Acorn squash recipes

Acorn squash recipes are incredibly versatile! Acorn squash is a fall superstar, packed with nutrients and boasting a delightful flavor. Rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, it’s a delicious way to boost your health.  This post unveils the Top 10 Delicious Acorn Squash Recipes, transforming this nutritious ingredient into flavorful dishes that will have you craving autumn all year round.

Acorn Squash

A widely-ribbed winter squash with an acorn shape. Also known as “Table Queen” or “Des Moines,” the latter indicates where it was first grown commercially. It is usually five to eight inches long and four to five and a half in diameter. The dark green rind is thin and glossy while the orange-yellow pulp is thick, tender, fairly dry, sweet, and slightly fibrous.

 

Nutritional value

The deep yellow flesh of the acorn squash is a rich source of vita- min A. It also contains some vitamin C and the B vitamin, riboflavin.

How to select

Acorn squash is plentiful in late summer, fall, and winter and is most abundant during October and November. For the best eating quality select a squash that is firm and heavy in proportion to its size. The rind should be hard and free from cuts or bruises.

 

Select a glossy, dark green squash with only a few, if any, pale orange areas. A solid orange color may indicate that the acorn squash has been stored too long for retention of good quality in flavor and texture. One variety, although seen in the market infrequently, is golden-skinned when perfectly ripe. Check the variety of the squash before accepting or rejecting a particular squash because of color.

 

When purchasing acorn squash allow one pound for each cup of cooked squash required. Acorn squash is often baked whole or in halves. Each half makes one attractive and ample serving.

How to store

Acorn squash, classified as a winter squash, is adapted to long storage. The glossy dark green rind changes to a dull orange with some dull green coloring during storage. When storing acorn squash, keep it in a cool, dry place. Pieces of cut squash can be wrapped in a plastic bag or plastic wrap and stored in the crisper of the refrigerator.

How to prepare

The rind of acorn squash is hard and fluted making it difficult to peel. Therefore, it is easier to prepare if the rind is left on when baking, boiling, or steaming. The firm rind may then become the natural bowl for individual servings. The combination of dark green outer color with the bright yellow pulp is a colorful addition to the meal.

 

To prepare squash for cooking, wash the rind, scrubbing well. Cook whole either by baking or boiling, or cutting in halves or quarters. Slice lengthwise with a heavy-bladed knife and scoop out the seeds and ragged fibers. Sausage, applesauce, onions, walnuts, and mushrooms are tasty fillings. Imaginative glazes may be prepared by using combinations of butter, brown sugar, liquor, spices, and herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, basil, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.

Baked Acorn Squash

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Halve and seed squash; bake cut side down in a shallow pan at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn cut side up; salt. Fill if desired. Bake about 20 minutes longer or till the pulp is tender. Each half makes one generous serving.

 

Squash and Sausage: After turning, brush each half with butter. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey and fill with 3 browned sausage links. Bake 25 minutes longer.

 

Squash and Applesauce: After turning squash brush each half with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar. Fill each with 1/2 cup of hot apple- sauce. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Fruit-Filled Squash

Fruit-Filled Squash
  • 3 medium acorn squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chopped apple
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side down in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Turn cut side up; sprinkle with salt. Combine remaining ingredients; spoon mixture into squash cavities. Bake 25 minutes or till tender. Makes 6 servings.

 

Glazed Squash with Onions

Glazed Squash with Onions
  • A pleasing accompaniment for pork-
  • 3 medium acorn squash
  • 2 cups drained, cooked tiny onions
  • 1/2 cup broken walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Bake cut side down in shallow baking pan at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn cut side up: sprinkle with salt. Fill halves with onions and walnuts. Combine butter, dark corn syrup, 4 teaspoon salt, and ground cinnamon. Spoon over filling. Continue baking 15 to 20 minutes or till squash is tender, brushing occasionally with syrup to glaze. Makes 6 servings.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

