5 from 14 votes
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Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe With Mushroom And Pancetta

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You’re going to love the mushroom stuffed acorn squash recipe! It’s a great side dish and such a simple squash recipe! The next time you’re looking for a way to fill your squash halves, this is my favorite way to get all the fall flavors!

Acorn squash cut in half stuffed with portobello mushrooms.

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The earthy flavor of this acorn squash stuffed with mushrooms is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or a great fall dinner idea! The nutty flavor and the warm spices make this excellent for a holiday feast.

If you’re a fan of this hearty recipe, be sure to check out this Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole Recipe! It’s a great way to add even more simple and comfort food dishes!

Still, have some acorn squash to use? Check out this collection of over 40 acorn squash recipes to find another idea to use.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich in Flavor: The combination of mushrooms, pancetta, and acorn squash results in a dish bursting with savory goodness and earthy tones.
  • Easy Preparation: This recipe requires simple steps and minimal ingredients, making it perfect for both novice and experienced cooks.
  • Versatile Dish: This dish is highly adaptable whether serving it as a side for your holiday feast or as a main course for a cozy fall dinner.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, this stuffed acorn squash is as nutritious as it is delicious.

What Is Acorn Squash?

Acorn squash, also known as Des Moines squash or pepper squash, is a type of winter squash distinguished by its acorn-like shape and deep green rind, often highlighted with patches of orange or yellow. This squash variety belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons. 

Inside, acorn squash has a vibrant yellow-orange flesh that becomes tender and slightly sweet when cooked. Its relatively small size and manageable shape make it ideal for stuffing, baking, and roasting. 

It is delicious, and acorn squash is also a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and dietary fiber, which support overall health and wellness. It is a versatile ingredient in various dishes, from savory sides to hearty main courses, especially in the cooler months when its rich, nutty flavor complements seasonal spices and ingredients.

What’s In This Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe?

Ingredients for mushroom stuffed acorn squash including, lentils, pancetta, and dates sitting on a white countertop.
  • Acorn squash: This winter squash is perfectly sized for stuffing, offering a sturdy base and a mildly sweet, nutty flavor that complements the filling ingredients well.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Used to coat the acorn squash, this oil not only aids in cooking but also infuses a rich, fruity flavor into the squash’s skin.
  • Garlic cloves: These add a robust, aromatic quality to the dish; minced or powdered garlic can also be used to suit your preference.
  • Pancetta: A rich and fatty Italian cured meat, pancetta imparts a savory depth to the stuffing that pairs beautifully with the herbs.
  • Portobello mushrooms: Key to the recipe, these mushrooms provide a meaty texture and earthy flavor that enhances the overall richness of the dish.
  • Yellow onion: Adding sweetness and a bit of crunch, yellow onion melds well with the other ingredients but any onion variety can be substituted based on taste.
  • Green lentils: These legumes add a hearty texture and a nutritional boost, making the stuffing more filling and satisfying.
  • Sage: This herb offers a distinct, slightly peppery flavor that elevates the savory elements of the stuffing.
  • Dry red wine: Used to deglaze the pan, red wine introduces deep, intense flavors; white wine can be a lighter alternative.
  • Dates: Providing natural sweetness, dates balance the savory components perfectly; dried cranberries are a viable substitute for a different twist.
  • Walnuts: These nuts introduce a crunchy texture and additional protein, complementing the softness of the stuffed squash.
  • Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty, umami finish that harmonizes all the savory flavors.
  • Sea salt: Enhances all the flavors in the dish; adjust to your taste preferences.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add sweet potatoes – Cube up some sweet potatoes and add them for a hearty texture.
  • Use wild rice and a kale filling – This is a great way to add some healthy carbs and greens. You can use white rice or brown rice as well.
  • Switch to quinoa – For a lighter, protein-packed option, replace the lentils with cooked quinoa. It adds a fluffy texture and complements the other ingredients well.
  • Incorporate cranberries – Swap out the dates for dried cranberries if you prefer a tangier sweetness to balance the savory flavors.
  • Vegan option – Omit the pancetta and use a plant-based bacon alternative or chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a similar depth of flavor.
  • Try different nuts – If you’re not a fan of walnuts, pecans or almonds can be excellent alternatives that still provide a satisfying crunch.
  • Cheese alternatives – Substitute the Parmesan cheese with a vegan cheese option or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a dairy-free version that maintains the umami flavor.
  • Herb variations—Try using different herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, in place of sage to add a unique fragrance and flavor profile to the stuffing.

How To Make Lentil And Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash (step-by-step directions)

  1. Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 400°F. Spray a large (10×15) baking dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place acorn squash halves, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Brush the cut edges with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast on the center rack for 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and pancetta, cooking for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until they start to brown. Then add sliced onions and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in green lentils, fresh sage, and red wine. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and mix in chopped dates and toasted walnuts. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  6. Once the squash is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Fill each half with the Portobello mushroom mixture and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Return the stuffed squash to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until heated through and the cheese starts to melt. Serve immediately.
Acorn squash stuffed with portobello mushrooms and topped with parmesan cheese.

