Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks

We hope you found your jackets and scarves still in good shape during their summer hibernation. The temperature dip can be a tough adjustment, but fortunately it also comes with a long list of seasonal fruits and vegetables ready to be worked into warm fall recipes. Not only is there a wide variety of flavors found in these selections, but the colors fit right into the season as well. You’ll find oranges, reds, and purples prominent in your fresh produce selection.

And who doesn’t need a little extra zest in their life? Buying seasonal produce can add some extra flavor to your meals, as in-season fruits and vegetables tend to be more fresh and flavorful.

Finally, you’ll be happy to know that a regular benefit of this long list of seasonal selections is the cost. While you can find many of these items throughout the year, their price tends to drop when they are in season. This helps you not only save some money on your traditional recipes, but also makes it more affordable to try out some new ones. And we’ve got one below we think you’ll love!

Serves 8


4 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), halved lengthwise and seeded

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 jar of Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, then 3 tablespoons for baking

1 1/2 cups diced celery

2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise1/4 inch thick

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme

10 ounces day-old rustic rye bread—crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 6 cups)

7 ounces vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth


Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season the cavities with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on two baking sheets and roast for about 25 minutes, until just tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the celery, leeks and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and cook over moderately high heat until the apples just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the bread, chestnuts, parsley, cream and stock and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities brush carefully with Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce, add the remaining butter to each squash and bake until the squash is tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.

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