2 tsp. chopped fennel seeds will create more of an Italian sausage flavor (optional).
- For spice, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 large apple, chopped into small pieces (cooking apple varieties like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith would both work well)
- 4 cups Dinosaur/Tuscan kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Before you begin cooking, it’s a good practice to gather and prepare your ingredients. Dice the apple, de-stem and tear the kale if you’re starting with whole leaves, and prepare your herb-and-spice mixture.
- Cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy pieces in the center. Brush the inside of the halved cleaned acorn squash with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place on the baking sheet cut side up.
- There’s no need to peel the squash before cooking. The skin is fine to consume. The cooked squash will also pull away from the skin easily if you prefer not to eat it.
- Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Check and continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes or until caramelized and easily pierced through by a fork.
- Baking time will depend on the size of your squash, but probably no longer than 1 hour total.
- While the acorn squash roasts, prepare the stuffing. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and sauté, stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add the torn kale, chopped apple, fresh herb and spice mix. Cover and allow the kale to cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and vinegar and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes, allowing the nuts to toast. Watch the mixture closely at this point – nuts will toast and start to burn quickly.
- Carefully transfer the stuffing mixture into each acorn squash half. Serve warm.
Tips and Tricks:
- This dish makes a fantastic veggie side, pairing beautifully with lean proteins like chicken thighs, Thanksgiving turkey, pork tenderloin, baked tofu, or more.
- To transform it into a one-pot meal, consider browning ground meat (chicken, lean turkey/beef), chicken sausage, or crumbled tempeh and adding it to the stuffing mixture.
- If you prefer, you can substitute 2 Bosc pears for the apple in this recipe. Customize it to suit your taste and enjoy a wholesome, flavorful meal!
If using this recipe in your personalized ATNG meal plan, 1 serving=3 starches/fruit and 2 fat servings.
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