A perfect side dish to include in an oven meal-

  • 3 medium acorn squash
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup crushed herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Dash pepper

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, or till tender. Scoop squash from shells (reserve shells). Mash squash; add egg. Dissolve the bouillon cube in water; add to mashed squash. (Add additional water if needed to make the mixture quite soft.) In a skillet cook onion in butter till tender but not brown. Stir in the stuffing mix. Reserve 1/4 cup stuffing mixture; stir remainder into mashed squash. Add salt and pepper; mix well. Fill shells (squash mixture will be thin). Sprinkle with reserved stuffing. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes or till lightly browned. Serves 6.

Acorn Elegant

Acorn Elegant
  • 3 medium acorn squash 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 6-ounce can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley Salt Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded processed American cheese
  • 1 tablespoon buttered cornflake crumbs

Cut squash in halves lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side down in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. In skillet cook onion in butter or margarine till almost tender. Add mushrooms and parsley. Turn squash halves cut side up and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill with onion- mushroom mixture. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or till squash is tender. Top with cheese and buttered cornflake crumbs; continue baking just till cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

Pineapple Acorn Squash

Pineapple Acorn Squash

Pineapple combined with apple makes an interesting filling for baked squash-

  • 3 medium acorn squash Salt
  • Can crushed pineapple, drained (3/4 cup)
  • Chopped apple
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Halve squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes. Turn the cut side up; season to taste with salt. Combine pineapple, apple, and sugar; fill squash cavities with fruit mixture. Dot each with butter. Return squash to oven; bake 30 minutes longer or till tender. Serves 6.

Mashed acorn squash may be prepared by scooping out the pulp after the squash has been baked, mashed, and seasoned to taste. Another method of preparing mashed squash is to cube the squash and cook covered in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes or till tender. Cut the rind from the cubes before mashing. Season to taste. One pound of fresh acorn squash yields approximately one cup cooked and mashed.

Baked or mashed squash goes well on menus with baked ham, fried sausage, pork chops, lamb patties, and pork roast.

Nutmeg Whipped Squash

Nutmeg Whipped Squash

A spicy addition to a holiday meal-

  • 4 cups cubed unpeeled acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cook squash in boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or till tender. Drain well. Cut rind from cubes. Combine squash, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip till smooth. Makes 6 servings.

 

To freeze acorn squash, select ones that are firm and mature. Bake or boil the squash till soft. Slightly undercook to allow for reheating. Remove pulp from rind and mash. Cool completely by placing the container of squash in a pan of cold water. Stir occasionally.

 

Pack into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Acorn squash should not be kept frozen longer than 12 months for maximum retention of flavor and texture.

 

The frozen squash should not be thawed before reheating. Place in a preheated oven and heat to the desired serving temperature. Season to taste.

Rings of acorn squash are an attractive serving variation. The rings are usually glazed or candied. To prepare rings, trim the ends from the acorn squash and discard. Slice crosswise into 3/4-inch or 1-inch rings. Discard seeds and ragged fibers. Then bake or proceed with recipe directions.

Glazed Squash Rings

Glazed Squash Rings
  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

Trim ends and cut squash crosswise in 1-inch slices; discard ends and seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange a single layer in a shallow baking dish; cover and bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes. Combine brown sugar and butter; spread over rings. Continue baking, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Baste occasionally. Makes 6 servings.

Ham-Squash Skillet

Ham-Squash Skillet

A meal in a skillet-

  • 1 pound ground cooked ham
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

Combine ham, egg, bread crumbs, onion, and mustard; form into 5 patties. In a skillet brown in hot shortening. Remove from skillet. Trim ends of squash; discard ends and seeds. Cut crosswise into 5 rings; cut each ring in half. Place squash in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons water. Combine sugar and butter; dot over squash. Cover; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till tender, turning once. Uncover; add meat. Cook 5 minutes longer, basting often. Makes 5 servings.

Read also: James Beard

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