We might be ready for spring, but the abundance of tubers and root vegetables and squash at the grocery store is a sure sign that winter is going to stick around a little bit longer. Just before a shift in seasons, I always like to have a last hurrah with some of my favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Bon voyage, celeriac! Bye-bye, butternut! See you in hell, beets!
(Beets are gross.)
So today, let’s celebrate acorn squash. And the best use for it: filling it with delicious stuff. Acorn squash has such a mild flavor on its own, but its size, hollowness, and sturdiness make it ideal for stuffing.
This recipe is loosely based on the famous Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good from Dorie Greenspan. It’s often served for Thanksgiving, but this version is just as suited for a weekend dinner–or even a weeknight, if you do some advance prep work.
The main difference between this Stuffed Acorn Squash and Dorie’s recipe is the lack of bacon and addition of kale. But don’t let that swap fool you! This recipe is still totally indulgent, with plenty of bread, cheese, and cream. It’s a little bit like a squash filled with strata or savory bread pudding.
After developing this recipe, Lindsey photographed it and came up with the idea to cut the acorn squash in half rather than cutting the top off like a pumpkin and stuffing the squash upright. This makes prepping and portioning the squash even easier. And this is also why it’s nice to have a photographer to test your recipes!
Photos by Lindsey Johnson
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Everything Good
A vegetarian version of Dorie Greenspan's Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.
- 4 large acorn squash
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small bunch kale 7-8 ounces, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 stale French demi-baguette cubed (mine was about 6.5 ounces)
- 2/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Use a sharp knife to cut each squash from stem to bottom. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and discard them. Rub salt and pepper on the inside of the squash.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook them for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are nicely browned. Fold in the kale and continue to cook until it wilts, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread, cheese, nutmeg, and cream and stir until combined. Divide the filling into the squash halves. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish lined with foil, then cover the entire baking sheet with a large piece of foil.
Bake the squash for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 30-40 minutes more, or until the filling is browned and crispy on top and the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
Remove the squash from the oven and allow them to set for 10 minutes before serving.
To get a head start on prep work, prepare the squash and sauté the vegetables up to a day in advance.