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Cranberry and Walnut-Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Cranberry and Walnut-Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

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  • One 1 ½-pound acorn squash, halved, seeded
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Goat cheese, to taste, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place ½-inch water in a baking dish and place the squash cut side down. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender when a paring knife is inserted into the squash. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on.

Meanwhile, mix together the rice, walnuts, dried cranberries, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl. Spoon the rice mixture into the squash. Place the squash back in the pan and cook for 10 more minutes in the oven. Top with goat cheese and serve.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving565

Folate equivalent (total)121µg30%

Apple Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sometimes I like to blur the line between dinner and dessert.

Acorn squash is a vegetable fruit (thanks, Google…), so it’s perfectly acceptable as a healthy side dish or a vegetarian main for dinner. However, I have stuffed it with something that ends up looking and tasting suspiciously like apple pie, flavoured with cinnamon and brown sugar and studded with walnuts. So is it still dinner? I think so.

Pumpkin is getting a lot of love in the food blog world these days, as it generally does this time of year. I love pumpkin, especially in baked goods (or delicious spicy soups!) but I thought I’d focus on a different type of squash today. We received some lovely acorn squash in our CSA basket this week, and I was excited to see what I could come up with to highlight its smooth texture and sweet, earthy flavour.

This recipe is incredibly easy to pull together, and although it takes about an hour to make, most of that is hands-off baking time, and there’s only about 5 minutes’ worth of prepping and chopping. Simply slice the squash in half, scoop the seeds, and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes to soften up. While it’s baking, chop an apple and mix it with nuts, butter, lemon and sugar. Finally, brush the squash with melted butter and spices, stuff it, and toss it back in the oven to roast to golden perfection.

These are quite filling, and one squash half could easily serve two as a side dish. However, it’s much prettier to serve if each person gets their own half, so I like to serve it as a vegetarian main course with a simple salad on the side.

During roasting, the squash becomes perfectly soft and tender, and the skin softens as well – it’s edible, so make sure you scrub your squash before you start! The apple-walnut filling becomes luscious and oozes sweet, caramelized, buttery juice all over the squash. Cinnamon is the dominant spice, but I’ve added a pinch of cayenne and a healthy spoonful of salt to balance the sweetness. It tastes like autumn on a plate.

Acorn squash, apples, cranberries and walnuts are all great sources of health promoting and cancer fighting nutrients. Continue the cancer fight in the kitchen!

Squash contains vitamin A, vitamin C and is a source of dietary fiber. It is also rich in carotenoids – both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene which are important in supporting immune function. An apple a day? Apples are rich in vitamin C as well as quercetin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cranberries are one of the great Superfoods rich in plant antioxidants and cancer fighting phytochemicals. Walnuts contain a broad range of potentially protective compounds, including omega-3s, and are another great antioxidant source.

Put these all ingredients together and you’ve packed quite a cancer fighting punch!

Pair this dish with your favorite protein like chicken or enjoy on its own!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Vegan Option
2 servings


1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2-3 apples, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
3 Tbsp raw honey or real maple syrup (for vegan option), or a low-sugar alternative like berry compote or stevia based syrup
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Sea salt


2. Rub the cut sides of the squash with 1 Tbsp of raw honey and season with 1/2 Tbsp of cinnamon.

3. Place the squash on a large baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Add apples, walnuts, cranberries, raw honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to the skillet.

6. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until apples are tender.

7. Stuff the squash with the apple mixture.

8. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy with a protein, a healthy salad or on its own!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Stuffing

  • Author: Tastefulventure
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 1 x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian, Gluten Free


  • 3 medium acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup red Quinoa
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion chopped
  • 1/2 Red Pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 8oz package Baby Bella Mushrooms chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tbs ground Sage
  • 1 Tbs dried Thyme
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Trim off each end of the squash.
  3. Stand the squash upright and halve lengthwise.
  4. Scoop out the pulp and the seeds and discard.
  5. Brush each squash half with 1 Tbs olive oil, and then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Arrange cut sides down on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
  7. Roast the squash until the flesh is tender and the edges are golden brown, approximately 25-35 minutes.
  8. While the squash roasts,
  9. In medium saucepan add Quinoa and Vegetable Broth.
  10. Bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to low, cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  11. While the Quinoa is cooking prepare the rest.
  12. In large saute pan over medium heat add 2 Tbs Olive Oil, Onion, Red Pepper, and Garlic.
  13. Saute 5-8 minutes until softened.
  14. Add Mushrooms, Sage, Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Pepper.
  15. Sauce 5 minutes longer until mushrooms are softened. Remove from heat.
  16. Add in Quinoa, Walnuts, and Cranberries.
  17. Remove cooked squash from oven and flip over so cut side is up.
  18. Fill the roasted squash halves with the mushroom mixture and bake again for another 10 minutes.
  19. Enjoy!

