Not all of our recipes are the centerpiece for a romantic dinner for two. Some, like this easy, vegan stuffed acorn squash recipe focus more on ingredients that can improve your sexual health and figure out how to make them incredibly tasty!
Chef Diane Brown, who not only creates all of our sexy menus for aphrodisiac dinners but is also an expert on eating seasonally and founder of family farm box, sent us this recipe to inspire us all to enjoy peak-of-season produce in winter when it is at its most nutritious and flavorful.
The combination of sweet acorn squash balanced by the flavors of earthy shallots, bitter spinach and that tangy pop of pomegranate seeds makes this a vegan dinner recipe to excite your senses.
How to prepare an acorn squash for stuffing
Before stuffing your squash, you need to cut it and remove the seeds. For this recipe, Diane cuts quarters the squash. This helps it cook faster.
How do you know if an acorn squash is ripe?
As we mentioned, for this vegan squash recipe, you want to showcase the best flavors of the season and that means starting with the best ingredients. Ripe acorn squash will have a beautiful, deep green color with a touch of orange. (The orange spot indicates where the squash sat on the ground.)
Once you’ve washed, quartered and removed the seeds from your squash, you’re going to roast it in the oven until it is fork-tender, about 30-40 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the squash because you’ll be returning it to the oven later.
Note that if you don’t like the flavor of acorn squash, you can make this vegan stuffed squash recipe with butternut squash halves. Wash, cut and deseed the butternut as you would the acorn squash. Just make sure to roast it until fork-tender before adding the stuffing.
Why you should make this vegan recipe with organic produce
To maximize the flavor of your seasonal, vegetable-based dishes like this roasted acorn squash with pomegranate, Diane recommends organic produce.
Buy it fresh from the farm whenever possible. There is a remarkable difference in flavor when you buy fresh produce. You may think your guests won’t notice the difference but this simple step can really make a dish sing. (And let’s not forget, it’s also good for your community and good for the planet.)
To get more of Diane’s tips on cooking with farm-fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients, check out Family Farm Box.
How to serve this vegan stuffed acorn squash
Of course, this dish also makes a flavorful and nutritious side dish recipe to serve with roast chicken, pork loin, white fish or even a steak. It is also a wonderful side dish choice (or even a vegan main course) for Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday meal.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach, Fuji Apples and Pomegranates
- 4 acorn squash cut into quarters, seeds removed
- olive oil salt & pepper
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 large Fuji apples cores removed, diced
- 1 cups bunch spinach thoroughly washed, about 4packed
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (kernels)
- Heat oven to 375.
- Place acorn squash on a baking sheet and season generously with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender to the probing of a fork.
- Remove from oven.
- While squash is roasting, heat a large skillet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until translucent, then add apples and cook until browned and juicy.
- Add spinach to the pan and cook until wilted.
- Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Distribute the spinach mixture on top of the squash and return to oven until the squash and spinach are heated through.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top and serve.
Pin this recipe for vegan stuffed squash with apples, pomegranate and spinach:
If you like this recipe, check out Diane’s cookbook, The Seduction Cookbook
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