Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash – all fall flavors in one dish

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Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash – it’s a Fall on a plate; Turkey with Apples, Cranberries and dried Thyme stuffed in a sweet Acorn Squash makes for an irresistible combination of fall flavors.

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash with apples, cranberries and thyme on blue plate

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash – screams Fall on a plate

Who doesn’t love all the fall flavors? This the season: pumpkins, squashes, apple cider, turkey, etc. Even though I am trying to share my heritage on this blog, I cannot simply disregard this wonderful season and not share something that I developed and it’s out of this world – my Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash.

A little while ago we drove to the east of Long Island to spend half a day on the farms, get a pumpkin, apples, and whatever else we could have found. Our aunt, who used to live around there and knows me and my unconditional love for fresh, good quality food, showed me where I can find the best quality produce.

The first stop was a huge farm stand. You could get there anything you wanted. I bought there everything. I mean everything: white cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, different kinds of squashes…. etc. I cannot even remember what else was in my basket. But one of the squashes was the Acorn Squash.

Whole Acorn Squash

Cooking with Acorn Squash

I’m very comfortable with Butternut Squash. I absolutely love it and cook it often. You can check one of my favorite butternut squash recipes: Truffled Butternut Squash and Mushroom Soup. or Roasted Butternut Squash Feta Pierogi.  Acorn Squash is different, though, and requires different cooking methods.

Except for summer squashes, like zucchinis, winter squashes are not very popular in Poland. Maybe they are right now, but for sure I did not know them when I was growing up. And because I do love trying new things and pushing my comfortable buttons, I decided to tackle this amazing vegetable (or should I say fruit, as it technically is a fruit because of its seeds). I knew I could roast it and I knew I could stuff it. That’s how my Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash was born.

One night I told my husband that I wanted to make this squash, stuffed with turkey. It didn’t resonate well with him. He told me that, “again, I am turning him into vegan”. The fact that it was filled with meat didn’t matter. What was important is that I was serving the WHOLE veggie for him and this was supposed to be a star of the night.

Even though he likes to complain about vegetables, I usually do what I have planned to do. So, I served it. He took the first bite. And there was a silence. And then he looked at me and said: “do never do that to me again…and that’s all I’m gonna say”. He was simply speechless. That’s how amazing my Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash was.

Cut up acorn squash

How to Make Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash with Ground Turkey

Ever since this dinner, my husband kept telling me: “you need to put it on the blog”, “you need to put it on the blog”. And this weekend, he said it again, “please make this acorn squash dish and post it”. It’s AMAZING and the season is here.

So, here we come. It was our dinner last night and it was pretty spectacular.

  • It takes some time, just because the squash needs to roast, but it is very simple. Once you cut the squash and remove the seeds, it needs to be brushed with olive oil, seasoned, and baked for an hour.

Roasted cut up acorn squash on a baking sheet

  • In the meantime, you need to make the stuffing.
    • First, brown the turkey meat;
    • Then took it out and in the same pan saute some onions with dried thyme and celery; the fragrance will be amazing already;
    • Add apples, dried cranberries, and put the meat back to the pan;
    • Cook it for a while;
    • Add a little chicken stock to loosen it up;
    • Add  breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and you’re done;
    • Season with salt and pepper and wait for your squash to be done roasting.
  • Fill the squash with the turkey staffing and place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes and your incredible Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash is ready to be consumed. Enjoy 🙂

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash on a blue plate

How to Alter This Recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you need to alter this recipe here are a couple of options:

  • If you want to make this recipe Paleo-friendly, skip the breadcrumbs and cheese;
  • If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, replace turkey with quinoa or with lentils as I did in this recipe for Lentils Stuffed Acorn Squash.
  • If you want to make this recipe vegan, replace turkey with quinoa or lentils and omit the cheese.

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash with apples, cranberries and thymeThis post was originally published on November 8, 2015, but because it is so popular and the season for squash is back I decided to update it and bring it back to life.

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash - it's a Fall on a plate; Turkey with Apples, Cranberries and dried Thyme stuffed in a sweet Acorn Squash makes for an irresistible combination of fall flavors.
4.90 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 474kcal
Author: Edyta


  • 1 Acorn Squash large or 2 small ones , cut in the half
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 Yellow onions large or one small one, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 apple peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs plain
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Cut the bottom and the top of the squash to have flat surfaces on both sides
  • Cut the squash in the middle (vertically)
  • Using a spoon scoop out all the seeds
  • Brush both halves of the squash with olive oil, season with garlic salt, and pepper
  • Place the squash in the oven and roast for 50 min to 1 hour
  • In the meantime heat up another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet
  • Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the meat is cooked through
  • Remove the meat from the pan
  • Add some more olive oil
  • Add onions and dried thyme and cook until the onion is translucent (5 minutes)
  • Add celery, apple, and cranberries and cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • Return the meat to the pan
  • Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper and cook for another 3 minutes
  • Add breadcrumbs and cheese
  • Stir everything well and check for seasoning
  • Fill out the squash with the meat stuffing
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.



