Mushroom Onion and Toasted Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

Mushroom Onion and Toasted Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is one of my favorite fall recipes! Acorn squash is so tasty and easy to prepare and is especially fabulous to stuff with delicious ingredients. Here I stuff it with toasted couscous, mushrooms, red onion and cilantro all mixed together with a few spices and piled high into the acorn squash. It looks so gourmet but is so easy to make and is sure to please this fall!

Inspiration and thoughts

Happy November!  I cannot believe time has flown by and Halloween is over and we are on to November.  November just makes me think of Thanksgiving of course, another one of my favorite holidays (but Christmas is my favorite by far).  This recipe makes me think of Thanksgiving, fall, and just having a delicious and cozy comfort food whipped up at home in no time.  

Fall is definitely not complete without a fabulously overstuffed acorn squash.  Acorn squash are so fun to look at, I just love their cute little shape and they are so beautiful with orange and green skin and the wonderful light orange color inside.   Rustic fall!  I love to bake them because they are so yummy, but I also love that pretty pop of color and the rich golden brown when they are roasted.  

These are one of my go-to recipes for fall date nights with Eli, dinner parties, and anytime I want to impress my guests with something that looks as great as it tastes.  I also love to make this recipe for my mom, who loves this healthy recipe. 

acorn squash singe

How it’s made, notes

Acorn squash are deceptively easy to prepare and bake but you’d never know from looking at them when they’re served to you (right?!).   One of the most important parts is to score the squash before you put it in the oven to bake, which will help it to cook a bit better and more evenly.  Score each squash with a knife and drizzle generously with olive oil.  I like to pour a pool of olive oil in the middle and smooth it around all corners of the squash with clean hands.  Then sprinkle a large pinch of salt and pepper all around the squash before adding it to the oven to bake for 45 minutes at 350 F. 

Now for the stuffing!  I love Israeli couscous – it is delicious and toasty in this recipe and pairs perfect with veggies.  It’s also quick to make and you can just add the veggies to it while it cooks to cut down the cook time.  

After you’ve chopped the mushroom and red onion start the couscous.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil then add the couscous and toast it for a few minutes.  The toasting gives the couscous a great flavor that goes so well with the browned acorn squash.  Add the red onion and mushrooms and cook that together for another 3-4 minutes, then add all of the spices.   You can definitely add more or less to taste here.  Now add the chicken broth and cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes.  This cooking time might change depending on the brand of Israeli couscous you get, so make sure to follow package instructions if it is different than the basic recipe I use.  I used tricolor couscous for this recipe, but any is fine!  

acorn squash overview on plate

The mushrooms and onions will add a bit of liquid to the couscous mixture, so if at the end of the cook time there is excess liquid you can either boil it off and cook it a bit more, or just drain off the extra.  Usually I don’t run into this problem with the amounts on this recipe, but just in case keep that in mind.  

When the couscous is done, add the cilantro and mix it a bit, then set aside.  Take out your squash from the oven when they are done and flip them over carefully, they’ll be hot!  Put those onto a large dish or platter and generously pour the stuffing into each squash half.  Generously, I serve one stuffed acorn squash half per person, so this would be for 4 servings.  If you’re extra hungry, serve for two!  Top with extra chopped fresh cilantro if you prefer, and you’re ready to enjoy! 

stuffed acorn squash with another behind it on plate

Mushroom Onion and Toasted Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is one of my favorite fall recipes! Acorn squash is so tasty and easy to prepare and is especially fabulous to stuff with delicious ingredients. Here I stuff it with toasted couscous, mushrooms, red onion and cilantro all mixed together with a few spices and piled high into the acorn squash. It looks so gourmet but is so easy to make and is sure to please this fall!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 acorn squash each cut in half
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth see notes
  • 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
  • half red onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for squash
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro plus extra for garnish roughly chopped

Instructions
 

Cook the Acorn Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and prepare a baking sheet. Cut each acorn squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Score the inside of each with a knife, making horizontal then vertical slashes. Brush each half with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook, cut side down, for 40-45 minutes, until the squash is nice and browned around the edges.

Make the stuffing

  • Heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and lightly brown the couscous for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped mushrooms and red onions to the couscous and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and the garlic powder and mix together. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes (or according to package instructions; see notes). If there is extra liquid after 15 minutes, uncover and boil it a bit more or drain the excess. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for another 5 minutes. Add in the cilantro and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Stuff the Acorn Squash

  • When the acorn squash is done, turn each one over on a plate. Add the couscous mixture generously to the inside of each squash. Top with extra chopped cilantro if you prefer. Enjoy!

Notes

You can use water instead of chicken broth, but the flavor of the chicken broth really adds a great flavor to the couscous, and I prefer that. 
The way that I describe cooking the couscous is based on my own experience and the brand I use.  Make sure to follow package instructions if it is very different from the ones I included, although I have tried a few different brands and this recipe seems to work fine for the ones I have used.  The mushrooms and red onions will add a bit of water to the mix, so make sure at the end of the cooking time to drain excess water or boil it off it it hasn't fully been soaked up by the couscous.  
Cut this recipe in half for two, it serves 4 if each person has one stuffed half of an acorn squash.  
Keyword acorn squash, cilantro, comfort food, couscous, dinner, easy, entree, fall, fall recipes, healthy, Israeli couscous, main dish, mushrooms, onions


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