Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Fruit Stuffed Acorn Squash - Gluten Free and Vegan

Want to dress up a simple acorn squash with a berry dressing? This fruit and nut compote is absolutely fabulous and is made from frozen fruit! This makes a beautiful Thanksgiving treat for a vegan, vegetarian or someone gluten free. The squash, fruit, nuts, and chia seeds make it a hearty healthy side.

Acorn squash sometime tends to be on the bland side. I had some of my easy to make  peach and berry compote left over and realized it would be a perfect pairing for my seasonal squash turning it from good to great!

This  stuffed acorn squash was delicious.  I loved the berry and walnut flavors as they mingled with the squash.

Fall is starting to blossom all around us and the fall crops are abundant at the local farms.

The local farms are overflowing with winter squashes,
bright orange pumpkins, and all kinds of interesting looking gourds.

 This is the  peach and frozen berry compote that I had baked the other day.

Easy Way to Cook the Squash

Wanting to cook the squash quickly, I decided to steam it in a little steaming basket.

Place the steaming basket in a large deep pot with a lid ( like a spaghetti pot) 

I cut the acorn squash in two, removed the seeds. I then placed the two halves in the steamer basket ( it wasn't balanced but doesn't matter), placed the basket and squash in a large pot with a lid,  added some water, ( enough to cover just up to the bottom of the steamer, turned on the flame,  covered the pot, and let the squash steam on medium high for about 15 minutes.( you might need to add water as it evaporates to keep it from burning )

When the squash was ready ( it became soft, but not too soft), I removed it from the pot. I let it cool for about 15 minutes and then  added the compote. I added a few chopped walnuts to the mixture for a little crunch. We ( hubby and I) really enjoyed the sweetness of the compote in the bland squash.

This squash makes an elegant side dish. It is one of my favorites to serve when we have guests!

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 5 for the squash
Cook Time: 20 minutes for the squash
Prep Time for the compote: 5 minutes
Cook Time: for the compote 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 Squash halves

2 large acorn squash, cut in half, steamed, and seeds removed.

Filling for squash
4 peaches, washed , peeled , and sliced ( you could use frozen)
1/2 bag of frozen berry mixture.
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
1/2 Tablespoon of cinnamon if desired
1 Tablespoon of arrowroot powder
optional:  1 Tablespoon of pure maple syrup
10 walnuts, chopped

Directions for the steaming the squash: 
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and pierce the green skin with a fork . Place steaming basket in a pot and fill with water to the bottom of the steamer. Cover and steam until the squash is soft. Remove and cool.

Directions for the filling: 
Mix all the ingredients together except the walnuts. Put into a medium saucepan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stirring frequently.. Allow to cool , add in walnuts and mix, and spoon into the cavity of 3-4 steamed acorn squash halves.

My Notes and Tips:
1.  Amazon, Home Goods, Bed Bath and Beyond sells these little steaming baskets. They are great because you can steam anything and everything in them in much less time than it takes to bake. I make spaghetti squash, broccoli,  yams, cauliflower, beets, etc. in the little basket. It works so great and you don't lose nutrients by boiling away the vegetables.

2. This recipe is versatile. 
Thanksgiving;If you would like to make it for Thanksgiving, be sure to add fresh cranberries to your compote. 
Passover: Everything in this recipe meets kosher for Passover standards ( the chia seeds are questionable and may be left out and substitute potato starch or leave it out. It will still be great!

Rosh Hashanah: ( The Jewish New Year) Use apples in your compote !

3. You do not have to steam your squash.  You can bake or roast your squash too. 

4. Make the squash and the compote in advance. Just assemble before serving. I like it cold, if you do not then just warm up your squash and compote before serving. If you like it at room temperature or cold, then this will be a great time saver to free up your time and oven the day you serve.

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  1. I never had berries in squash. Interesting idea. Thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

  2. This looks so good, I could eat it now for breakfast! I just popped over from RealFood Fridays, and enjoy your link. I'd love to have you drop by and visit me sometime at Deb @ Kneaded Creations

  3. I eat a lot of summer squash, but tend to forget winter squash. Acorn squash in particular is one I don't often cook with. They do make for a nice bowl for the fruit!
    Thank you for linking, Judee.

  4. What a creative recipe! This would definitely make an impressive side dish. Thanks so much for sharing it at Saturday Night Fever!

  5. How creative and festive!

    Thanks for linking up to Great Tastes Tuesday!


  6. Looks and sounds inviting but I'm not sure about the arrowroot powder. I have not seen it in the store I usually shop, do you need to go to the speciality market?
    If I find arrowroot powder I'll try this. Thanks for the idea.

  7. This looks so pretty and I bet it is delicious! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Hi Judee,
    This lovely dish would make a special treat at my family's Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you for sharing this healthy and delicious recipe at the Plant-based Potluck Party!

  9. Your Frozen Berry Stuffed Acorn Squash looks wonderful, Judee! I love that it uses frozen berries for a little taste of sunshine with the autumn squash. Thank you so much for bringing this post to the Hearth and Soul Hop. Have a lovely week!

  10. What a delicious idea!! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up


Your comments are appreciated. I love knowing who is stopping by to read my posts! Have a great day.