Fill roasted acorn squash “bowls” with sautéed mushrooms, chopped walnuts, couscous, and fresh thyme, and you have a festive and nourishing meal. A bit of melted butter and Parmesan cheese make it even better. The tender squash goes beautifully with the savory flavors of the filling, and the protein-rich mushrooms and walnuts are satisfying without making you feel over-full.
Roasted acorn squash halves make beautiful and tasty bowls for both sweet and savory fillings. I love apple-filled roasted squash, but I was recently looking for a way to use my acorn squash more as a main dish. Then I read a post titled Loaded Tofu, Basmati Rice & Apple Roasted Pumpkin on Amanda’s lovely blog, What’s Cooking. The title meal itself sounds delicious, and in this post, Amanda goes on to write about the versatility of the fillings as well as the squashes that can be used for stuffing, and she mentions brown rice, mushrooms, and walnuts as a possible filling. A little lightbulb went off in my head when I read this, because I had mushrooms, walnuts, and couscous on hand, and a pretty acorn squash sitting on my kitchen counter.
A suggestion turned into a delicious meal. Thank you, Amanda! The tender squash is a delicious, edible bowl for the savory mushrooms, couscous, walnuts, and thyme. You can really mix and match your filling ingredients, and prepare them while the squash is roasting. I happened to have leftover garlic-seasoned couscous in the refrigerator, but rice or quinoa would be good too. And if you wanted to add more protein, you could add some cooked shredded chicken or other ingredients. The possibilities are endless, so this recipe is merely one option, though a very delicious one! The recipe below is for one squash, which feeds about two people, but it can easily be doubled or more, if you are feeding a few people, and the amounts are estimates, because some of it depends on the size of the squash you are filling.
Using a roasted squash for a bowl is fun and seasonal. And if you are like me, sometimes you may need a little urging to use that squash. I end up with them sitting on my counter with the best of intentions, and though they look decorative on the counter, they need to be used! This is a relatively easy, lovely, healthy, and tasty way to use it. Rustic elegance on your table in a little over an hour, and much of that is oven time.
The fall color here continues to amaze me with its beauty. Everywhere I look there are beautiful trees. I am really hoping to get out into the woods this weekend. The natural luxury and bounty of this season is always inspiring to me. Nature is so generous with its display of sumptuous colors and textures, and looking around, I can see every shade of yellow, brown, red, and green. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen.
Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash
- One small to medium sized acorn squash
- 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked couscous (rice or quinoa can also be used)
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, sautéed
- 1/4 cup of raw walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stems
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to base. Spoon out the seeds. Place the halves cut-sides down in a buttered baking dish. Roast in your 375 degree oven for 35 to 50 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork or knife. (The roasting time will depend on the size of the squash).
While the squash is roasting, prepare your filling. Cook the couscous and sauté the mushrooms. Chop the walnuts and remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Mix the filling together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and anything else you like.
When the squash is tender, pull it out of the oven and flip it over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and rub with a couple tablespoons or so of butter. Spoon the filling into the squash “bowls”, packing the filling as high as you want it. Put the filled squash back into the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the filling is warmed all the way through. In the last five minutes or so, top with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm. Enjoy!