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  • Serving Size: 1 (244.3 g)
  • Calories 239.6
  • Total Fat - 2.7 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 4.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 55.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 5.5 g
  • Sugars - 45.1 g
  • Protein - 2.5 g
  • Calcium - 26.4 mg
  • Iron - 0.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 28.5 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet, large enough to hold 4 squash halves, with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2

Cut squashes in half remove seeds and fibers. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake about 1 hour.

Step 3

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 1/2 cup apple juice, sugar, cloves and nutmeg. Cook over low heat until cranberry skins pop.

Step 4

Combine remaining apple juice with cornstarch, mixing well. Gradually stir into cranberry mixture. Heat just until thickened.

Step 5

Turn baked squash halves over and spoon cranberry mixture into squash halves and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Return to oven and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Step 6

To microwave: Cover squash halves with plastic wrap. Microwave on 100% power 12-18 minutes, until soft to touch. Cook cranberry mixture on 100% power 5-8 minutes, stirring once or twice. Fill squash halves and heat in oven as above, or microwave until heated through.

Nutritional InformationShow More

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 308
  • Calories from Fat 55
  • Total Fat 6.2g 9 %
  • Saturated Fat 3.7g 19 %
  • Trans Fat 0.2g 0 %
  • Protein 2.0g 4 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 15mg 5 %
  • Sodium 235mg 10 % Potassium 0 0 % -->
  • Total Carbohydrates 67g 22 %
  • Dietary Fiber 4.4g 17 %
  • Sugars 43g 0 %

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Ratings & Comments

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This sounds yummy. I love any kind of squash so I will try this soon. Thank you for the great recipes.

I love acorn squash. I usually make it in the microwave, cut side down in a 8x8 baking dish with a small amount of salted water in the bottom of it (sorry I'm not sure of the time I start with 10 minutes and keep checking it) I followed the recipe above and loved it, the cranberry with the squash is a perfect combination and the nuts put it over the top! Everyone loved it and suggested I make double the next time!

This is an easy recipe and very tasty - the cranberries are a good addition to the squash. It makes a pretty presentation at the table, too. I don't understand the other comments - who does it benefit to say you're goint to try the recipe or that you're tired of other vegetables. Try it and then comment - this isn't facebook.


I've been looking for some squash recipes, so tired of potatoes and rice. I'll let you know what i think.

As asouthener, I have never cooked or eaten acorn squash. It will be my new item this week.

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The Story

This is a lovely and simple dish to prepare that uses an indigenous fruit, cranberries. Loring had initially sent us a recipe that she thought was her Aunt Laurinda&rsquos, but as it turns out, Loring had altered the recipe. The recipe we made on TV is her aunt&rsquos but I included Loring&rsquos adaptation as well. The message - it&rsquos OK to make changes, experiment or substitute ingredients.

By slicing a small portion of the bottom of the acorn squash you prevent the squash from being tippy. Loring warns us that lopping off too much, however, can cause a leaky boat! You can also use the acorn squash boat to hold any ingredients. I've done them with raisins, walnuts, maple syrup and a dab of butter.

Don't miss a show or an heirloom recipe! Sign up to receive regular updates from our blog via RSS or email, and stay in the loop.

“Up until trying this recipe, I had never tried acorn squash and neither had my children. I’m happy to say that we all loved this recipe! The squash came out tender and full of flavor.”

A comforting dish for a weeknight dinner! It’s ready in under an hour and is perfect for a chilly fall night.

  • 2 large acorn squash
  • 3 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place squash into a large pot of boiling water boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer squash to a large bowl of ice cold water and set aside until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes.

Peel squash along the ridges using a vegetable peeler, then use a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon to dig out peel in the valleys of the squash. Slice squash in half and remove seeds and stem. Cut remaining squash into bite-sized chunks.

