Acorn Squash Corn Bread Stuffing

The fifth and final stuffing broke all of Claire’s rules, but rules are meant to be broken, right? It had dried fruit and nuts and wasn’t at all traditional, but it was oh-so-delicious and made breaking the rules completely worth it.

The first thing I did was make Skillet Corn Bread and try not to eat it all. I’ve made cornbread in the cast iron skillet once before (maybe two years ago) and I’m proud to say that I remembered and corrected my mistakes. Last time I made it, the recipe recommended mixing the dry and wet ingredients in the preheated cast iron skillet, which was a huge problem because the eggs started cooking right away and never mixed with the cornmeal, resulting in a slimy bottom and a grainy top. So, even though this recipe said to mix until “evenly moistened, but still lumpy,” I mixed it all up pretty well. I used one cup of Bob’s Red Mill Coarse Grind Cornmeal and one cup of the regular old stuff. I think that mixture gave it the best possible cakey-but-coarse texture.

That cornbread turned out so well that it was hard to crumble it up into stuffing, but I did it. This is a somewhat original recipe, inspired by a Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe that I found in Guilford Woman Magazine a few years ago.

Acorn Squash Corn Bread Stuffing:

  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 tart apple, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 loaf homemade cornbread, crumbled
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water or more cranberry juice or whatever)
  • Preheat oven to 350. Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan and roast about 30 minutes. Add apple to squash and roast about 20 minutes more. They should be tender, but not brown.
  • Saute onion, garlic, thyme, and sage in 1 Tb butter (or olive oil or whatever).
  • Combine cranberry juice and broth (or whatever additional liquid you prefer) in a pot and simmer.
  • Combine cornbread, squash mixture, onion mixture, pecans, and cranberries in a glass baking dish. Add liquid by the ladleful until mixture is the desired consistency.
  • Warm in oven for about 20 minutes.
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