Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

Brown sugar and apple stuffed acorn squash is an easy autumn recipe perfect for the slow cooker.  It takes just a few minutes to prep and gets all the ingredients into the Crock Pot.  As it cooks, the house will smell just like an apple pie with the wonderful scent of cinnamon and nutmeg.  There is no better sweet and savory fall harvest recipe.  Think of it as a crustless apple pie squash dessert to love.  Hands down this is the best acorn squash recipe for the slow cooker. 

These stuffed acorn squash are wonderful to serve at Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner in fall or winter.  It is a tasty side dish but I will be honest, these apple cinnamon stuffed acorn squash with brown sugar are an amazing dessert as well.  The sweet brown sugar apples in the rich savory acorn squash make every bite a comfort food classic similar to pumpkin or sweet potato pie.   Bonus, the flesh and apples can also be scooped out to puree for the whole family to enjoy acorn squash, including toddlers and babies.

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash PN1 plated half an acorn squash cut open cooked stuffed with apples and an acorn squash and apple in the background


Ingredients for Slow Cooker Acorn Squash

This stuffed acorn squash recipe only uses 6 ingredients.  You will need a large acorn squash, salted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and an apple. I recommend using your favorite apple for baking, such as a golden delicious or a granny smith, which is what I am using.  

Acorn squash is gluten-free and paleo food.  (minus this recipe that adds plenty of sugar! ) However, it is not a keto or low-carb food.  You can find out more also on the Health Benefits of Acorn Squash. It is still a very healthy food and has plenty of reasons to enjoy it.  For nutritional information such as calories and carbs, here is how it is based on a cup of raw acorn squash – 

Nutrition Facts
Sources include: USDA
Amount Per
Calories 56
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 4 mg 0%
Potassium 486 mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 15 g 5%
Dietary fiber 2.1 g 8%
Protein 1.1 g 2%
Vitamin C 25% Calcium 4%
Iron 5% Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 10% Cobalamin 0%
Magnesium 11%


Acorn Squash Stuffing Ideas

This is a vegetarian slow cooker acorn squash side dish that is easy to prepare and takes on a few hours to cook on low.     But if you want a more savory version that is filling enough for the main course, you can try adding a few of these additional ingredients to make slow cooker acorn squash: 

  • Add cooked crumbled sausage to the apple stuffed acorn squash
  • Add cooked crumbled bacon to the apple stuffed acorn squash
  • Add dried cranberries or raisins to the apple stuffed acorn squash
  • Use half an apple and a pear for a fruit medley stuffed acorn squash


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash ingedients


How to Cut Acorn Squash

The key when cutting an acorn squash for stuffing is to make sure the two halves are the same size and the bottoms are flat.   Here are the best steps to prepare and cut an acorn squash for this recipe.

  • Cut it across the middle horizontally to expose the inside cavity of fibers and seeds. 
  • Slice off the ends (the stem and pointed end) so that the bottoms will be flat.


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash slice off the bottom so it will sit flat


How To Prepare Acorn Squash for Stuffing

Once it is cut in half and the bottoms are even, it is time to scoop the acorn squash halves out clean.  Use a medium-sized metal spoon to scrape out the fibers and seeds inside the halves.  Each cavity should be fairly deep and plenty big for filling them up.  They are now ready for the apples and other ingredients we will be using to stuff these acorn squashes before they go in the slow cooker. 


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash cut in half and one side has the seeds scooped out



How To Make Acorn Squash in the Crock Pot

You will need a large oblong Crock Pot for this slow cooker acorn squash recipe.  Each squash half will be fairly large and to get them in a single layer on the bottom insert.  Therefore, a small round slow cooker will not work well with this recipe.   

Begin by placing each acorn squash in the bottom of the slow cooker. You will divide all the ingredients in half so each squash has the same amount of ingredients.  First, add the diced apples and top with the diced pieces of butter into the cavities of each one.  Next, sprinkle with the spices evenly over each half.  The final step will be to pour in the water slowly around each acorn squash.   The water will help create the steam that will help cook the brown sugar and apple stuffed acorn squash to soft and tender perfection.  


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash overhead of crock pot insert with stuffed squash ready to cook


Cooking Acorn Squash in the Slow Cooker

For how long to cook the acorn squash in your Crock Pot, the best setting would be to do so on low for 3-4 hours.   It will depend on the size of your squash halves, so adjust slightly and start checking around the 3rd hour. You will know the slow cooker acorn squash is ready when the apples and squash are soft and fork-tender. 

Remove each carefully from the slow cooker and place it on a plate or cutting board.  Cut each half into two equal-sized pieces.  This recipe is for 4 servings and is plenty as a side dish to your favorite meal. Serve immediately while warm.  It will be sweet and a bit savory.  


