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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

Posted by in Step-by-Step Recipes

We’re so excited to have a growing group of fantastic contributors here on Tasty Kitchen. Today I’d like to welcome Natalie (Perry’s Plate), who has contributed nearly sixty scrumptious dishes to Tasty Kitchen over the past year. We’ve featured so many of Natalie’s recipes on Tasty Kitchen, many of them are permanently committed to my memory. For her inaugural post, Natalie shares a delicious Thanksgiving-friendly recipe from Tasty Kitchen member kvmolen. Thank you to Natalie and kvmolen for bringing us this yummy dish! –PW

 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

 
As a reformed squash hater, it still surprises me when a squash recipe gets lodged in my head and won’t leave until I’ve prepared it. That’s how I felt when I ran across this Acorn Squash with Cranberry-Cornbread Stuffing from TK member kvmolen. It didn’t help that I’d picked up a couple of gorgeous golden acorn squashes at a farm stand on the way home from the beach the day before.

(Doesn’t that sound like a lovely place to live? I never thought in a million years I’d say anything like that, hating squash all my life and growing up in Idaho, which has a severe shortage of beaches. We’re really enjoying the coast right now!)

This squash is a cinch to prepare and the stuffing has a lot of great flavors. I was surprised by how not-sweet it was, despite the many ingredients that impart a sweeter flavor. Like apples. And corn muffins. Oh yeah, and sugar.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Here’s what you’ll need: one beautiful acorn squash (usually dark green—the one above is a golden acorn), chicken broth, olive oil, salt, pepper, dried cranberries, fresh Parmesan cheese, spices (curry powder, cinnamon, and thyme), celery, onion (the recipe says yellow, but my cupboard said red), one tart apple, a couple of corn muffins leftover from chili night, a touch of brown sugar and some butter.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

First preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Alright folks, here’s the hardest part of the entire process: opening that blasted squash. Acorn squashes are pretty hard, so you’ll need a nice, sharp knife and some triceps. Stick the knife in it and work your way down, turning the squash and reinserting the knife as needed.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Just scoop out the seeds with a spoon and try to get most of the stringy bits out as well. Once you get it cleaned out, run and grab a small baking dish. I used an 11×7 glass one.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Lay the squash halves cut-side up in the baking dish. If you find that they roll around, just slice a small piece off the bottom (shown above) to create a flat surface.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Put a little butter and brown sugar in each half, fill the dish with about an inch of water and bake for 15 minutes. (No, you don’t have to melt the butter and sugar before they go in the squash.)

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Meanwhile, cut the corn muffins into bite-sized pieces and lay them on a small baking sheet. I used a quarter sheet pan. I love those.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

After the squash has baked for 15 minutes, pull it from the oven and baste the top with the melted butter and sugar from the center. Mmm.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Return the squash to the oven and place the pan with the cornmeal right next to it. Take the cornmeal out after about 10 minutes or so or until it gets golden and a little crunchy. Leave the squash in for 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

While the squash and the cornbread are hanging out in the oven, start on the stuffing. Grab a skillet or saute pan and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the apples, celery, onion, and spices. All at once.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes or until everything is softened. (I needed to add a couple splashes of chicken broth to keep it from sticking.) Remove from the heat and set aside until the cornmeal is finished baking, then bring the skillet back up to medium-high heat.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Here are the finished cornmeal bits. You’ll want to take these …

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

The chicken broth …

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

And the cranberries. Add them to the skillet. Cook until the chicken broth is all soaked up and the cornmeal is soft. This wasn’t in the recipe, but I threw in a handful of sliced almonds for kicks. Salt and pepper to taste.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

When you think the squash may be done, stick a fork in it to see if it’s tender. You can do it about eight times like I did. Just to be sure.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Leave the squash in the pan and spoon some stuffing into each cavity. You’ll have some stuffing leftover. I had enough leftover for two more squash halves! It’s nice to go back for refills, though, so maybe you’d be better off with just two halves. If your stuffing has cooled of completely, return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes or so to heat through.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

If everything’s ready to go, take a pair of sturdy metal tongs (or pansy plastic ones at your own risk—these things are heavy) and transfer to a plate. Top with a little grated Parmesan cheese if you feel so inclined.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

And dig in.

