Maple roasted acorn squash with apples and pecans is sweet, rich and made with healthy whole ingredients. It’s delicious, looks nice and it’s super easy to make, and that’s a holiday winner.
I’ve been trying out some ideas for the holidays, and I’m on to a winner here. This is acorn squash and apple, sliced up and tossed with a little oil, some coconut sugar, some maple syrup and a few good dashes of cinnamon. And pecans! And then roasted for a bit. It is _so good_. And easy, really easy! And healthy too. And it looks really nice!
Can you see why I’m loving this?
I didn’t expect this to come out as a viable alternative to candied sweet potatoes (that’s a ‘Murican Thanksgiving thing, if you didn’t know, and it often involves marshmallows!) but it is. The squash soaks up the maple and gets even more sweetness from the apple, and the pecans. The pecans! They bring the whole thing together. With a little roasting, they get so crisp and their nuttiness just pops.
Anytime pecans show up, the whole event gets…eventier. Celebrations get celebrationier. Pecans have that power.
I’m bringing this to Fran’s Thanksgiving. Fran is Graeme’s mom, in case you haven’t met. I can’t wait! I think everyone will love it. I think I’m also going to make some veggie stuffed cabbage rolls for my mom and Brenna (Graeme’s sister, who’s also vegetarian) and of course me. Mostly me. It’s all about me when it comes to stuffed cabbage rolls.
But that’s another recipe, I promise. (oooh you’ll love them!) But back to the matter at hand: squash.
Hi, squash. You’re pretty!
You’d think, being into eating healthy and all, I’d be a squash master, flinging them into recipes like it were nothing. Cause squash is super healthy, full of vitamins and minerals and fiber and lots of good stuff. But no. Until this year, I’ve been terrified of cooking squash. I blame this on two things:
– a very unpleasant encounter I had with spaghetti squash as a child (I don’t know what went wrong, but it scarred me for life)
– that they’re so hard. You could club someone with a squash and do some damage. That scares me. How am I supposed to eat something that could double as a weapon?
Ok, I want to meet the person who wields squash as a weapon. A squash-wielding maniac. On second thought, I’ll just observe from a safe distance thanks.
But here’s the thing. That hardness is quickly and easily turned into buttery softness with just a little roasting in the oven.
If you’re like I was, and kind of intimidated by squash, I have good news. Sawing it in half is literally the hardest part of cooking it. Once you get through that, it’s plain sailing. Here’s the hard part, done. Scoop out the seeds and keep them aside to roast if you get around to it.
For this recipe, after I scooped out the seeds I just cut the squash into about 1/4″ thick slices. Then I roasted them with stuff.
How. Easy. Is. That! And they’re delicious! Of course, the maple roasting and apples and pecans and cinnamon helps.
I officially declare myself no longer afraid of squash. And ready for Thanksgiving! Bring it, yo.
For this recipe I stuck with apples and pecans to keep my squash company, but if you want to get wild and crazy and add raisins or any other dried fruit, it would be wonderful. And look extra pretty. I may add some dried cranberries when I make this for Thanksgiving. Or, I may not. Either way, this is a nice little dish.
As a postscript, after pics were taken and many little servings had, I stirred the leftovers into some brown rice and ate that for dinner. Yummy!
This recipe is enough to give four people a decently generous serving. If you’re sharing with more people than that or just want leftovers to squirrel away (tee hee), I’d double it.
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
Maple roasted acorn squash with apples and pecans is easy to make, healthy, and looks great on the table. Sweet, nutty and delicious.
5 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 Tbs your oil of choice
- 2 Tbs unrefined sugar (I used coconut)
- about 1/2 tsp cinnamon (use more if you like)
- few dashes salt
- few dashes fresh black pepper
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1 large tart/sweet apple (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala or McIntosh are good choices)
- 1/2 c whole pecans
- Heat the oven to 375. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then slice it into about 1/4 slices. Dump the slices onto a baking sheet.
- Drizzle the squash with oil, then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Toss with a spatula to coat. Roast the squash for about half an hour, taking it out to stir up midway through.
- Core and slice the apple (don't peel). Take the squash out and stir in the apple slices and pecans. Drizzle with maple syrup. Toss again to coat, then return to the oven and bake about 10 more minutes.
Pin it, and then you’ll have started getting ready for the holidays (yay!). If you make this, pop a pic onto Instagram for me! And tag it #eathealthyeathappy so I know. I know I’ll be sharing more recipes before Thanksgiving, but I can’t wait. Happy Thanksgiving you guys!!! You’re awesome xoxo