Stuffed acorn squash is an elegant and easy gluten-free recipe that is baked in the oven and full of cranberries, pecans, apples and ground turkey. This healthy stuffed acorn squash recipe is perfect for Fall & Winter dinners or get-togethers!
Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe Revamp
This apple, pecan, cranberry, and ground turkey stuffed acorn squash recipe was originally created over three years ago for the site.
And to be honest, sometimes I do not completely trust my 3-years-younger self when it comes to “recipe testing.” (I say “recipe testing” because rarely did I ever make a dish more than once for the first few years of blogging!)
So when I saw a beautiful acorn squash in the grocery store the other day I knew what I had to do… a stuffed acorn squash recipe revamp!
While testing this “ancient” recipe from the archives I actually realized it was pretty spot-on and the flavors were incredible.
Without further ado, let’s learn how to cook acorn squash in the oven, the ingredients in this stuffed acorn squash recipe, and a little bit about acorn squash nutrition and health benefits.
How to Cook Acorn Squash in the Oven
Much like cooking spaghetti squash, baking acorn squash in the oven is the ULTIMATE way to bring out its natural sweetness and delicate texture.
Cooking acorn squash can also be accomplished by placing it in the microwave or popping it in the Instant Pot.
But trust me when I say BAKING acorn squash is the way to go.
How to Bake Acorn Squash
There are a few key steps you will want to follow when baking acorn squash:
- First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Next, cut your acorn squash in half lengthwise. If you are not sure how to cut your acorn squash or if you are having trouble, here are a few pointers:
- Make sure you are using a sharp knife.
- Pop your acorn squash in the oven for 5-10 minutes or in the microwave for a few minutes to warm it up. Once the squash is heated a bit it will be a lot softer and you should be able to cut your acorn squash with ease.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle a touch of salt on the acorn squash halves.
- Place your acorn squash halves face-down on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking dish.
- Bake acorn squash for 40-45 minutes if you are eating it when it is done cooking, or 35-40 minutes if you are making this stuffed acorn squash recipe.
Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients
While there are many recipes for stuffed acorn squash, this particular combination of ingredients is perfect for a Fall-inspired stuffed squash.
The ingredients in this stuffed acorn squash recipe include:
- Ground turkey, beef, venison, or sausage. You can use any type of ground meat you prefer, but make sure to get a leaner type. (90/10 or above!)
- Gluten-free bread crumbs. If you are not gluten-free, feel free to use regular bread crumbs. If you are, check out Aleia’s breadcrumbs as well as Ian’s breadcrumbs.
- Parmesan cheese. If on a dairy-free diet, use a dairy-free Parmesan cheese or leave it out completely.
- Dried cranberries. Definitely do not want to use fresh!
- Pecans. Feel free to sub for walnuts or pistachios.
- Dried sage and basil. You can switch out the herbs for oregano, rosemary, or thyme.
Acorn Squash Nutrition
Acorn squash is a winter squash that boosts TONS of nutritional benefits.
Some of the best health benefits of acorn squash include:
- Acorn squash is full of antioxidants, particularly caretnoids such as beta-carotene. Carotenoids help to prevent certain forms of cancers.
- It has a large amount of Vitamin C which helps boost immunity and ward off illnesses such as the common cold and flu.
- Acorn squash is high in potassium which helps to reduce high blood pressure.
- It is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in fiber with only 15 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving.
- There are also not too many calories in acorn squash with only 55 calories per 1 cup serving.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Ground Turkey
An elegant and easy gluten-free stuffed acorn squash recipe that is full of cranberries, pecans, apples and ground turkey. This healthy acorn squash recipe is perfect for Fall & Winter dinners or get-togethers!
- 2 acorn squash cut in half
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ t. salt
- ⅔ cup pecans
- ⅔ cup bread crumbs gluten free
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated*
- ½ tsp. basil dried
- 1 lb. ground turkey, 90/10 or ground beef, venison, sausage
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion finely diced
- 1 cup apple diced with skins
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¾ tsp. sage ground
- ¾ tsp. salt to taste
- 1 egg
- See this recipe in Healthy Meal Plan #3
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Cut each squash in half and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil between the four squash pieces. Salt the inside of each squash half.
Place squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Combine all topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Set aside while making the filling.
Saute ground meat in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil for 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked thoroughly.
Remove cooked meat and place in a large bowl. In the same saucepan, add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, apple and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until onions become translucent.
Combine ground meat, onion mixture, ⅔ of the breadcrumb topping mixture, and remaining filling ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Fill each acorn squash half with ¼ of the filling. Sprinkle each with the remaining topping mixture.
Place squash back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes. Enjoy! See this recipe in Healthy Meal Plan #3.
*You can also use a dairy-free Parmesan cheese if dairy-free.
Want more recipes like this Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe?