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Baked Acorn Squash with Spinach


Acorn squash is our favorite winter squash. So many recipes for it as a side dish include butter with brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon. I'm not one for really sweet foods other than desserts and candy so, I wanted to incorporate another vegetable with the squash for a more savory dish.


Acorn squash is filled with amazing health benefits:

  • Cancer-fighting properties: Acorn squash contains a large amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants that have anti-carcinogenic effects on the body.
  • Men's health: This particular squash may help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. 
  • Protects against birth defects: Expectant mothers would do good to add acorn squash to their diet this fall and winter.
  • Immune system support: Eat acorn squash and protect yourself from this year’s cold and flu season.
  • Lung health: Asthma sufferers can help alleviate their symptoms by consuming acorn squash. 
  • Heart and cholesterol benefits: The beta-carotene in acorn squash prohibits the oxidation of cholesterol in the body, thereby preventing the progression of atherosclerosis. 
  • Arthritis alleviation: By using its anti-inflammatory benefits, acorn squash can help ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Acorn squash is jam-packed with beta-carotene, folate, potassium, manganese, copper, omega 3 fatty-acids, vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B6 and Vitamin C.





These things are all great but, the very best thing of all about acorn squash is the taste. Acorn squash is distinctive in its color and shape and is mildly sweet and tender. It has a richer, meatier flavor and more nutrients than summer squash.

All of this leads me to the recipe. The squash is baked twice: the first time for making it tender and the second for incorporating the good flavors of spinach, Parmesan cheese, a little bacon and spice. I had a lone tomato and placed it on top before baking, for added color and taste. Serving it in the half-shell, makes for a perfect serving bowl for this absolutely delicious side dish!
Here it is:

Ready for 2nd baking

Baked Acorn Squash with Spinach

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits or fry crisp 2 strips bacon
1 teaspoon softened butter
¼ teaspoon salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tomato slices

Method:

Cut squash in half, discarding seeds.
Place upside down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until fork tender.
Scoop out pulp, leaving a ¼” shell.
In a large bowl, combine squash, spinach, onion, bacon bits, butter salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and 4 tablespoons cheese.
Spoon into shells.
Top with tomato slice and remaining Parmesan cheese,
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until heated through
Serve

This is absolutely delicious and I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway!


Comments

  1. I am almost ashamed to say that I've never tried acorn squash before...other squashes, yes, but not this type. Thanks for highlighting all the health benefits...makes me want to try it even more now!

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  2. This looks so pretty stuffed in the shell! I usually get butternut but now I want to try this! Thanks!

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  3. Your recipe has Bacon in it, so I know my husband will love it! I am adding it to my weekend menu. Thanks for another great recipe, Pam!

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  4. I've never had acorn squash, I think its about time I gave it a shot, this looks wonderful!

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  5. What a lovely recipe and the health reasons for eating it are very interesting. I learnt something new today. Diane

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  6. A savory dish with acorn, love it.

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  7. Too often, recipes for winter squash include lots of sugar, which I don't care for, but this looks like something I could definitely get into. Serving it in the shell makes for a very nice presentation. I just added acorn squash to the store list.

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  8. I liked that you added bacon to this squash different. Adds a whole other dimension. Sounds very warming!

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  9. This looks awesome! I feel the same way about sweet foods that are not supposed to be sweet. Or why add more sugar to sweet potatoes when they are sweet enough on their own! I never liked acorn squash as a kid because my mom always made it with brown sugar and sausage. Yuck! Your way, Yum!

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  10. Un plato realmente delicioso, se ve estupendo. Saludos.

    PD. Espero que te animes a participar en mi concurso de mí blog, es internacional.

    Saludos

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  11. I love this idea and I'm going to make it, using the remains of our Swiss chard in the garden. And of course it would be better with Spam (oh come on, it's just a joke).

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  12. Last year was the first time I ever had acorn squash. I received it as a side to a dinner. I instantly fell in love. I usually make it with brown sugar and maybe maple but never stuffed like this. This is bookmarked and will definitely be the next one I try.

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  13. Thanks for the list of benefits the acorn squash provides. Great info and pictures.

    Plan B

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  14. I love acorn squash, but I've never had it stuffed... am going to have to try it! I do like it with butter & maple syrup :)

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  15. Thanks for another alternative to my usual baked squash..looks so good!

