Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash – It’s not my Mother’s Stuffed Acorn Squash! It’s a delightfully easy, sweet, and savory dish!
Just like everybody else, I often find it hard to come up with ideas for dinner. I was looking for something to inspire me to make dinner and I had just read about this garlicky, salty skillet bread on the Food In Books blog. It was amazing! I served it with herbed olive oil that I made with parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Thanks, Food In Books, for the inspiration!!!
So I had bread, now what!?
That got me totally inspired to get creative in the kitchen and how I came up with this Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash recipe!
I did a fridge and freezer find and moved on to the pantry. I found 3/4 of an acorn squash, a cooked potato, and dried cherries, and it got me thinking about STUFFED ACORN SQUASH! All the stuffed acorn squash recipes online called for leftover rice or quinoa, and I didn’t have either. I thought of my favorite stuffed acorn squash that my mother makes. It’s by far the BEST acorn squash ever. I believe it’s from her old Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s half of an acorn squash stuffed with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, lots and lots of butter, cinnamon, pecans, and saltine crackers. It totally takes acorn squash to a dessert-level treat. Sooo much butter and brown sugar!
I recently asked her for the original recipe, since I just guestimated the ingredients. She confessed that there are two pages missing from her Betty Crocker cookbook, and one is the Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. So sad. Does anyone out there have the original recipe? If so, please email me!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
I wanted my squash filled with more nutritious ingredients than the rich butter pecan mixture, so I used the extra squash and mashed it up with some leftover potato. Next, I added chopped pecans, dried cherries, a little salt, pepper, and butter. As much as I tried to keep it more nutritious, I was still heavy-handed with the buttery pecan topping. SHAME ON ME!
I kept the topping similar to mom’s, just pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and crushed crackers. I didn’t have saltines, so I used crushed Ritz crackers.
Freezer Find – Salmon Filets!
I found some salmon in the freezer and thawed it in the ziptop bag fairly quickly under cold trickling water. Some of the best meals are fridge, freezer, and pantry finds tossed together. I slathered the salmon with my sweet and spicy salmon glaze. What an amazing meal served up with quick zoodles!
I didn’t get enough pictures so I went to the store and got another squash and we ate it again last week with jalapeno and leftover herbed olive oil stuffed chicken legs.
I hope you enjoy this Pecan Cherry Stuffed Squash! If you love this unique side dish, try Hope’s Rustic Corn!
Pecan and Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash
For the Squash and Stuffing
Prepare the Stuffing
- Hollow out the cooked acorn squash wedges, keeping enough squash integrity to hold up to stuffing & baking. Scoop the squash into a medium bowl.
- Mash about a 1/3 cup of cooked potato (skin removed) and add it to the bowl of squash. (Optional)
- Add a sprinkle of salt & pepper to the squash & potato mixture and mash it up until smooth. Warm it in the microwave for about a minute so it's warmed through and stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
- Add 1/4 cup chopped pecans to the squash mixture.
- Coarsely chop the dried cherries and add them all to the squash mixture. Taste and add a small pinch of salt if necessary.
Prepare the Topping
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, crushed crackers, remaining pecans, and 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave for about thirty seconds or until the butter melts. Taste, and if needed add a sprinkle of salt.
Stuff the Squash
- Divide the squash stuffing mixture between the acorn squash wedges.
- Using half of the remaining butter, dot the tops of the stuffed squash.
Add the Topping
- Top the stuffed squash wedges with the pecan topping.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the topping.
- Using the remaining butter, dot the top of the squash filling.
Use an 8×8" pan, or cast iron pan large enough to hold the squash wedges side by side. Add a couple tablespoons of water to keep the pan from burning.
Bake, broil or grill over indirect heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the top is browned and crunchy. Be very careful when serving. It will stay hot a long time!
- If you have a second acorn squash, you can cook and scoop out the insides and use add it as extra filling! I added potato to help fill the inside to discourage myself from filling it with a ton of butter, sugar, buttery crackers and pecans.
- If your squash is raw, carefully cut them in half from stem to end, then in half again. Clean out the seeds and innards and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Microwave with a little water, face down for about five-seven minutes, or until soft.)
- Pine Nuts or walnuts would be good also! Toasted nuts would be wonderful if you have the time!
- Dried cranberries are usually served with squash, but I had Mariani cherries!
- TIP: Make a small ring of foil and place it under the acorn squash wedges like pedestals, to hold the halves upright if needed.