Squash, apples, cranberries … doesn’t that just scream autumn? We really enjoyed these, and thought it was a solid vegetarian dish with a lot of fun flavors. The stuffing would also be great with some chicken-apple sausage in place of half the apple to satisfy your inner carnivore.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. Guest post by Natalie Perry of Perry's Plate, recipe submitted by TK member kvmolen.

Thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe Katie!

 
 

Printable Recipe

Acorn Squash with Cranberry-Cornbread Stuffing

4.81 Mitt(s) 11 Rating(s)11 votes, average: 4.81 out of 511 votes, average: 4.81 out of 511 votes, average: 4.81 out of 511 votes, average: 4.81 out of 511 votes, average: 4.81 out of 5

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Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings: 2

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Description

Great fall flavors packed into one tasty dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Acorn Squash, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cups Celery, Diced
  • ½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Tart Apple, Peeled, Cored, And Diced
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • ½ teaspoons Curry Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 whole Cornbread Muffins, Cut Into Bite-sized Pieces
  • ¼ cups Dried Cranberries
  • ½ cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • Sprinkle Of Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Preparation Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Scrape seeds and stringy flesh from squash. Place squash in a baking dish, cut sides up. Pour about an inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Put one teaspoon butter and one teaspoon brown sugar in each half.
3. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Baste squash with the butter and sugar mixture after the 15-minute mark to prevent drying. Put back in the oven for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until fork tender.
4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the celery, onion, apples, thyme, curry, and cinnamon. Cook until softened. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
5. Place cubed cornbread on a baking sheet and set next to the squash in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
6. Add cranberries and the toasted cornbread to the skillet mixture and gently stir to combine. While stirring, slowly add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Fill the fork-tender squash with cornbread stuffing and place back into oven until heated through.

 
 
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Be sure to check out Natalie’s own beautiful food blog, Perrys’ Plate, where you can see her growing collection of lovely recipes. There’s always something new to see there. Go visit now!

 
 

53 Comments

Comments are closed for this recipe.

Jill on 11.25.2010

I made this for Thanksgiving. It was a perfect complement to the Cajun Fried Turkey. I used vegetable broth so our vegetarian friend could enjoy this along with the rest of the guests. The stuffed squash is so colorful, so beautiful. It dressed up my table. Thank you for a great recipe!

C. Brown on 11.21.2010

Thanks for the base for this delicious dinner!

Added 2 patties crumbled sage sausage, ~ a cup and a half of cooked white rice, a sprinkle of powdered chicken bouillon, and dehydrated onion for chopped; substituted veggie broth for chicken, a Daisy Girl apple for a Granny Smith, sage for curry powder, and sausage grease and butter for the olive oil; and used only one “giant” corn muffin instead of two (see the note from 11/20 with the corn muffin recipe). Plus, the cranberries were cherry flavor (not my choice; when I bought them, that’s the only variety they had).

I’m not a huge squash fan, but the cafeteria where I worked for Army Corps of Engineers served a dish somewhat like this (rice and sausage definitely in common; no apple). I think this version, with my substitutions, is almost as good.

Julie V on 11.3.2010

You could also bake the squash a bit and THEN cut it! Got that from Pioneer Woman…. I used to fight to cut spaghetti squash before baking and I saw a recipe where it was just baked first! An a-ha moment! Just did it the other night and it worked perfectly!

Terrie M on 10.30.2010

I made this and loved it!! Yummy! Great squash recipe!

karen on 10.27.2010

i loved this! the only thing i changed was that i used dry sherry instead of chicken broth. and i used some smoked apple/chicken sausage. added pine nuts too. will definitely make this again!

Annie-Savor This Moment on 10.27.2010

I love the beautiful color of the golden acorn squash! We’ve been eating roasted acorn squash these last few weeks-I love it with salt, pepper, honey, and butter, of course. I’m going to have to glam it up and make this recipe.