Recipe Tips

  • Choose similar-sized squash: To ensure even cooking, try to select acorn squash that is roughly the same size.
  • Pre-cook the lentils: If you’re using dried lentils, remember to cook them beforehand, as they take longer to soften.
  • Toast the nuts: To bring out the full flavor of the walnuts, lightly toast them in a dry skillet before mixing them into the stuffing.
  • Deglaze properly: To add extra flavor, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet when adding the wine.
  • Shave the squash bottoms: If the acorn squash halves don’t sit flat, shave a small slice off the bottom, so they’re stable during roasting and stuffing.
  • Cheese layering: To enhance the cheesy goodness, add a little Parmesan cheese inside the squash before filling it with the mixture.
  • Use fresh herbs: Fresh sage will give the dish a more vibrant flavor compared to dried herbs.

Storing Tips 

You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. Eat them within 2-3 days of storing them.

Two Acorn squash stuffed with portobello mushrooms.

Serving Suggestions

Any of these main dish recipes would be perfect to pair with this simple squash recipe! Try the Air Fryer Greek Chicken Kabobs With Tzatziki, the Boneless Pork Chops with Creamy Chive Pan Sauce, or the Seared Balsamic Pork Chops with Maple Glaze.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to cut the acorn squash in half?

You need a sharp chef’s knife to make a nice, simple cut. Be careful and pay attention while cutting the squash.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the stuffing and roast the squash a day in advance. Store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply fill the squash with the stuffing, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until heated through.

Is it possible to freeze stuffed acorn squash?

Absolutely! After cooking the dish, let it cool completely. Then, freeze the stuffed squash halves in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, bake in the oven at 350°F until heated through.

Can I use a different type of squash?

Definitely. If you don’t have acorn squash, other types of squash, such as butternut or delicata, can be substitutes. Adjust the roasting time accordingly, as different squashes may cook at different rates.

Other Side Dishes You’ll Enjoy

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Mushroom stuffed acorn squash on a plate.
5 from 14 votes

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe with Mushroom and Pancetta


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Main Dishes, Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
You're going to love this stuffed acorn squash recipe! It's a great side dish and such a simple squash recipe! The next time you're looking for a way to fill your squash halves, this is my favorite way to get all the fall flavors!

Ingredients 

  • 3 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 oz (113 ⅖ g) pancetta diced
  • 1 ½ lbs (680 ⅖ g) Portobello mushrooms roughly chopped
  • ½ yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (192 g) green lentils cooked
  • 1 ½ tbs sage finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (59 ⅐ ml) dry red wine
  • cup (49 g) dates roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (29 ¼ g) walnuts chopped
  • ¼ cup (25 g) Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • Sea Salt black pepper to taste
Makes: 10 x 15inch rectangle

Instructions

  • Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 400°F. Spray a large (10×15) baking dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place acorn squash halves, cut side up, in the prepared dish. Brush the cut edges with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast on the center rack for 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and pancetta, cooking for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Add chopped mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until they start to brown. Then add sliced onions and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in green lentils, fresh sage, and red wine. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and mix in chopped dates and toasted walnuts. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Once the squash is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Fill each half with the Portobello mushroom mixture and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Return the stuffed squash to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until heated through and the cheese starts to melt. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Choose similar-sized squash: To ensure even cooking, try to select acorn squash that is roughly the same size.
  • Pre-cook the lentils: If you’re using dried lentils, remember to cook them beforehand, as they take longer to soften.
  • Toast the nuts: To bring out the full flavor of the walnuts, lightly toast them in a dry skillet before mixing them into the stuffing.
  • Deglaze properly: To add extra flavor, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet when adding the wine.
  • Shave the squash bottoms: If the acorn squash halves don’t sit flat, shave a small slice off the bottom, so they’re stable during roasting and stuffing.
  • Cheese layering: To enhance the cheesy goodness, add a little Parmesan cheese inside the squash before filling it with the mixture.
  • Use fresh herbs: Fresh sage will give the dish a more vibrant flavor compared to dried herbs.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1Serving Calories: 339kcal (17%) Carbohydrates: 41g (14%) Protein: 13g (26%) Fat: 15g (23%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 11mg (4%) Sodium: 159mg (7%) Potassium: 1206mg (34%) Fiber: 12g (50%) Sugar: 7g (8%) Vitamin A: 634IU (13%) Vitamin C: 20mg (24%) Calcium: 124mg (12%) Iron: 4mg (22%)

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5 from 14 votes (1 rating without comment)

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19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just pinned this recipe as it looks delicious and perfect for fall! I have to say fall is my favorite time of the year… with Halloween and then Thanksgiving and then the Holidays! My most favorite tie as I love cooking and I love the recipes from this time of the year. My husband will go wild for this recipe and I am going to surprise him and make it! Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. My daughter in law introduced me to stuffed squash. Delish. Now I can introduce her to this portobello sage stuffed squash!

  3. Interesting that I would come across a post about squash today. Just last night I was telling a friend that IMO it is the worst food ever 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe is fantastic to give it a go Paula. When you do, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for coming by!

  4. 5 stars
    What a beautiful dish. It’s tasty and healthy and perfect for those who are cutting back on meat (just remove the pancetta). I love portobello mushrooms!

  5. This sounds really tasty. Not something that I have tried before but I would happily give it a go

  6. This looks and sounds delicious. I am guilty of not being adventurous and stuck in a rut with meal ideas. I must give this a try!

  7. 5 stars
    Yum, yum and yum! I am a huge squash fan and love the ingredients you have in this recipe. I would leave out the pancetta as i don’t eat meat but I’m sure it would still be super tasty.

  8. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I very rarely eat meat so would make this minus the pancetta and, with those lovely ingredients, I know that it would be packed with flavour.

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