Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chef Reina Gascon-Lopez
I was excited to try the single origin spices from Spice Tribe and wanted to create something delicious with some solid Fall vibes while being able to highlight the flavor of Spice Tribe’s Wild Cured Sumac, which has a lemony taste and is often used in Middle Eastern cooking. This is what I came up with; a plant-based meal that everyone gets to enjoy together that looks a lot fancier than it seems. Let’s get cooking!
- 2 acorn squash, cut in half and de-seeded
- extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- .5 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large stalk celery, diced
- 1 sprig fresh sage, kept whole
- 3 tsp. Spice Tribe Wild Cured Sumac
- 1.16 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 5.8 oz box roasted garlic and olive oil couscous, cooked (see note)
- .5 cup dried cranberries
- .5 cup roasted sunflower kernels
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Drizzle each half of the acorn squash with olive oil and liberally season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Roast the halved and de-seeded acorn squash on a Silpat or aluminum foil lined sheet pan open-side up for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size. The flesh should be tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Once they’re done, set them aside to work on the stuffing.
- In a 10” cast iron skillet over medium heat and using another drizzle of olive oil, sauté the diced yellow onion, celery, and sage sprig until the onion is slightly translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sumac and chickpeas, stirring until the chickpeas are warmed through.
- Remove the sage and discard the sprig.
- Taste and adjust any seasonings as needed. I didn’t need much salt since the sumac provided a nice citrusy flavor for the stuffing mixture (and remember, the couscous is flavored as well).
- Then, add the cooked couscous to the vegetable mixture making sure everything is combined.
- Fold in the dried cranberries and sunflower kernels.
- Turn the heat off and stuff each cavity of the acorn squash fully and put back into the oven to toast the tops for about 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove and serve each person their individual stuffed squash. Any leftover stuffing would be great as a cold salad, I used mine mixed in with some leafy greens for a nice lunch the next day.
- ¡Buen provecho!
Note: according to the package instructions for the couscous used in this recipe, it only takes 5 minutes to prepare once the water has boiled. I would suggest making this while you’re sautéing the vegetables for the stuffing so it everything stays warm and fresh. I prefer the garlic and olive oil flavor, but you can use plain couscous if you like.