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  16. This looks and sounds very healthy and delicious.

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  17. Acorn Squash is VERY good! Yummy!

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  18. anything with spinach and bacon is GOOD to ME!

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  19. colorful n flavorful sidedish...looks mouthwatering...stuck and busy these days...wil catch up with all ur delicious posts soon....

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  20. Jenn, now you have to try it! It tastes great!

    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, thanks and hope you try this variety of squash.

    Linda www.mykindofcooking.com, hurray for the bacon! Have a great rest of the day!

    Kirby, go for it! I really think it's the best!

    Food, Fun and Life in the Charente, glad you liked it Diane! It's definitely one healthy food.

    Red, thanks so much!

    Big Dude, great! I hope you like it and I so agree with the sweet stuff.

    Fallon, thanks. The spinach surely added a great flavor to it and I hope you try it.

    Lyndsey, great minds think alike! Mom fixed squash the same as yours and making it this way, it tastes entirely different. I'm guessing you would really enjoy this dish!

    jose manuel, con mucho gusto participar. Gracias por haberme invitado.

    StephenC, that greats! I'm glad you like it and it would be wonderful with Swiss chard. I think you should seriously put Spam in yours and then you can tell Bill all about it. ;)

    Kristin, amazing with the foods we encounter and really like. Here's hoping you give it a go this way! Have a good evening!

    Chef Bee, you're welcome and thanks for the visit!

    Karen, it's good stuffed! Have a great evening!

    laurie, you're welcome. It pairs beautifully with spinach~

    Torviewtoronto, thank you! We really like it!

    Dimah, thank you. Have a great weekend!

    JG, I so agree. I love the flavor of it.

    BusyB, I hear ya! I agree!

    Sanyukta Gour(Bayes), thanks! You take it easy and have a good weekend.

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  21. Great way to get some healthy veggies. Lots of wonderful flavors. It sounds delicious. Thanks for the great health info. I really have to step up the veggie eating in my home. Maybe, I can get my kids to eat this. There is a good chance they will because there is bacon in it:)

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  22. I knew that acorn squash wasn't just another pretty little squash. Thanks for pointing out all of its healthy properties.

    Great looking recipe!

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  23. great information and wonderful recipe!

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  24. Raina, here's hoping your kids would like this. Bacon works!

    Mags @ the Other Side of 50, lol! It has a pretty fall color too.

    SnoWhite, thanks for stopping by.

    Zia Elle, thank you and have a great weekend!

    Pegasuslegend, glad you liked this and here's wishing you a fun weekend!

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  25. I too adore acorn squash...but I had no idea it had so many health benefits. This makes one of my favorite fall vegetables all the more enjoyable. Thank you for sharing the facts and the recipe. I'm off to buy a squash tomorrow!

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  26. Those squash really do look tasty. What a delicious side dish to any meal.

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  27. Monet, great! Enjoy!

    Lisa, thank you!

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  28. Thanks for the comment on my Sausage Apple Cups. They really are so easy and simply delishious. thinking of bringing them to relatives for turkey day.. we always have a "competion" of sorts "whos food dissapears first" lol

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  29. I didn't know the acorn squash, the recipe looks great!

    ciao
    A.

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  30. Beth, they are. Thanks!

    RED, competition can be a great thing!

    Alessandra, thank you! Hope you try acorn squash.

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  31. Great photo and great recipe. I don't Pam, but I lost you in the Blogs I follow; trying to fix this.
    Rita

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  32. Acorn squash will be on the shopping list this week! I love it, just cooked some last week! Thanks again for your recipe!

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  33. I love love love stuffed acorn squash, though I make it differently. Like you, cook 2x's 1st time soften then remove most of the meat of squash. Put aside, cook brown rice, mix that with the mashed squash, put to side. In skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil, add 1/2 to 1 onion (diced), 3-5 stalks celery (diced), fresh sage (about 3 teaspoons or to taste), parsley 1/2 cup minced, while that's slightly cooking (only till soft), add 1 teaspoon salt (sea salt), 1 teaspoon of cracked pepper, and 1 teaspoon of marjoram. Mix everything & re-stuff shells. Back 1/2 hr or till firm to touch. Oh, if you not allergic to nuts add 1/2 cup of pecans crushed to mixture before re-baking (use additional pecans to garnish).

    ReplyDelete

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