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flourgirl on 10.26.2010

I can’t wait to try this. I might not be able to hold out until Thanksgiving. I think chili will be on the menu soon so I have an excuse to make corn muffins. :)

Brooke on 10.26.2010

I made this last night and used the leftovers from the Pumpkin Cornbread that was featured earlier this week. My picky family enjoyed it, and I doubled the recipe, so I don’t have to cook tonight!

cj on 10.25.2010

This was delicious! My daughter, who doesn’t even eat squash, liked it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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darlin on 10.25.2010

i think i might cube the acorn squash and roast it and mix it in with the stuffing instead of filling the squashes.

Heather HS on 10.25.2010

I tried this last night… yum. Just a couple of tips:
I pretty much followed the recipe for the stuffing, just using 3 corn muffins instead of 2, and I had plenty to stuff 2 acorn squashes (4 halves).

Also, to cut the basting of the squash… I backed them face down for 30 mins, then flipped and added the butter/sugar. About 20 mins later they were done.

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.25.2010

Bryce – I had a bit of liquid left in mine as well. I just brushed the remaining around on the outer edges of the squash and still had some left. No, it didn’t make the stuffing soggy. I liked the added sweetness it gave the stuffing!

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wyogal on 10.25.2010

This looks fabulous! I just picked up some squash, may have to try it!

Bryce on 10.24.2010

Just wondering, as I’m making it and checking on the squash for doneness – I’m sure no one will get this before I have to actually stuff the squash – but what do I do if I still have a lot of extra liquid in the squash when its done? Butter and brown sugar – I’d love to keep it – but will it make my stuffing soggy? Should I pour it out first?

Crystal on 10.24.2010

This was delicious! We’re vegans, so I substituted the brown sugar for maple syrup, butter for Earth Balance, and broth for veggie broth. It came out PERFECTLY! I also mixed in a little veggie sausage for protein. We had it with steamed green beans. What a delightful fall dinner! Thanks for sharing!

Liz on 10.23.2010

We tried this last night. It was delicious! My husband, who doesn’t even really like squash, ate his whole half :) Next time I’d add a bit more celery because I loved the flavor it added. I served it with a simple spring greens side salad w/ pecans and a few dried cranberries. hip. hip. hooray for fall.

Billie on 10.22.2010

Also, I cut squash in half with an old chef’s knife and a tack hammer. I simply hammer the blade down through the squash. It’s just what I do….proceed at your own risk.

Billie on 10.22.2010

I love dressing, but the only way I made it before was just as my mom made it. I tried this one, and I love it! I did substitute raisins for the cranberries and also added my own dried sage. It was delicious, and I will make it times 10 for Thanksgiving. Gave the recipe to friends and shared some of this year’s dried sage also. This recipe is a keeper!!

Moms in School Blog on 10.21.2010

This looks so delicious, and what a seasonal flare! Mouth’s watering already. Can’t wait to try it out.

Teri Wootan on 10.21.2010

I make something similar to this . Acorn swuash cut in half, cleaned,turned upside down on a cookie sheet, add 1 cup of h2o to your cookie sheet. (cooks the squash faster) 350 for 30 min. While that is cooking, fry 1 pound of italian sausage with 1 med. onion till brown, drain. When swuash is done fill seed cavity with sausage mixture add 1 Tablespoon of br. sugar and serve. Eveb the most picky eater will like this.

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dsolzer on 10.21.2010

I have never attempted any at all squash related. This recipe may change that! Lovely photo set ups! Thanks so much for sharing!

ArmyChick on 10.21.2010

This looks great! I may have to try it this weekend.

rebecca on 10.20.2010

I’ve made something similar, but use a little bit of turkey sausage w/ the stuffing, and of course, lots of cabot cheddar mixed in!

Sarah on 10.20.2010

Thanks for featuring this. I’ll have to share it with family for Thanksgiving…and maybe a few times before. Who’d want boxed stuffing when they can have this?!

