Stuffed Acorn Squash with Barley, Apples and Walnuts

  • Yield 4 servings

Autumn fruits and nuts and woodsy sage combine with quick-cooking barley for a hearty, healthy filling for winter squash.

High Cotton Food Styling and Photography

Crushing dried herbs between your fingers helps release their flavors. In the case of sage, it also helps break up any stem pieces.


2 acorn squash, about 1 pound each
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 cup diced peeled apple
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed between fingers
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
4 tablespoons apple juice or cider


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut each squash vertically in half; scoop out seeds and fibrous pulp.  If needed, cut a thin slice off bottoms so squash sits evenly. Place squash, cut sides down in a greased shallow baking dish.
  3. While squash bakes, cook barley according to package directions.
  4. Bake squash 30 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from oven and, using tongs, turn squash cut sides up. Lower oven temperature to 375F.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and apple; cook, mixing occasionally, 6 minutes or until apples are lightly browned in spots and tender. Remove pan from heat; add barley, walnuts, sage, salt and pepper and mix with large spoon to combine.
  6. Spoon barley mixture (about 1/2 cup) into each squash half and spoon 1 tablespoon apple juice over each. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are lightly toasted.



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