Ultimate Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Ultimate Stuffed Acorn Squash

The Native American “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash—come together in these individual holiday entrées stuffed with corn pudding and black beans.



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3 Tbs. olive oil
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4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.), divided
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4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
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½ tsp. ancho chile powder, plus more for sprinkling squash
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½ tsp. ground coriander, plus more for sprinkling squash
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3 cups fresh or frozen organic corn kernels, divided
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⅔ cup yellow cornmeal
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1 tsp. sugar
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½ tsp. baking soda
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½ tsp. salt
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⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
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1 cup low-fat buttermilk
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2 large eggs
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4 Tbs. melted butter or olive oil
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3 oz. soft goat cheese or low-fat cream cheese (⅓ cup)
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3 oz. grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (¾ cup), plus more for sprinkling tops, optional
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1 ½ cups cooked black beans or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
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1 large poblano chile or 1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
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8 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling tops


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine oil and 2 tsp. minced garlic in small bowl. Brush squash halves with garlic oil, and sprinkle lightly with ancho chile powder and coriander. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and place on large baking sheet.

2. Pulse 2 cups corn kernels in food processor until finely chopped and milky. Set aside.

3. Whisk 1/2 tsp. each coriander and ancho chile powder into cornmeal, along with sugar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne (if using) in medium bowl. Set aside.

4. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in separate bowl. Whisk in butter, then puréed corn, remaining 1 cup corn kernels, goat cheese, Cheddar, and remaining 2 tsp. garlic. Fold in cornmeal mixture with spatula, then fold in black beans, poblano chile, and green onions.

5. Divide filling among squash halves. Sprinkle each squash with extra Cheddar (if using).

6. Bake squash halves 30 to 45 minutes, or until squash are tender and filling is set. Sprinkle with green onions. Squash can be prepared 24 hours ahead, then reheated 20 minutes at 325°F.

Nutrition Information: 

15 g
Total Fat: 
20 g
Saturated Fat: 
10 g
53 g
80 mg
533 mg
8 g
6 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

This looks great, but very heavy on the milk, oil, fat and cheese. I'm going to try this, but cut down on all of the above. I bet it would be just as good without it.

My family loved this recipe. Only thing was that the squash kind of dried out. And I did substitute gruyere for the sharp cheddar since that's what I had on hand.

I loved this recipe but the cooking instructions I would change. First I would prepare the squash as directed but the oven I will set at 450 degrees and cook the squash itself for 30 minutes by it self then take out and stuff with the cornmeal mixture, cook another 30 minutes .

This was a delicious and crowd-pleasing treat. Two things 1) I cut the dairy in half, and it only made it better 2) the print magazine has a great tip for cooking the squash: after it's cut in half, cut a thin slice across the bottom edge so that the squash sits flat on the cookie sheet. Do it! This saved the topping from oozing out and the squashes from toppling over while baking. For me, 45 minutes at 350 worked perfectly.

Sams dinner

This was sooo good!!

I tried this with both delicata and acorn squash. The filling is great but the cooking times are all wrong. Similar to what Caprice mentions, I suggest cooking 400 unfilled for 30-45 min, then stuff and cook another 30-45 min.

Loved this but definitely the cooking time was way off

Had this tonight. It was the best acorn squash I've made. So savory and so many flavors.

Rich, decadent filling and beautiful presentation--great for a special occasion. Like others said, cooking time way off (too short). I did what Paul A did: first cook squash unfilled. 30-45 minutes unfilled. 30 minutes filled. 350 degrees worked for me. No ancho chile powder so used regular chili powder to taste and more coriander. I will definitely make this again.

I have prepared this twice and both times had rave reviews! The cooking time depends on the size of acorn squash. I used big squash and of course increased the cooking time accordingly. Great Recipe!

Can anyone suggest how to make this vegan?

Made this after Thanksgiving this year: WOW! WOW! WOW! My 7 yr old granddaughter ate 2 squash halves and wanted more! My son-in-law called the dish a "Home Run". The cooking time does depend on the squash: the thin ones cooked right but the thicker ones needed 45min to one hour longer. Still - great recipe!

I saw a recipe for acorn squash with cranberries in it, I think, from 2010 but cannot find on the website.

WOW! This is EXCELLENT! and makes for a great holiday or fancy dish. My NON vegetarian friends LOVED it. I have made this twice and will make it again!!

what an awesome meal! I divided in half for 2 portions and had a little left over stuffing as a side dish for another night. My non veg husband loved it!

This is was excellent as written, but I liked it even better when I used the leftover filling to stuff Anaheim peppers. Not as pretty a dish, but absolutely delicious.

Great! Love it! will share with all my friends!