Thanksgiving side dish: Stuffed baked acorn squash

Make enough cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving to use with stuffed baked acorn squash.

A Palatable Pastime
Baked stuffed acorn squash with cornbread stuffing is a delicious side dish recipe for Thanksgiving.

It can be a job trying to decide what to serve for the spread of food on Thanksgiving. So many choices! There are always so many new ideas each year, but I know some people just want to do the old standards. One of those is cornbread stuffing, which is a longtime favorite of my own. And invariably, there will always be some leftover. And after we have the turkey plate, then use turkey up in sandwiches or in other recipes, there is usually a bit of this still sitting there.

One great way to use cornbread stuffing up is with this recipe, which combines it with a few extra fruity and spicy ingredients to give acorn squash a little pizzazz. I do love squash! But you know, I have to admit I am a big fan of butternut squash with its creamy texture and wonderful flavor, roasted in simple but divine caramelized sweetness. Acorn squash just never could exceed that. A little watery, and perhaps too simple with a pat of butter and a splash of syrup, and then roasted.

But using the stuffing inside of them helps to absorb some of its watery texture, and the flavors of the stuffing permeate into its flesh and give it new life. The amount of stuffing I use is approximate, since the squash can really vary greatly in size. You can always make extra if you need it, or if you can’t fit all the stuffing in, just place the extra in a small oven safe dish or ramekin, wrap in foil and heat it as well.

Baked stuffed acorn squash
Serves 4

2 small acorn squash
2 cups cornbread stuffing
1/2 cup chopped Jonathan apples (about one small, cored and peeled)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Split squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.

3. Combine stuffing, apples, cranberries, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl and stir to mix.

4. Fill cavities of acorn squash with stuffing mixture.

5. Wrap each half of squash in a piece of foil, place all of them on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.

6. Unwrap and serve.

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Caramelized butternut squash

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