Katie on 10.20.2010

@Rachel Thanks for the squash cutting tip. I almost took myself out trying to cut the squash for this recipe! :)

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.20.2010

Kelly – brilliant idea! I love it!

Kelly on 10.20.2010

Add some leftover turkey to that stuffing and you have a way to use uyp post-Thanksgiving turkey!

Christy on 10.20.2010

Thanks for this great recipe. This looks great! I’m a vegetarian and would love to eat this as a main dish one night soon. Now, what to serve with it…

Kit on 10.20.2010

Just when I was wondering what to do with all this lovely squash! And, I’m going to host an early Thanksgiving dinner and wanted something a little extra special to serve, I think that I’ve found it! Thanks so much for this!

Kit

Jessica Rose on 10.20.2010

Oh my goodness this has me drooling at work!! Must remember to get Acorn Squash this week!

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.20.2010

Thanks for all of the acorn-cutting advice! I have pretty wimpy triceps and those tips will definitely keep me from losing a finger!

mrschaos on 10.20.2010

YUM. This looks fantastic.

AmandaP on 10.20.2010

@Natalie
this is actually a fairly common oops:-)
I own a vegetarian cookbook that includes a recipe calling for chicken broth…simple mistake with a very easy fix!

Rachel on 10.20.2010

A tip I learned from a few years back… Prick the squash with a fork a couple of times, and microwave it for a few minutes. Then you can cut it in half sans the triceps! But, Don’t, DON’T ever forget to poke a few holes in it…

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Cathy on 10.20.2010

I’ll eat squash any day of the week…can’t wait to try this!
Thanks for a mouthwatering recipe!
Love,
cathy b. @ brightbakes

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 10.20.2010

(And thank you, Katie, for the great recipe!)

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Ree | The Pioneer Woman on 10.20.2010

I love this entire recipe, but I think my favorite part is the basting of the squash with the good stuff. Mmmmm!

Welcome again, Natalie! Thanks for the wonderful post.

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.20.2010

Thanks Tina! I believe it was a roasted squash filled with something or other that changed my tastes as well!

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.20.2010

Thanks, Lauren! It was so fun to do a step-by-step post. I don’t think I’d ever done one in that much detail before. I have a lot of respect for bloggers who do this on every post!

TinaFromTexas on 10.20.2010

Yay! I’m so happy the wonderful Natalie is now a Tasty Kitchen contributer! She makes some seriously delicious food! This recipe might turn me from a squash hater to a squash lover too! :)

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Beau @ SomethingEdible.com on 10.20.2010

Great step-by step photos! Much appreciated by the visual folks (like me).

Re: splitting the squash, I like my cleaver. if you’re worried about slippage, a serrated bread knife to start the cut works well too.

Heather (Heather's Dish) on 10.20.2010

i will take this dish ANY DAY of the week! it’s beautiful and i can only imagine how delicious it is!

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Natalie | Perry's Plate on 10.20.2010

AmandaP – Of course. I apologize for the vegetarian comment. I’m not a vegetarian myself and tend to forget about broth choices. :) Vegetable broth would work beautifully in this.

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Lauren's Latest on 10.20.2010

Yeah, Natalie! Love all your recipes, photos, etc. but you knew that already! So glad you’re a contributor! :)

Amanda on 10.20.2010

I’m totally going to make this, using vegetable stock (cause like the other Amanda said, this isn’t vegetarian if you use chicken stock). I love cornbread stuffing like whoa and acorn squash is one of my favs! Yum!

Suzanne @ Window On The Prairie on 10.20.2010

Looks at the pics here reminds me of when I cooked up a pumpkin in preparation of making Homemade Pumpkin Pie from scratch: http://windowontheprairie.com/2010/10/13/pumpkin-pie-from-real-pumpkin-part-1/ Suzanne

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Aparna B. (Not A Leaf) on 10.20.2010

Oh my. This looks and sounds delicious!

Tabitha (FromSingletoMarried) on 10.20.2010

mmmm…. very autumnal – love it!

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on 10.20.2010

Love stuffed acorn squash!