In addition to offering a variety of potential health benefits, acorn squash is delicious and very versatile.
It can be used as a healthy carb source and swapped for other starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin.
Due to its slightly nutty flavor, acorn squash makes an excellent addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
It can be baked or roasted in the oven, as well as cooked in the microwave for a quick side dish.
One of the most popular ways to prepare acorn squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle it with olive oil, and then bake the halves in the oven at 400℉ cut side down until tender for about 35–45 minutes.
Here are some more simple ways to incorporate acorn squash into your diet:
- Toss baked cubes of acorn squash into salads for a boost of color.
- Slice acorn squash into thin pieces and roast, which softens the skin, making it edible.
- Use puréed acorn squash in place of sweet potato or pumpkin for baking pies, breads and muffins.
- Stuff acorn squash halves with cooked quinoa, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and goat cheese for a delicious vegetarian dinner option.
- Mash baked acorn squash with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for a tasty alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.
Acorn squash is rich in nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. It also packs many beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoid antioxidants. As a result, acorn squash may protect against certain chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This brightly colored winter squash is a versatile ingredient that adds interest and flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Try this delicious stuffed acorn squash as a delicious side dish.
"Rice" Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- 1 bunch spinach thick stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
- 4 small acorn squash ~1 lb each
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cut 1/2 inch from the pointy end of each squash, then halve each through it's center. Spoon out and discard seeds. Rub squash with 1 Tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on baking sheet and roast, hollow sides down, until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet on medium. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, covered stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
- Uncover and cook about 6-8 minutes more, stirring occasionally until onion is very tender and beginning to turn golden brown. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place cauliflower rice in a microwave safe dish. Heat until warmed completely through. Place spinach on top of the rice and cover with a lid. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Transfer squash to a platter or individual plates, hollow sides up. Fold spinach and green onions into rice along with onion mixture, then spoon into squash halves to serve.
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