My mom and dad ate a lot of squash when I was a kid, usually roasted with brown sugar and butter. As you might guess, I was not a fan. I’m not sure how many kids like squash, actually!
Thankfully, they never forced me to eat it (no bad flashbacks), and sometime post-college, it grew on me. Now I cook squash all of the time.
This Cranberry-Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash is one of my favorite ways to eat it, especially at this time of year. I filled the squash with a sweet-savory take on my Dad’s classic stuffing recipe. It’s full of veggies, tart cranberries, and aromatic sage. If you are serving a vegetarian or vegan for Thanksgiving, this is a recipe that everyone at the table will enjoy as well.
- 1/2 loaf firm white bread
- 2 medium acorn squash
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 10 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
- 4 - 6 sage leaves, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups broth
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut bread into 1-inch squares.
- Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until bread is toasted and edges are lightly golden, about 10 - 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut acorn squash in half (vertically). Scoop out seeds and discard.
- Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Roast squash for 30-45 minutes or until tender. The edges will be caramelized. Set aside to cool slightly.
- While the squash is roasting, melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add onions and celery and saute until tender, about 5 -10 minutes.
- Add mushrooms to onion mixture and cook until mushrooms are cooked and liquid from mushrooms has evaporated, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
- Stir sage and cranberries into vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring, for about a minute or until heated through. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Scoop flesh from squash leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Return shells to baking sheet, cut side up.
- Roughly chop the squash you removed.
- Carefully fold chopped squash into vegetable mixture.
- Add toasted bread to squash mixture. Mix gently.
- Moisten bread-squash mixture with broth, adding a little at a time, until bread is moistened and filling holds together.
- Taste again and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Stuff squash shells with mixture and return to oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- - This recipe serves 4 as a main course, however roasted acorn halves can be divided further into halves or quarters (before stuffing) to create a side dish that will serve a crowd.
- - Dish can be made vegan by substituting butter with olive oil. Also, make sure to check that the bread is not made with eggs or dairy.
- - The recipe is very flexible. Try adding apples or pears in place of the cranberries (saute with onions and celery). Vary the herbs: thyme and rosemary work well, too. Add sausage for a heartier dish.
- - Don’t throw out the squash seeds. Roast them! The Kitchn has a good recipe.
- - For an easy vegetarian Thanksgiving meal, just add mashed potatoes and an additional veggie or salad.
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