  • I used one big Acorn Squash and I ended up with a little bit of meat stuffing left out. If you have smaller squash you may want o use 2 small ones instead of one big squash.
  • If you need to alter this recipe here are a couple of options:
    • If you want to make this recipe Paleo-friendly, skip the breadcrumbs and cheese;
    • If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, replace turkey with quinoa or lentils;
    • If you want to make this recipe vegan, replace turkey with quinoa or lentils and omit the cheese.


Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 1557mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 995IU | Vitamin C: 28.5mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 3.8mg
Tried this recipe?Show me @eatingeuropean or tag #eatingeuropean!


Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apples and Cranberries on a blue plate

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy these fall favorites:

Slow Cooker Turkey BreastSlow cooker turkey breast


Truffled Butternut Squash and Mushroom SoupTruffled Butternut Squash and Mushroom Soup


Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Candid Pecans, Craisins and ChivesMaple Mashed Sweet Potato with Candid Pecans, Crasins and Chives


Leftover Turkey SoupLeftovers turkey soup


Leftover Turkey Spanish RiceLeftover Turkey Spanish Rice


Maple Mustard Glazed TurkeyMaple Mustard Glazed Turkey


Sourdough Mushrooms Leeks and Bacon StuffingSourdough Mushrooms Leaks and Bacon Stuffing

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  1. Wish I had followed your recipe here instead of another one I found…
    Anyway, Would it be okay to omit breadcrumbs next time I make this?
    Thank you

    1. I don’t. The flush will be very soft and when you put it on the fork, it will take some of the meet mixture with the flush. It’s super delicious!

    1. I’m not sure fresh will do the same work as the dried ones are sweeter. You can try but I cannot guarantee that the taste will be the same.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight, super yummy!! The dried cranberries make this dish! I made with a leftover rotisserie chicken. Since I obviously didn`t have to cook turkey I sauteed the onion first but added the apple right away. I had to omit the thyme as I didn`t have it on hand. I used 1 squash which was pretty regular-sized and I wished it had more flesh to it. Half of a squash is a great portion size. The bread crumbs don`t seem to be necessary but I liked them as they added nice texture. I could see adding almond slivers as well. Thanks for a great recipe, I will make this again!

  3. 4 stars
    When I told my husband this was for dinner, he was less than enthusiastic. He’s not a fan of acorn squash. I made it anyways because I love squash and the pictures looked amazing.

    He loved it. He loved it so much, he said, “Acorn squash was on sale…I’m thinking about going out tonight to get some more so you can make this again.”

    I’m happy to report that this tastes just as good with turkey breakfast sausage. We also had a little leftover stuffing in the skillet which my husband ate with a spoon.

    1. Hi Brittany, thanks so much for letting me know:) That’s super funny because when I told my husband for the first time what I am going to make he thought I’m changing him into vegetarian. Once he tried this dish, he went silent and said that it needs to go on the blog 🙂

    1. Not sure about calories. I am not a nutritionist and asa food bigger I don’t think privileged to provide this kind of information. I’m sure there is plenty of website that can help you out with counting the calories.

    1. Breakfast sausage is cooked so it will have a different flavor, but you can try. I think that raw sausage would work great. You will just have to remove it from the casings and follow the rest of the recipe. Be careful with the seasoning though as the sausage is already seasoned.

  4. This looks delicious and I intend to try it. However, if you used dried thyme, what is the bright green herb leaves in it and on the plate in the photos?

  5. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorite recipes. My husband drools everytime I make it. I was wondering if there was a way to convert it to a casserole to bring to a potluck?

    1. Hi Tavonya, thanks so much. I’m really happy that you guys like this recipe. What I would do to convert it to casserole is either scoop out the flash from the squash (I would bake 2 or 3 squashes and either double or triple the recipe) and top it with turkey mixture or peel the squash, cut it in cubes and roast and then placed at the bottom of the casserole dish and top it with turkey mixture. I hope it will work 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    as someone who loves squash but has a spouse who doesn’t, this one please us both. This is a great recipe. I’m on a second go at this recipe this evening. Who knew you could get all the flavors of Thanksgiving in one dish (minus the gravy of course). A healthy and delicious feast of fall goodness!

  7. 5 stars
    This dish was so so delicious!
    My 15 month old loved it, my husband and sister who said they don’t like acorn squash loved it. I loved it! Will be making again!

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I have made this several times. I also add a little grease or parchment paper to the baking sheet to help get the squash off cleanly.

  9. 5 stars
    Really excellent flavors! Just as you stated, I had used all the other squash variants but never bothered with acorn squash, except maybe in soup. The dried cranberries and apple really tied everything together and using 2 small to medium squashes was perfect for my wife toddler and I.

    Thank you for sharing!

  10. I found this recipe several months ago and have made it many times. It is wonderful. I use 2 smaller acrons so I get 2 meals for 2 people out of the recipe. I am a Weight Watcher person so finding a low point recipe that is so filling and has a wonderful taste is an absolute plus. Thank you. I am passing it on to one of my WW buddies tomorrow.

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