Acorn Squash

4 October 2023

Acorn squash is considered one of the winter vegetables available beginning in October. They are also known as pepper squash. They have a dark green rind generally with yellow or orange splotches and distinctive longitudinal ridges. They have a sweet, orange colored flesh that has a somewhat buttery taste and will pair well with either sweet or savory. It is high in fiber and minerals. When shopping for squash look for hard shells, tough rinds, and a heavy feel. Avoid those with soft spots or a detached stem.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

The Italian sausage and red pepper flakes will perk up the spices and complement the sweetness of the apple and onion. It can go as a side dish or an entree. You can vary the type of sausage to your own preferance. Add other elements like dried cranberries, mushrooms, or grain.


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pork Italian sausage
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 small bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan plus extra for topping
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove a small portion of the top and bottom of each squash to level. Cut the squash in the middle but not through the stem. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush olive oil on the flesh and put face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While the squash is in the oven, begin the stuffing. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute onions until caramelized. Add bell peppers and garlic and saute for 5 additional minutes.
  • Add crumbled sausage and brown. Add chopped apple, thyme, chili flakes and salt to taste. Cook an additional 5 minutes and stir in Parmesan.
  • Remove the squash from the oven place stuffing in the acorn cavity. Add additional Parmesan.
  • Switch to broiler and remove when cheese is melted.

Grilled Acorn Sqash Salad

It is not time to put the grill away yet. This is an interesting side that will have your family and guests asking for more.


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • maple syrup for drizzling


  • 2 cups arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbled
  • aged balsamic for drizzling, seeds, toasted nuts, optional


  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Set grill for direct/indirect or two-zoned cooking.
  • Slice squash in half lengthwise and remove stem. Remove seeds and extra flesh. Cut into wedges along the ridges. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place over direct heat for 3 minutes per side. Optionally add a small drizzle of maple syrup and move to indirect heat until fork tender. Optional additional drizzle of maple syrup just before serving.


  • Combine orange juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and whisk. Incorporate olive oil.


  • On a large platter plate the dressed arugula. Top with acorn squash. Sprinkle cranberries and goat cheese.

Acorn Squash Soup

Who doesn’t like a hearty soup for a family dinner or at-your-desk lunch? It will refrigerate for up to 4 days in an air tight container or freeze up to 3 months. Allow frozen soup to thaw in the fridge before reheating. Can be warmed in a Dutch oven on top of the stove or microwaved. Substitute maple syrup for honey and olive oil for butter for some different flavor combinations.


  • 3 acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups stock or more if needed
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme tied in a bundle
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, plus additional for serving.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake squash on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. To prepare for baking cut squash in half from stem to base. Scoop out seeds and core. Place cut sides up and brush with olive oil and salt. Bake until the edges begin to wrinkle and flesh is fork tender.
  • Cool and scoop out flesh.
  • In a large pot, heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. When butter is melted, add carrots, shallot, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shallot is caramelized.
  • Pour ½ cup stock into the pot and scrape the bottom. Reduce to medium-low heat and add squash, garlic and honey. When the garlic is fragrant (only about 30 seconds), add the remaining stock. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove thyme and bay leaf. With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth or use a stand blender to achieve the same result.
  • Return the soup to the pot and add sage, nutmeg, and Parmesan. Adjust for seasoning.
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