Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Squash

Cherry & Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pecan & Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash – It’s not my Mother’s Stuffed Acorn Squash! It’s a delightfully easy, sweet and savory dish!

Stuffed acorn squash
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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!!!

olive skillet bread rising

So I had bread, now what!?

Olive Skillet Loaf
Olive Cast Iron Skillet Bread sliced

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!

Fridge and freezer finds sfuffed acorn squash
Leftover Potato
Microwave acorn squash

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!

Salmon Sunday with Stuffed squash and  olive no knead skillet bread
Easter (Salmon) Sunday
Yes, my kitchen walls are as ugly as a hospital bathroom. Sorry! Someday we’ll afford to move outta here!

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.

Grilling chicken and stuffed acorn squash
Chicken legs with stuffed acorn squash

I hope you enjoy this Pecan Cherry Stuffed Squash! If you love this unique side dish, try Hope’s Rustic Corn!

Cherry & Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pecan and Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This fridge & freezer find was a complete surprise! Like the kind where you throw all the ingredients together & cross your fingers it turns out edible, but it turns out AMAZING!
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5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 298 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Squash and Stuffing

  • 1 Acorn squash Cooked & cut in half or 3-4 wedges
  • cup Idaho potato Cooked, mashed up. (optional)
  • ¼ cup Pecans Coarsely chop your pecans. Lightly toast them if you have time
  • 2 tbsp Dried cherries Coarsely chopped. I love Mariani Cherries
  • 1 ½ tbsp Butter
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper

For the Topping

  • 2 tbsp Butter Divided
  • 6 Ritz crackers Crush the Ritz (butter crackers) into small pieces. Saltines will work great, just reduce salt
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp Olive oil Extra virgin
  • ¼ cup Pecans Coarsely chopped
  • tsp Salt

Instructions
 

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.
    Cleaned acorn squash wedges
  • Mash about a 1/3 cup of cooked potato (skin removed) and add it to the bowl of squash.  (Optional)
    Leftover Potato
  • 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.
    Stuff the squash

Add the Topping

  • Top the stuffed squash wedges with the pecan topping. 
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the topping.
    drizzle olive oil on stuffed squash
  • 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!

      Notes

      • 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.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 3gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 368mgPotassium: 476mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 970IUVitamin C: 12.5mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1.5mg
      Keyword Acorn Squash, dried cherries, easy, fridge & freezer find, healthier, leftovers, pecans, potato, stuffed, Stuffed acorn squash recipe, sweet, sweet and savory, week-night vegetable, weeknight
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

       

      Nutrition Facts
      Pecan and Cherry Stuffed Acorn Squash
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 298 Calories from Fat 180
      % Daily Value*
      Fat 20g31%
      Saturated Fat 7g44%
      Cholesterol 26mg9%
      Sodium 368mg16%
      Potassium 476mg14%
      Carbohydrates 29g10%
      Fiber 3g13%
      Sugar 10g11%
      Protein 3g6%
      Vitamin A 970IU19%
      Vitamin C 12.5mg15%
      Calcium 63mg6%
      Iron 1.5mg8%
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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