Combine squash, apples, celery, onion, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.

Combine brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add to squash mixture and toss well to combine. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add water and dot the top with butter. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven until squash is fork-tender, about 1 hour. Add some liquid halfway through to prevent drying out, if necessary. Serve hot.

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I have made this for my family of picky eaters and it is a hit! It works with any mushroom at our local market and found the family LOVES my scratch made corn bread with the cranberries. Thank you for sharing this lovely dish <3

Lovely main. Used quinoa (1/3 cup dry), 8oz portabella, 1.5 TB fresh sage, a pinch of dried rosemary, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2TB olive oil in place of all the butter, 1/3c dried cranberries, and baked the squash (cut side down in 1" water, 35min at 400). Loved all those tweaks, thank you Epicurians! Next time I will repeat all of these and do a twice-baked preparation on the squash by mashing in a tsp or two of coconut oil into each half for some extra richness.

If you are making this as a side dish, half of an acorn squash is probably too much for one serving. 1 quarter sufficed for our Thanksgiving meal. It also works as stated with olive oil instead of butter for a vegan entree. I doubled the mushrooms with oyster and shitake varieties and used shallots instead of onion. I added freshly chopped sage and used about 1.5 tablespoons. I also rehydrated my dried cranberries in sherry in 2-30 second increments in the microwave. I finely chopped some whole wheat Greek toasts for the breadcrumbs and the consistency was perfect.

Just terrific. I used baby bell mushrooms and greatly increased the sage. Added fresh rosemary and garlic. Used Quinoa. Roasted the squash cut side down in glass dish for 35 minutes on 400 while I prepared the filling, which gave it a nice brown look. One cup of quinoa makes way more stuffing than you need to two acorn squash. Still, the stuffing was delicious on its own.

OMG. This was so much better than I expected it to be. I used crimini mushrooms, dried cranberries and subbed quinoa for half of the bread (cubes). I also added an extra half tsp of sage.

This was a big crowd pleaser. I substituted Butternut Squash for the Acorn Squash, because I like it better & it came already prepped from the market. I made it for a Pre-Thanksgiving pot-luck & everybody raved about it. I would only make it with the acorn squash halves if I knew exactly how many people I would be feeding. I used both currants & dried cranberries. To make it a little healthier I used 2/3 margarine & 1/3 butter.

I forgot to add to my review that I substituted rustic wheat loaf cubes instead of the bread crumbs. I don't think the stuffing would have been so delish with the bread crumbs and highly recommend the sub as did so many other reviews.

This was wonderful. I will use the stuffing recipe from this for many other dishes, it is exceptional. I used baby bella mushrooms and added two Farmer Johns breakfast links to the onion mushroom saute as I had not realized I was out of sage. I then found some poultry seasoning and added a bit of that as well. Had friends over for dinner and everyone raved about the stuffing. Squash was good as well but the stuffing was the real standout!!

made this dish years ago and than forgot about it. just made it again, added some ground turkey to the stuffing and thought it was delicious and pretty healthy all things considered because i only use about 1-2 tabl of butter.

So very yummy! I did substitute 1 cup of cooked quinoa for the breadcrumbs to make it gluten free, used fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme. My boyfriend that is very leary of any squash type dish even gave it a thumbs up!

This was a nice, easy weeknight recipe. I made the whole thing in the oven rather than the microwave, and I substituted brown rice for the breadcrumbs. I also added some grated parmesan to make the stuffing creamier. Next time, I think I will added toasted almonds or pine nuts to give it a little crunch.

This was a delicious and easy recipe! I happened to have all the ingredients listed (when does THAT ever happen) and it was super simple to make. I roasted my squash (35 min in a 400 degree oven, halved and seeded face down on a cookie sheet with 1/2 inch of water). After I stuffed them and put them back in for about 15 minutes I would have liked to see them get a little browner, but I didn't add sugar like some other reviewers did. I used all fresh herbs, and I happened to have some leftover cranberry chutney (from the whole foods cheese section) which was delicious! I may try using bread next time instead of crumbs, but it doesn't really need it. All in all a great recipe, would definitely recommend it for a cold winter evening!

