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One of our family’s favorite Thanksgiving side dishes is Baked Acorn Squash stuffed with a crunchy graham cracker and cinnamon sugar crumble. Drizzled with maple syrup, this is a delicious and easy squash recipe that’s perfect for fall!
If you love this easy acorn squash recipe, give my Maple Roasted Acorn Squash a try, too!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Oven Baked Acorn Squash with Sweet Filling
This baked acorn squash is a Thanksgiving side dish my mom used to make, and one I look forward to every year.
My family’s recipe is wonderfully simple and so full of fall flavor! Today we’re taking tender acorn squash halves and filling them with a decadent brown sugar and graham cracker nut crumble, then roasting the stuffed squash until golden.
The warm acorn squash and sweet, buttery graham cracker filling are a perfect pairing. Plus, the subtle cinnamon spice, the crunch of chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup make this the perfect fall side dish!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This is a family-favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Here’s why you’ll love it too:
- It tastes like pumpkin pie! I like to think of this side dish as an individual serving of pumpkin pie with our holiday meal. The sweet-savory squash, graham cracker crumbs, and cinnamon sugar meld together and really resemble the flavors in pumpkin pie.
- It’s super easy. This easy acorn squash recipe is quick to prepare, and only takes up 15 minutes of precious oven time at Thanksgiving!
- A unique take on stuffed squash. In a sea of savory stuffed squash recipes, we love this easy acorn squash that’s stuffed with a crunchy, sweet filling.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This recipe is as easy as halving the squash, scooping out the seeds, filling, and baking! Below is everything you’ll need to make this sweetly stuffed acorn squash. Remember to refer to the recipe card for the full details.
- Acorn Squash – Two acorn squash serves roughly 4 to 8. See below for tips to recognize the ripe ones in the produce aisle.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – This recipe combines sweet graham cracker crumbs with melted butter as the basis of the filling.
- Cinnamon and Sugar – You’ll need light brown sugar and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to mix into your aforementioned graham cracker crumbs.
- Chopped Nuts – Walnuts or pecans are great, for a delicious crunch.
- Maple Syrup – As an optional garnish. Make sure it’s the real deal!
Is Acorn Squash and Butternut Squash the Same Thing?
Both acorn squash and butternut squash are considered to be winter squash. They’re also similarly sweet with a mild, nutty flavor on the inside. However, on the outside, acorn squash is acorn-shaped, and usually dark green. Meanwhile, butternut squash is longer and tan-colored.
How Do I Know When an Acorn Squash Is Ripe?
When choosing your acorn squash, here’s how to spot a ripe one:
- Look for squash that is heavy for its size. Acorn squash that’s too light or too large will be dry on the inside.
- Ripe squash will be smooth and dull, dark green. The skin should be hard and the “field spot” (the patch on the bottom of the squash that grew against the ground) will be yellow to orange, but not too dark. A shiny rind is a sign that the squash was picked too early.
- The stem is dry. A stem that’s a little whithered is a sign that the squash is ripened.
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
The house smells SO GOOD whenever we make this stuffed and baked acorn squash. I can’t wait for you to experience the magic for yourself. Here’s how easy this family recipe is to make:
Microwave the Squash: It’s much easier to cut and seed the squash by microwaving it first, to soften the skin up a bit. About one minute should do the trick. Afterward, slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Next, place the squash halves cut side down in a dish with water, cover them in plastic wrap, and place them back into the microwave to steam until tender.
Prepare the Filling: Toss the graham cracker crumbs and other filling ingredients with melted butter to coat.
Fill the Squash: Now, you’ll divvy up the filling between the acorn squash halves.
Bake: Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake the squash at 350ºF for about 15 minutes. Serve the stuffed acorn squash warm from the oven, drizzled with maple syrup!
Tips for Baking Acorn Squash
Some bonus tips for making perfectly baked acorn squash:
- How do you know when acorn squash is cooked? Your squash is baked through when you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
- The baked squash skin is edible. After a stint in the oven, the skin of acorn squash softens up enough to eat! Of course, if you’d prefer it without, the rind also peels away easily.
- Fix wobbly squash by ever-so-slightly trimming the rounded underside so that it’s level (see the recipe photo above for reference). Alternatively, you can place the squash halves upright in rings of aluminum foil.
- You can prep it ahead. Cut and seed the squash and make the filling a day ahead, then store them separately (squash in the fridge, filling airtight on the counter). They’ll be ready to combine and bake as soon as you’re ready!
This recipe for baked acorn squash has been a fixture at our holiday table ever since I can remember! Its sweetness makes it the perfect side dish with a savory Thanksgiving turkey and Classic Homemade Stuffing, or a succulent Christmas roast.
Here are some of our favorite festive side dishes to serve with baked acorn squash:
And of course, we’ll always follow up a holiday meal with a slice of Pumpkin Pie for dessert!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Due to the graham cracker filling, this baked acorn squash is best to enjoy on the day it’s made.
- However, you can store any leftover stuffed acorn squash sealed tightly, either in foil or in an airtight container in the fridge (just know that the filling will lose some of its texture).
- Reheat the squash halves in the oven, covered, at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. You can reheat them in the microwave as well, though the filling won’t crisp up.
Can I Freeze Stuffed Acorn Squash?
Yes, you can freeze the baked acorn squash halves. Once the squash has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or seal it in a freezer bag, and store it frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the acorn squash in the fridge overnight and then reheat it in the oven.Print
Baked Acorn Squash Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4-8 servings
This Baked Acorn Squash is a family-favorite Thanksgiving side dish! Made from oven-roasted acorn squash stuffed with a sweet and crunchy graham cracker and brown sugar filling. Perfect for fall!
- 2 acorn squash
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ⅓ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
- Maple syrup (optional garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Microwave the acorn squash stem side down for 1 minute. Remove carefully, slice in half, and remove the seeds.
- Place the halves cut side down in a microwave-safe dish and fill with enough water just to cover the bottom of the pan. Wrap the pan in microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave for 4-5 minutes until the squash is fork tender. Carefully remove the squash and transfer it to a baking sheet.
- Prepare the filling. Melt the butter and combine it with the remaining ingredients. Stir together until the crumbs are well-coated. Spoon the filling, dividing equally between the squash halves.
- Cover and bake for 15 minutes at 350℉. Serve warm, drizzle with maple syrup if desired.
- How to Store and Reheat Leftovers: Due to the graham cracker filling, this baked acorn squash is best to enjoy on the day it’s made. However, you can store any leftover stuffed acorn squash sealed tightly, either in foil or in an airtight container in the fridge.
- How to Reheat Leftovers: Reheat the squash halves in the oven, covered, at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. You can reheat them in the microwave as well, though the filling won’t crisp up.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: roasted acorn squash, stuffed acorn squash recipes, thanksgiving side dishes