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.
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 –
|% 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%|
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Acorn Squash
- 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.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5.7g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 3.6g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25.9g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.1g||11%|
|Total Sugars 13g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*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.|
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