Updated: September 5th, 2023

An acorn squash was used for this recipe, but you can use any type of winter squash. Squash is high in vitamin A, complex carbohydrates, and an array of minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Winter squashes are sweet and warming, and influence the spleen, stomach, liver, and large intestines. In addition, winter squashes are excellent Qi tonics. The recipe was provided by Victoria Yunez Behm, an alum of our Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health.

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • ½ white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small granny smith apple, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 leaves of swiss chard or kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 4 strips turkey or duck or vegetarian bacon, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp maple syrup, divided
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Soft goat cheese, optional

Cut the acorn squashes in half through the stem toward the bottom of the fruits. Remove the seeds and strings from the center of each half and set aside. Place each half of squash into a baking dish skin-side down and rub the inside of each with olive oil. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion, apple, garlic, mushrooms, salt, chard, and bacon. Heap the mixture into each portion of squash and loosely cover the baking dish with parchment paper and then foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes or until the squash halves are soft. After removing the dish from the oven, drizzle each portion with ½ teaspoon of maple syrup and garnish with goat cheese. Salt to taste. Serve the squash halves in their skin on individual platters.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Makes 4 meals


Bonus Recipe: Roasted Winter Squash Seeds

This is a great way to use the leftover seeds from any winter squash dish that you make. Not only are you using more of the plant, but you’re also enjoying the benefits of eating the nutrient-packed seeds. Fibrous squash seeds contain an array of minerals, amino acids, and healthy fats, especially zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Imagine the density of nutrients that it takes to grow an entire squash! These little seeds are great on their own, as a salad topping or even garnish for other dishes! Squash seeds are sweet and bitter with a neutral thermal nature.

  • Squash seeds, this recipe works for about 1 cup of squash. Adjust as needed.
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Optional but highly recommended:

  • pinch of kelp flakes
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Separate seeds from squash fiber. I recommend soaking the seeds for a few minutes to loosen the fibers, and then removing the fibers by hand or in a colander under running water. Once the seeds are cleaned, pat dry, and toss seeds with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add a shake of kelp flakes, garlic powder, and cayenne, as desired. Spread seeds flat on a cookie sheet or tray and bake in oven or convection oven for 45 minutes at 250 degrees. Toast in convection oven for the last 5 minutes for extra crunch!