I took this dish to a Thanksgiving potluck at work and it was a big hit. Even the manly men firefighters liked it, which says something about a dish with no meat. Some of these tips are mentioned in other reviews, but I'll repeat the ones I think were especially useful: 1. Use chunks of rye bread instead of breadcrumbs. I'm not the biggest fan of rye bread, but I think its sharpness is perfect for this dish. 2. Microwaving the squash as the recipe calls for might work, but I baked it for half an hour instead. Put about half a teaspoon of butter in each "cup" - I used more, but this was too much and it just puddled in the squash halves. 3. I used three kinds of mushrooms: about half crimini, one quarter shitake, and one quarter oyster. I like the mix, but when I make this again I'll use the butter I *won't* add to the baking squash to saute the mushrooms and onions and bread pieces. Butter might bring out the flavor of the mushrooms more than the olive oil I used. 4. More savory! Season the bejeesus out of the dressing as you make it. I went easy on the spices because it's a new recipe, but in retrospect I wish Iɽ put in more sage, thyme, and maybe even some red chili to give the flavor a little more depth and complexity. Rosemary or even cumin could be good, too. 5. More sweet! I used dried currants, but mixing in dried cranberries, or substituting all cranberries, might be good too. I also added a splash of maple syrup over the top of the stuffed squash before the final baking. I could barely taste it when the squash came out, though, so if you think this sounds good, be generous. If you add the syrup, you probably can skip the final dollop of butter the recipe calls for too. The sugar in the syrup will help brown the dish and give it a nice glaze.

This dish was excellent and I gave it 3 forks instead of 4 because I like to save 4 for recipes that truly blow me away. I took into consideration the other reviewers' suggestions and used quinoa instead of breadcrumbs (1/2 cup uncooked to make 1 cup). I used currants and also used fresh thyme instead of sage because I forgot to get sage. So, keep in mind my rating is also based on my modified recipe.

I baked this for a full 45-50 mins rather than use the microwave. I simply sprinkled some salt on it, and put about 1 teaspoon's worth of butter inside the hollowed out portion. I then baked for 35-40 mins like that and added the stuffing as per the recipe. Turned out way better than I would have thought.. will totally make this again.

I forgot to mention that the squash was a little mushy. I would take a few minutes off the time in the microwave next time and see how it goes.

I used craisins and added a little pork sausage when cooking the onions and mushrooms. The sausage had sage in it, so I didn't add the sage that the recipe calls for. It turned out delicious!!

Easy, impressive and delicious. I subbed rice for the bread crumbs to make it Gluten-free and sprinkled the edges with about 1/2 tsp of brown sugar and toasted pecans. The kids guzzled it up and went back to finish the extra stuffing.

yum. made this for a pre-thanksgiving potluck and it was so good. the sage really sets it off and yes I also followed suit and did it w 100% rye bread cubes from our local bakery..tasted great and was filling.

Not a huge fan of this recipe. I think the breadcrumb stuffing made it too dry and "bready", I think instead of breadcrumbs using rice or quinoa or couscous would be far more delicious. Despite that, the flavors were good - mushrooms and cranberries together. I will try this again but without the breadcrumbs and see how that goes.

As everyone is saying - this could not have been easier or prettier. I used bread instead of bread crumbs as recommended, and it was delicious (liked the texture of the bread crust occasionally coming through). I think this would be a great recipe base to try a hundred different variations for the filling.

I dressed up a box of ready to make stuffing by adding skiitakes, chopped onion, dried currant and sage. I stuffed the squash with this. Its a bit more seasoned than if I used the breadcrumbs the recipe indicates (shouldnt have used the sage). Acord squash is the perfect holder for this and the seeds are easy to scoop out. The best part is microwaving the squash, so quick and easy!

WOW! For Thanksgiving dinner, I had an unexpected guest who is vegetarian. I wanted something special for him along with the usual side dishes. This was a hit with everyone and a great display. The only change I would make was microwaving the squash a little less time - I found some were soft than expected.

Made just as suggested. The stuffing proved to be enough for two fair sized acorn squash from our garden. A fantastic recipe for Fall that goes well along side wild game.

Fantastic. with a few modifications. Microwaving was quick and easy, but I think baking with butter and a little salt will make the squash a little creamier. I did use bread cubes, added some extra hot water, and used thyme instead of sage (what I had on hand). I added some chopped bacon to the stuffing, and made the stuffing with half butter, half bacon grease. Next time, when I put the stuffed squash in the oven, I'll put a bit of boiling water in the bottom of the pan to make the cleanup easier.