I have one more new recipe for you for an easy side dish that will freshen up the turkey or ham leftover dinners. It is nice enough for a special meal, like Christmas eve, but easy enough for a Tuesday night meal too. Acorn squash is easy to cook and has a fresh squash flavor, mild yet not sweet like a butternut.
An acorn squash is usually green, but one with a bit of orange is OK.
Cut the squash in half, using the natural contour makes that easy.
Inside it looks a lot like a pumpkin.
Remove the seeds and the center membranes. I lightly oil the cut surfaces with grapeseed oil (so it won’t add any flavor to the squash) to keep the edges from drying out.
Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add a pat of butter to each side.
Bake at 350ºF for one hour. The butter will be in a melted pool when you take them out of the oven.
Rake the flesh into the butter and mix up, like you were doing mashed potatoes.
If you like, add a few drops of White Truffle Oil for an extra dimension of umami flavor.
My Sweet Babboo likes his out of the shell.
Served with medallions of pork tenderloin, it is a nice meal.
I like serving it in the shell, adding just a bit of cracked black pepper with the truffle oil on mine.
Need some leftover ideas? Here are a few past posts to use up the last of the turkey. Starting off, this recipe uses a lot of little bits left over, with your leftover cranberry sauce and some barbeque sauce, you have a totally new meal. I used toast only because I didn’t have any sesame seed buns, but they are great with any kind of bread – Sloppy Toms with Cranberry Barbeque Sauce
Leftover Chicken or Turkey Mornay – a lighter version with the topping of mornay sauce and lots of cheese. It’s a great meal to use your individual au gratin dishes, but if you don’t have these, it works fine in a larger baking dish.
And I have more ideas for using leftovers in individual au gratin dishes in my post on Creative Leftovers. Using leftover pasta, you could add some turkey to this dish for an Italian Turkey with Penne.
Turkey Casserole for a Crowd – this recipe starts with a raw breast, but just substitute leftover turkey and feed a house full of company!
Using your stuffing/dressing and a waffle maker, freshen it up with a crunchy version that soaks up the gravy. See how to do that on my Delicious Ways with Leftover Turkey post from last year.
For more ideas, including a new recipe for a Turkey, Spinach and Rice casserole, see my post Leftover Turkey – A Cornucopia of Ideas. It also has links to some of my leftover pork recipes which would do very well with leftover turkey, like Enchiladas and Pot Stickers.
Do you like acorn squash? What’s your go-to leftover meal?
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14 thoughts on “Acorn Squash for a Fresh Side Dish”
I love acorn squash and grew up with it being a common choice in Wisconsin – in Arkansas not so much. I like to make it mainly like you do but for a chance sprinkle a little cinnamon or nutmeg on it sometimes bake it with a tablespoon of brown sugar with the butter and recently I tried butter with a heaping teaspoon of apple butter in the center – delicious – I and my daughters eat it but hubby who doesn’t eat much of anything good for him hates it 😦 so I make it for myself!
My Mum was Irish and she had a sweet tooth…and she cooked our acorn squash similarly to your recipe but before it went into the oven, she would pat it dry, rub soft butter over the flesh and then sprinkle it with brown sugar and cinnamon…also put a cup of water in the base of the cooking pan so the squash would steam…very nice served with any other meat especially chicken or pork and green vegetables…we had this dish throughout the year.
We do ours with a good pat of butter and a heaping TBSP. Of brown sugar and wrapped in foil to bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Sooo good!
Yes, it is a versatile vegetable, can go savory or sweet. My husband doesn’t like sweet for dinner, so I always go the savory route.
I really like acorn squash….one problem I often have is coping with how difficult it can sometimes be cutting it in half. My ‘go to’ method is to put it in the microwave – whole for two or three minutes before cutting. It softens just enough to make that job easier. And in addition to the pat of butter, I pour about 1 TBL of maple syrup or molasses into each half for just a bit of sweetness.
Oh how I love Acorn Squash. I make it the same way but add some cinnamon at the end.
Dressing waffles just about blew me out of the water! They look so yummy!!!! The acorn dish looks good too – in fact I might just need to shut down and go cook!
Thanks. My leftovers thank you too.
Hello Carole, I had my taste buds wanting to be delighting in all of these wonderful recipes you have so kindly shared! I really enjoy a variety of squashes and yet have not had one this year. We freeze the majority of our turkey for left over dishes to have for a few months off and on. Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous day!
Arrived here via a link from Kevin the Quilter and glad I did. Absolutely love acorn squash, and cooked just like this. It provides a good size serving and rarely have to worry about left-overs.
An experiment with turkey led to a quick and easy tasty lunch, turkey melt sandwich. Small dice a thick slice of turkey meat til you end up with about 1/2 cup (per person), stir into enough mayonnaise for it to stick together. Spread on your favorite bread (but I wouldn’t use a sweet one for this), sprinkle with lots of fresh ground pepper and then grated cheese. Toast in a skillet with some butter and serve with a squash soup or a crunchy salad.
I look forward to the turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving!!! My absolute favorite leftover!! Last night I put some mashed potatoes, dressing cut-up turkey in a bowl, added a healthy dose of gravy and put it in the microwave. Topped it with cranberry sauce when it came out and that was my dinner!! Love it!! I’ve never had acorn squash…zucchini is the only squash I remember from childhood and that was usually made into cake or bread. I’ll have to try the acorn squash and butternut squash. I like easy and delicious!!!
We raise buttercup squash, which are naturally sweeter, but we have had acorn too. My favorite trick is to slice them in half then put them face down in the pan. Usually 30 minutes at 350 does the trick, because they steam themselves that way. We add butter at the table if desired, but I usually eat mine plain. Squash is yummy!
I love acorn squash (all squashes!) but Husband is not a fan. I should make it anyway and just eat the other half a different day. This looks delicious! Thanks for the recap of turkey recipes; I’m pretty sure I tried your turkey mornay one year but didn’t save it; I was thinking about it these past few days. Our turkey was smaller than normal this year so no need for recipes this week but I’ll cook another at Christmas. I’m intrigued by the dressing waffles!
Like several others, I often add brown sugar and cinnamon when baking acorn squash. I’ve also put homemade applesauce in the center cup of the squash for the last 10 minutes of baking. i know you said your husband doesn’t like sweet in his squash, but no reason you can’t glam up your own serving.
I love acorn squash, and often it eat right out of the oven in the shell. I like pretty much any squash, actually. I think I could eat an entire spaghetti squash with no help at all. =) With two men in the house, I don’t often have leftovers, but I’m just a reheat and eat kinda woman.
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