Smoked Acorn Squash, Sweet and Savory Recipe

Smoked Acorn Squash, Sweet and Savory Recipe

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Smoked Acorn Squash, Sweet and Savory Recipe
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The winter season offers a bounty of squashes and root vegetables. These veggies are hearty, colorful, and filling. One of the most plentiful winter vegetables is acorn squash. These are acorn-shaped gourds with a gently ridged green outer shell and yellow interior flesh.

For the most part, the flesh of acorn squash is a little sweet when cooked. The texture is a bit softer than that of its cousin the pumpkin. However, this varies depending on when the squash is harvested. If allowed to sit in the field or garden for too long the flesh can become stringy.

Acorn squash is generally ready to be harvested after 75 to 100 days of planting the seeds. The skin will be dark green and the area resting on the ground will be orange. Once harvested, most winter squash can be stored for many weeks in a cool, dark space.

I mostly roast acorn squash in my oven or air fryer. I have also grilled this squash over a charcoal fire while camping. This is a perfect food to take on a camping trip because it keeps quite well and doesn’t necessarily need a cooking vessel. Smoking acorn squash in a Masterbuilt Smoker is a perfect way to cook it. Winter squash can really benefit from this slow cooking method and it is so flavorful from the infused smoke.

Tips for Smoking Acorn Squash

While you can smoke acorn squash slices, I recommend smoking squash halves. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibrous strands. Discard the seeds, or clean them and toast or dehydrate them with some sea salt to have for a snack.

The nice thing about acorn squash is that the ridged outer skin makes it possible to nestle the halves directly onto the smoker racks so that the smoke can circulate evenly. They should stay in place. Otherwise, place them on a sheet pan.

Once the seeds are removed, you will have a cavity or bowl that can be seasoned or stuffed. I generally oil and season the flesh and smoke for 1-1/2 hours at 250° to 300°F, depending on the size. Then, I will fill the cavity with either a savory pre-cooked sausage stuffing or a sweet mixture of brown sugar or maple syrup and butter. Once filled, smoke for an additional 30 minutes, or until the flesh is quite soft when pierced with a sharp paring knife or fork.

In keeping with the fall and winter theme, I like to use apple or pecan wood chips. Acorn squash is mild in flavor and can benefit from an aromatic fruit or nut wood smoke.

About the Recipes

I have two favorite acorn squash recipes. The first recipe is for sweet smoked acorn squash. It includes butter, sugar, and maple syrup, making it perfect for a holiday side dish, such as roasted pork, or even a healthy dessert.

The second recipe is a savory preparation that does require a bit of preparation using your stovetop. The ingredients include sausage and breadcrumbs to create a hearty stuffing. This particular preparation is a perfect main dish that can be served with a side salad.

Smoked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 3 tsps avocado or walnut oil
  • 1/3 cup (6 TBS) salted butter
  • 1-1/2 TBS brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsps pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Total time:2 hour 15 minPrep time:15 min – Smoke time:2 hour – Serves:6 people
Author:

Directions:

1. Fill the water bowl of your smoker 1/2 way. Place wood chips in the side tray. Preheat the smoker to between 275°F with the top vent open for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

2. With a large sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and fibrous strands.

3. Brush or rub the inside of each squash half with the oil to coat the flesh, 1/2 teaspoon each half.

4. Place the squash on a rack of the smoker, flesh side up. Smoke for 1-1/2 hours. Replenish the water and wood chips as needed, approximately at 45 minutes.

5. At 1 hour and 15 minutes, prepare the sweet filling. In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and cinnamon together. Once melted, stir in the maple syrup.

6. At 1 hour and 30 minutes, spoon the butter mixture into the squash halves. Continue to smoke for another 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft when pierced with a sharp paring knife or fork. The flesh will likely be browned.

7. Serve the squash with either a spoon or a fork. If feeling adventurous, add a few dried cranberries or raisins or some pecans to each squash half.

Smoked Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 6 tsps (2TBS) extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces Italian pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 TBS chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

Total time: 2 hour 15 minPrep time: 15 min – Smoke time: 2 hour – Serves: 6 people

Directions:

1. Fill the water bowl of your smoker 1/2 way. Place wood chips in the side tray. Preheat the smoker to 300°F with the top vent open for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

2. With a large sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and fibrous strands.

3. Brush or rub the inside of each squash half with 3 teaspoons of the olive oil to coat the flesh, 1/2 teaspoon each half.

4. Place the squash on a rack of the smoker, flesh side up. Smoke for 1-1/2 hours. Replenish the water and wood chips as needed, approximately at 45 minutes.

5. At 1 hour, prepare the sausage stuffing filling. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the remaining TBS of olive oil. Add the minced onion and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Crumble in the sausage and cook until all is browned through, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and set aside to cool slightly.

6. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Stir in the broth, bread crumbs, and salt. Add the sausage mixture and combine well.

7. At 1 hour and 30 minutes, spoon the sausage stuffing into the squash halves in equal measures. Top with the cheese. Continue to smoke for another 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft when pierced with a sharp paring knife or fork and the cheese has melted.

8. Serve the squash as a main dish accompanied by a green salad.



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