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Of no surprise to anyone, squash season is here.  Typically, I gravitate toward the butternut variety but the acorns were calling my name this week.  A fun squash when cleaned out, it creates a “pocket” to fill with all kinds of good stuff.

Please check out a new blog feature at the end of this post.  I think you’re going to love it!

This is a sweet version of a fall classic.  Minimal prep time, because all the magic happens in the oven, as the squash roasts it becomes sweet and caramelized by the butter and brown sugar.  An exciting dinner party side, each guest can dig into their personal little acorn “cup”.  Just add a grilled turkey or chicken breast and green salad for a complete meal.  A healthy, filling side recipe or mix it up as a dessert!

Might want to set this one aside for next month’s Thanksgiving feasts.  Gluten-free option below.


serves 4

  • 2 tbsp BUTTER, REGULAR, UNSALTED, melted
  • 1/2 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 3 tbsp OATS, ROLLED*
  • 2 tbsp PECAN PIECES
  • 3 tbsp BROWN SUGAR, packed
  • 1/4 cup CRANBERRIES, DRIED (pomegranate flavor or regular)*
  • PECAN HALVES, optional garnish

Gluten-free option: Use gluten-free oats and dried cranberries.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with foil sprayed with cooking spray.

2. Cut squash in half; then scoop middle out with a spoon, scraping along the sides to remove all refuse. Place squash halves, flesh side up in prepared baking dish.  Brush half the melted butter over the inside flesh and sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

3. In a small food processor/chopper or blender combine remaining ingredients: oats, sugar, pecans, spices and remainder of melted butter. Pulse a few times until incorporated. Stir in cranberries.

4. Remove acorn squash from oven and fill each with equal amounts of cranberry filling. Spray the tops with canola oil cooking spray and sprinkle additional cinnamon or cinnamon-sugar mix over the outside edges of squash. Cover loosely and bake 15 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until flesh is soft and golden brown. Serves 4, serving size one stuffed squash half.

VARIATIONS:  Add fresh orange zest and/or juice to the cranberry filling. Substitute raisins or chopped dried apricots.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 230 calories, 8g fat, 15mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 41g carb, 5g fiber, 14g sugar, 3g protein

I now have included printer friendly recipe attachments in PDF format!  Thank you to those wonderful followers who suggested that needed feature.  From here on out, I will include a half and full page printable option at the end of each post. Enjoy!

Printer Friendly Recipe PDF – half page

Printer Friendly Recipe PDF – full page