comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · Holiday recipes · squash · Yummy

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have been walking by acorn squash all my life. The only memory  I have of eating the stuff is at my friend’s house in high school. Her mom baked it with cinnamon and brown sugar. While I like that flavor profile, I really prefer to go full dessert when it’s something sweet. For me, squash either needs to be baked into cake or pie, or it needs to be savory. I have a very complicated relationship with sweet potatoes for the very same reason. If you’ve been following my blog, this isn’t news to you. I’ve been bitching about squash and sweet potatoes since 2015. But this is the very first acorn squash recipe, because my curiosity finally got the better of me. It was a 3 for $5 deal at the farmer’s market. We bought 2 decorative gourds, and this charming little acorn squash.

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I had no idea how much I would love this. First of all, the fucker was absolutely packed with seeds! How many times have I complained on here about how much of a pain in the ass it is to remove the seeds from a pumpkin? Why the fuck are we all focused on pumpkins anyway? They’re too fucking arduous for me to bother with anymore. This tiny little squash had just as many seeds (if not more!) as a good sized pumpkin, and I was able to cut it in half with a basic kitchen knife.

When I got home on Sunday with my little squash in hand, I dove into Pinterest to find a suitable recipe. Pinterest is literally just a giant cookbook in my opinion. T likes to send me home decor shit on there, but I rarely check my “messages” because I only open it when I need a recipe. I don’t give a shit about their home decor ideas. Just give me all of the food.

I found tons of recipes in my quest, but all of them were sweet. Doesn’t anyone else like a savory squash? I can’t possibly be alone. Finally, I came across the perfect option. I found the recipe here. My only issue with the original recipe is the meticulous measuring. It’s apparently a weight loss blog, which is not my jam. I’m more into the intuitive eating movement. So I want you to know that all the measurements listed below are estimates. I did not really measure the cream cheese at all. I just threw in a chunk. Drizzle as much olive oil as you want, add in extra/different cheeses, top with shredded parmesan and/or bread crumbs. I even think this would be good with crumbled sausage. Go nuts. Do whatever you want with it, now that you know the basics of roasting an acorn squash.

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This is what it should look like after baking for 45 minutes.

Roasting squash will fill your home with the savory smells of autumn, making everything feel cozy and soft. This will be a perfect addition to my Thanksgiving table, as it is the vegetarian entree I’ve been seeking all these years. I hope you add it to your table as well. If you try it, I expect a full report.

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Fun fact: Those gourds in the background were part of the 3 for $5 deal!

Stuffed Acorn Squash. 

1 acorn squash

6oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced

6oz frozen (or fresh) spinach

4 tablespoons crumbled feta

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1/2 head (or a whole head when it’s tiny) roasted garlic*

Olive oil

Seasoning salt of choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half and scrape out the seeds.** Place each squash half skin side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. I used my fancy ass Hawaiian seasoning, pictured here:

Bake for about 45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes or so of baking, get started on the stuffing. Simmer spinach in a medium sauce pan with 1/2 cup water and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside in a medium mixing bowl. Saute mushrooms over medium high heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil for 5-8 minutes. Once lightly browned, add some salt and pepper and add them to the bowl with the spinach. Throw in remaining ingredients and mix well (don’t forget to grab your roasted garlic that may or may not still be in the oven!). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Once the squash is done (fork tender), pull it out of the oven and fill with the stuffing. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Once finished, shovel into your face. Or serve your guests at Thanksgiving in a very elegant manner.

*I baked my garlic with the squash. Just cut the top off and wrap in tinfoil. It’ll be done when the squash is done.

**Pro tip: Roast the seeds for the last 20ish minutes that the squash is in the oven, then top the whole thing with roasted squash seeds. To roast the seeds, follow this basic recipe, but you’ll be decreasing the time due to the higher oven temp (mine are a little charred because I get distracted easily… you won’t let that happen, though, right?). The seeds provide an added texture that increases the complexity of this dish.

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