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash cooked and ready in the Crock Pot insert



What to Serve with Acorn Squash

For great main course or other side dish ideas, try one or more of these recipes that all goes well to serve and pair with acorn squash.  All these savory meat or vegetarian, entrees, and sides are perfect to cook and eat the next time you make this slow cooker acorn squash. 


Smoked Beef Short Ribs
The best way to make short ribs in my mind is in the smoker.  The low and slow method of smoking meat breaks down the meat and renders the fat for the most delicate fall-off-the-bone short ribs you will have ever had. 
Check out this recipe
Smoked Beef Short Ribs featured portrait plate of ribs in the center and parsley and napkin utensils in the top left


Paleo Greek Chicken Thighs
Juicy chicken thighs browned in a cast iron pan and cooked in a wonderful lemon sauce with Greek ingredients like olives, capers, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. A bright and flavorful easy one-pan meal that anyone on a paleo, gluten-free, keto, low-carb, or Whole30 diet.
Check out this recipe
Paleo Greek Chicken Thighs featured diagonal full pan


Ultimate Broccoli Alfredo Chicken Roll-ups (rollatini style)
Chicken roll-ups filled with 3 kinds of cheeses and broccoli then baked with alfredo sauce are a must-have dinner for weeknights and special occasions.
Check out this recipe
broccoli alfredo chicken rollups rollatini style


Butternut Squash, Apple, and Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
Butternut squash and kale make the perfect Fall salad. The crunchy pecans, crisp apples, sweet raisins, and roasted butternut squash make the most amazing Autumn harvest salad recipe.
Check out this recipe
Butternut Squash, Apple, and Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette


Deep-Fried Sweet Potato Fries
Homemade deep-fried sweet potato fries are a quick and easy family favorite recipe. This fantastic method to deep fry & season them makes the best appetizer or side dish.
Check out this recipe
Deep Fried Sweet Potato Fries featured overhead of plate of fries and dipping sauce


How to Dry Brine a Turkey
In just 3 days you can have the perfect holiday bird. When you dry brine a turkey, it is so moist and juicy. This works great for turkey, chicken, and other birds.
Check out this recipe
pat salt for dry brine


How to Store or Freeze Acorn Squash

This acorn squash recipe stores in the refrigerator and freezes well. It is a great make-ahead recipe for that reason.  The acorn squash already cooked can store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  You can freeze acorn squash in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. To defrost frozen acorn squash, place it in the refrigerator to thaw for 2 days.  Acorn squash recipes reheat well in the microwave.  


Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash cross section of half a stuffed squash plated ready to eat





Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash PIN




Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash PINREDO overhead close up shot looking into the cut acorn squash filled with apples




Product Recommendations for this Recipe:



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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash featured overhead of apple cinnamon stuffed squash on a plate

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

This sweet and savory acorn squash recipe is a fabulous side dish. The taste of fall is wonderful in this slow cooker brown sugar acorn squash that is stuffed with apple and sprinkled with cinnamon.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Slow Cooker


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 apple
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ Cup water

Optional additional ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • apples & pear combo vs just apples

Savory Meats optional additional Ingredients - use only half an apple and then add the following:

  • ¼ cup cooked crumbled sausage or bacon


  • Cut the acorn squash in half horizontally across the middle. Slice off the stem or uneven bottom of the squash.  You want each half to be flat in the bottom of the slow cooker insert so that the other ingredients stay in place.
  • Scoop out the insides and remove seeds and fibers. Place each half inside the slow cooker insert
  • Core and cut apples in medium-sized cubes about 1/2" each. (peeled or unpeeled, whatever your preference is) Add half of the apple pieces to each acorn squash cavity.
  • Cut each tablespoon of butter into 4 cubes for a total of 8 tiny cubes. Add 4 tiny cubes to each apple stuffed acorn squash.
  • Sprinkle each acorn squash half with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon & 1/8  teaspoon of nutmeg.
  • Pour the water carefully into the slow cooker insert along the inside edge so that you do not pour it directly onto the squash but around it.
  • Next, place the lid on the slow cooker. Set it on low and cook for 3 – 4 hours. (depends on side of the acorn squash)
  • You know the apple stuffed acorn squash is ready when a fork pierces into the flesh easily and the apples are soft.
  • Carefully remove each acorn squash half from the slow cooker. Place on a platter and cut each into 2 large wedge pieces. It will be a total of 4 servings.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.7g 7%
Saturated Fat 3.6g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 63mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 25.9g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g 11%
Total Sugars 13g  
Protein 0.9g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 388mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Keyword Autumn, fall, gluten-free, grain-free, low carb, savory, squash, sweet, yellow

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