How To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

updated Oct 26, 2022
halloween
How To Make Stuffed & Roasted Squash

A step-by-step guide to make stuffed roast winter squash, with suggestions for types of squash and fillings.

Serves2

Makes1 squash

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

With so many beautiful and unusual squashes showing up in markets right now, I can’t seem to come home without at least one knobby, colorful, speckled new squash in my bag. Happily, stuffed squash is a dish that will work for just about any winter squash I happen to pick up. You don’t really need a recipe — just a few basic steps and dinner practically makes itself.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I consider stuffed squash to be one of the most perfect autumn weekend meals imaginable. I love futzing over the filling and then lazing on the couch while everything roasts. The house gradually fills with savory aromas until I can hardly wait another second to dive in.

Eating these stuffed squashes is an entirely personal experience. Maybe you like to work from the outside in, taking a little bit of squash and a little bit of filling in each bite. I’m a masher, personally — I scrape all the squash from the sides and mix it thoroughly into the filling before finally digging in. You can take either approach, or invent your own special style.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

One squash the size of a grapefruit or a little larger is usually enough for two people. All my instructions below are written with this in mind, but it’s easy enough to multiply everything to feed more people. In fact, stuffed squash is an easy and elegant dish to serve at a dinner party, particularly since it can be easily adapted to for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

What is the Best Squash for Stuffed Squash?

I’ve tried making stuffed squash with just about every squash out there, and I truly love them all. Here are some of my top picks:

  • Acorn squash (an old and dependable favorite)
  • Red kuri squash
  • Sweet dumpling squash
  • Spaghetti squash

How Long Does Stuffed Squash Take to Cook?

The initial roasting time of the un-stuffed squash may vary depending on the variety, but it rarely takes more than an hour.

What is the Best Filling for Stuffed Squash?

For this stuffed squash recipe, I used a mix of barley, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and mozzarella seasoned with thyme and a pinch of cinnamon for the filling. Fall flavors at their best! However, I often use whatever bits of leftovers are in the fridge:

  • Whole grains (barley, quinoa, farro, wild rice)
  • Proteins (roasted chicken, sausage, ground beef)
  • Grilled vegetables (mushrooms, squash, onions, bell peppers)
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary)
  • Spices (garlic powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder)
  • Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, feta)

How much filling do you need to use? About two to three cups of combined ingredients will do the job just fine.

Stuffed Squash Recipes

Need more inspiration? Try one of these favorite stuffed squash recipes:

How To Make Stuffed & Roasted Squash

A step-by-step guide to make stuffed roast winter squash, with suggestions for types of squash and fillings.

Makes 1 squash

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium winter squash (about the size of a grapefruit or slightly larger), such as acorn, kabocha, red kuri, sweet dumpling, delicata, or spaghetti

  • 2 to 3

    cups filling (see below)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

General amounts for filling — to equal 2 to 3 cups total:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup

    protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu

  • 1 to 2 cups

    vegetables — onions, mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, greens

  • 1/2 cup

    cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans

  • 1/2 to 1 cup

    shredded cheese

  • 1 to 3 teaspoons

    herbs or spices

Equipment

  • Chef's knife

  • Spoon

  • Baking dish

  • Aluminum foil

Instructions

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  1. Prepare the squash for roasting. Arrange a rack in the lower-middle position of the oven and heat to 375°F. Cut the squash in half from stem to root. Scoop out the seeds.

  2. Transfer the squash to a baking dish. Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.

  3. Roast the squash. Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size and variety of your squash. While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling.

  4. Prepare the filling. Depending on the size of your squash, 2 to 3 cups of combined ingredients is usually sufficient. You can combine leftovers from other meals (cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, etc.) or you can prepare a fresh filling. Cook any raw meats and raw vegetables and combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper to your liking.

  5. Stuff the squash halves. Flip the cooked squash halves so they form bowls. Rub the inside with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the filling between the halves — it's fine to really stuff the wells and also to mound the filling on top.

  6. Bake the stuffed squash halves until bubbly. Cover again with the foil. Roast until heated through and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with extra cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Stuffed squash for a crowd: This recipe is easily multiplied to feed whatever sized gathering you are hosting. One half of a squash is typically a good main course meal for an adult.

Make ahead: The squashes and the fllling can be prepped in advance and warmed just before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.