Sunday, May 27, 2012

Great Acorn Squash Recipes


I love acorn squash, probably because they are healthy, delicious and easy to prepare. (A winning combination if there ever was one.)
If you have wondered how to cook acorn squash, here's all you need to do:
  • Cut them in half around the middle.
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Put a bit of butter in each cavity or brush them with olive oil.
  • Put them in a baking dish cut side up or down.
  • Bake at 350 - 400 degrees until tender, 35 to 50 minutes, depending on size of squash and oven temperature.
That's all there is to it; the simplest acorn squash recipe ever. If you want something fancier there are lots of ways to sweeten and spice up baked acorn squash. Here are a couple of favorites:
Glazed Baked Acorn Squash: Just before serving, sprinkle with brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup and bake for a few minutes until the sugar melts.
Spiced Baked Acorn Squash: For 2 squash, combine 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Brush the insides of the squash with mixture and bake cut side down until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
Stuffing squash is a great way to turn this delicious vegetable into a meal. Here are some favorite recipes for stuffed squash:
Stuffed Squash Recipes
Each recipe makes enough stuffing for 2-3 large baked acorn squash.
Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 2-3 tart apples, diced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
To make the stuffing, combine and then fill cavities of partially baked squash. Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Apple Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 pound bulk sausage
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 cups toasted bread cubes
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
To make the stuffing put sausage in a large skillet set over medium heat and cook until browned. Add onion and apple and cook, stirring often, until tender. Remove skillet from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Stuff into cooked squash and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
Fruit and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
You can use any kind of rice you like for this recipe. I like to use a wild rice blend.
  • 2 cups cooked rice of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
To make the stuffing, put 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, shallot and apples and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the thyme, sage and cranberries and cook for 2 minutes more. Add 2 tablespoons water to the pan and stir well.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetable-apple mixture with the rice and season to taste with salt. Scoop into cooked squash and enjoy.
Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 pound bulk turkey sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
To make the stuffing, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.
When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325. Fill the squash halves with the turkey stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
Martha is a healthy weight loss coach, cooking coach and cookie lover, who loves to share ways to make cooking and eating simple, easy and delicious and help you stop dieting and instead discover the pleasure of happy healthy balanced eating, cooking and living. Her websites include and Visit today to Get your FREE copy of her Homemade Granola Bars e-cookbooklet.

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