Wait a second. How is Thanksgiving here already? Last I knew I was still back-peddling on those New Year’s Resolutions I made. Yikes!
In case you’ve (also) procrastinated on making your Thanksgiving menu, I have just the side dish for you. This requires an introduction to another delightful winter squash: Acorn Squash. Acorn has a green outer skin and is one of the smaller of this squash family, but he also has lots of delicious meat and seeds inside. Also like his cousins, acorn squash is super good for you.
Fiber in Acorn Squash
While acorn squash is counted as a starchy vegetable (1 cup cooked squash has about 30 grams of carbohydrates), it is an excellent source of fiber – 10 of those 30 grams of carbs come from fiber. This means that it is a quality source of carbohydrate that will help maintain blood sugar levels rather than causing a quick spike followed by a drop.
Vitamins & Minerals in Acorn Squash
Acorn squash has a lot of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, several B vitamins, magnesium, and even iron. You won’t go wrong choosing this squash to have as one of your starchy veggies; it’s packed with nutrition.
Phytochemicals in Acorn Squash
Carotenoids, lutein, and xeoxanthin are the main phytochemicals found in acorn squash (just like pumpkin and butternut). They’re no big deal. They just help fight free radicals in an effort to prevent cancer, keep your eyes healthy, and help your immune system fight disease. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d recommend keeping these phytonutrients around.
Step-By-Step Recipe for Nuts & Bolts Acorn Squash
Now for this sweet and tangy squash, hearty and filling and so good for you. This recipe takes 90 minutes to bake. If you don’t have that much time, you can speed up the process by microwaving the squash for about 10 minutes before adding the filling and baking.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two medium acorn squash by cutting stem and base from squash, then cutting in half lengthwise. If squash is too tough to cut, stab with a fork several times, then microwave 5-7 minutes until squash begins to soften.
Use a spoon to scrape out seeds and stringy innards. Discard seeds or save to make Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (which can be made with the seeds from any type of winter squash).
Arrange the squash in a baking dish with the cavities facing up. If needing to speed up the baking time, microwave squash 10-15 minutes while preparing filling.
Coarsely chop 1/2 cup each apricots, walnuts, and pecans. Add with 1/2 cup raisins to the empty cavities of the squash. Pour about a cup of orange juice over fruit ant nut mixture to fill each squash cavity.
Cover baking dish loosely with foil and bake for 75-90 minutes until squash is cooked through. When cooked, squash will be soft enough to easily poke with a fork.
Alternatively, make this recipe in a slow-cooker; arrange squash in the slow cooker and stuff with ingredients, then add a small amount of water to the bottom of slow-cooker. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours until squash is cooked through.
To serve, use a spoon to scoop squash flesh with fruits and nuts into a serving bowl, mixing to combine juice with squash. Discard tough skin. Serve hot or refrigerate several hours to serve cold.
Ann from Peas & Hoppiness
For more tasty, seasonal recipes planned & sent to you every week, start your free trial of Peas & Hoppy Meal Guides and get dinner on the table with less time, less stress, and less take-out.
Recipe for Nuts & Bolts Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squash
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. dried apricots
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. pecans
1 c. orange juice
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (for oven-baked method).
Cut stem and base off acorn squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Arrange in a baking dish OR in a large slow-cooker with cavities facing up.
Coarsely chop apricots, walnuts, and pecans. Add with raisins to the empty cavities of the squash. Pour orange juice over fruit ant nut mixture to fill the squash cavity.
Oven-baked method: Cover baking dish loosely with foil and bake for 75-90 minutes until squash is cooked through. When cooked, squash will be soft enough to easily poke with a fork.
Slow-Cooker Method: Pour a small amount of water in slow cooker and cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 8-10 hours until squash is cooked through. When cooked, squash will be soft enough to easily poke with a fork.
Use a spoon to scoop squash flesh with fruits and nuts into a serving bowl, mixing to combine juice with squash. Discard tough skin. Serve hot or refrigerate several hours to serve cold.
Printable Recipe // Serves 8 – Serving Size: 1 cup – Nutrients per serving: 202 calories — 10g total fat — 1g saturated fat — 0g trans fat – 0mg cholesterol — 7mg sodium — 30g total carbohydrates — 4g fiber — 4g protein
Total Time: 90 min // Prep Time: 10-15 min // Cook time: 70-80 min
Pro Tip: If you don’t have enough time to make this recipe, speed up the baking time by microwaving squash 10-15 minutes before adding the filling and baking.
Cooking Equipment: Cutting board // Chef’s knife // Baking dish // As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying products
Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds: Trim stem from acorn squash and discard. Cut in half lengthwise. If too tough to cut, stab with a fork several times and microwave 5-7 minutes until starting to soften. Use a spoon to scrape out seeds and string innards and discard (or save to roast later).
Coarsely chop dried apricots: stack apricots in a pile and using a chef’s knife chop into uneven pieces, about 1/2-inch in size.
Coarsely chop walnuts & pecans: stack nuts in a pile and using a chef’s knife chop into uneven pieces, about 1/2-inch in size.
Looking for more healthy, tasty recipes that make use of your seasonal produce? Check out our meal planning options!