I’m not going to lie to you — stuffed acorn squash is delicious.
Especially when you throw in some sautéed apples, or maybe some bacon and dried cranberries.
But an empty bowl of that beautiful, orange flesh leaves me wanting something more.
What are the best side dishes to serve alongside stuffed acorn squash?
I decided to answer this question by rounding up 11 different side dishes that complement stuffed acorn squash beautifully.
But before you choose…
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes For Stuffed Acorn Squash?
Stuffed acorn squash is a delicious meal in itself. But there are things you can add to it to make it even more satisfying and fun.
So if you’re wondering whether or not it’s a good idea to serve side dishes alongside stuffed acorn squash, the answer is “yes.”
Stuffed acorn squash is a filling meal which means that your guests won’t need much more to feel satisfied. However, side dishes can be added to the meal to make it extra special.
There are many different types of side dishes that can be served with stuffed acorn squash including salads, soups and breads such as focaccia or garlic breadsticks.
Some people prefer their stuffing not to be mixed with vegetables and others don’t like vegetables at all so having side dishes allows everyone to choose what they want on their plate.
Side dishes also give you the opportunity to try out new recipes and experiment with different flavours which makes cooking more fun!
What to Serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash: 11 Best Sides
Pumpkin season is here!
And for many, that means acorn squash season is here, too.
I’ve always loved the sweet and savory taste combination so when holiday parties start taking place and your friends or family ask what they can bring, they’ll have their answer.
Acorn squash stuffed with a savory filling is always a hit. What’s the best side dish to serve alongside it?
You have 11 great options right here:
1. Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes with parmesan and rosemary are the perfect side dish to serve with stuffed acorn squash.
They go with almost any meal and are a great way to add some extra flavor.
The best part about them is that they only take about 15 minutes of prep time, so you can have them ready in no time.
You can use any type of potato, but russet is the most common and will give you the best results. If you want to be extra fancy, try using Yukon gold or red potatoes instead of plain old russet potatoes!
2. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a natural choice for a cozy fall meal, and they’re great with stuffed acorn squash. Just keep it simple and let the flavors of the squash come through.
You can mash your potatoes with butter, milk, cream or goat cheese for a creamier result or use olive oil or even water to keep it lighter.
You can also mix in other veggies like garlic, onions or carrots. You can also add other herbs to give your dish more flavor.
3. Roasted Carrots
Roasted carrots are a simple, healthy side dish that goes well with squash. The slightly sweet taste and hearty texture of carrots are enhanced by the roasting process, making them a tasty addition to any meal. Pair them with acorn squash to create a delicious autumn-inspired meal.
Here’s how I like to make roasted carrots:
Roasted carrots are easy to make and require only a few ingredients.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your carrots by peeling or scrubbing them clean.
- Cut the carrots diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.
- Place the prepared carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss everything together until the carrots are well combined with the olive oil and seasoning.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.
You can also add additional seasonings after roasting the carrots.
Try adding finely chopped parsley for a pop of color or sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese for a burst of flavor.
Cornbread is a great side dish to serve with stuffed acorn squash.
This recipe works well in the summer and winter, especially when you’re serving a hearty meal.
If you have time, prepare the cornbread the day before and then warm it up in the oven or microwave just before serving.
This will give it more of a sweet taste.
The best part about this recipe is that you can add your own flare to it by using different herbs or cheese.
5. Baked Beans
Baked beans aren’t just for summer barbecues. They’re a hearty, cozy side dish that goes great with the sweet and savory flavors of stuffed squash.
This recipe is easy to make in the oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot. It’s vegan, but you can add bacon if you want a more traditional flavor.
To make it more filling, add cooked quinoa or brown rice to the beans before baking.
This will also help lower the GI (glycemic index) of the dish and keep you fuller for longer.
6. Roasted Beets
Roasted beets are an excellent side dish for pretty much any meal, but they are especially delicious when paired with stuffed acorn squash.
They add a perfectly crisp and colorful element to the meal that’s just as flavorful as it is beautiful.
When I make this dish I like to roast my beets with orange slices, which adds a little bit of sweetness.
You can also try it out with other types of peppers or roasting your beets with a few cloves of garlic.
Here’s how I like to approach this side dish:
- 1 bunch of beets
- olive oil
- 2-3 oranges, sliced (or 1 orange, sliced and 1 lemon, sliced) salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut tops off of the beets and scrub them clean.
- Rub the whole thing in olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Wrap each beet (and citrus) in foil packets and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast for about 45 minutes-1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Allow to cool before handling (be careful not to burn yourself).
- Slice the oranges into thin rounds, removing any seeds.
- Place on top of the roasted acorn squash while still hot.
Soup is a fantastic choice for serving with stuffed acorn squash. You could even serve soup in the hollowed-out acorn squash halves!
The combination of flavors and textures makes this meal unique, satisfying, and delicious.
If you’re making vegetarian or vegan stuffed acorn squash, serve it with a soup that’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own.
Some of my favorites are:
8. Green Salad
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect side dish for stuffed acorn squash than a green salad.
Not only will it provide the crunchy texture and fresh flavor that balances the richness of the stuffed squash, but it can also give you those healthful nutrients everyone is always talking about.
9. Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf is a classic side dish that pairs well with the flavors in stuffed acorn squash. For the best results, make it from scratch rather than using a boxed mix.
To save time, prepare the rice ahead of time so that you can just add it to the other ingredients before serving.
10. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a great side dish to serve with stuffed acorn squash because it’s easy to make and perfect for summer. It’s also the best way to use up any leftover pasta you might have sitting in your fridge.
This is a super simple recipe that comes together quickly, but there are many variations you can try, like adding fresh herbs, cheese, and/or fresh vegetables.
Make sure to toss the pasta with dressing while it’s still warm so it absorbs the flavors better, then chill until ready to serve.
11. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is the perfect solution to round out a hearty winter meal, especially when you’re serving something with a lot of flavor and richness, like pork or beef.
It might sound strange to serve fruit salad alongside something like stuffed squash, but it works beautifully thanks to the sweet, nutty flavor of the squash and other ingredients.
4 Tips For Serving Side Dishes For Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed acorn squash is like a more elegant and healthier version of stuffed peppers.
The hard exterior is easy to make, and the sweet yellow-orange flesh adds a nice color to any plate.
When it comes to sides, you have some options. Stuffed acorn squash is great with everything from rice to quinoa to mashed potatoes.
If you are looking for some inspiration, here are 3 tips for serving side dishes for stuffed acorn squash:
1. Go for Something Starchy
Acorn squash can be a meal in itself if you stuff it with nutritious ingredients like beef and vegetables.
If you want to make your meal extra filling, go for something starchy as a side dish.
For example, you can pair your squash with mashed potatoes or rice pilaf. These starches add calories that help you feel full after eating them.
You can also opt for pasta or polenta if you want something decadent with your squash.
2. Keep It Simple
In many ways, acorn squash is the perfect canvas for getting adventurous with flavors. But that doesn’t mean more is always better.
If your ingredients are powerful, try to keep the other components of your meal simpler.
For example, if the filling of your squash is spicy, maybe skip the hot sauce on that roasted chicken breast and have a side salad instead.
3. Focus on Contrasts
On the other hand, there are times when opposites do attract! If your acorn squash is sweet and rich, for example, balance it out with a dish that’s salty or tangy.
Or if your filling is creamy or smooth, choose something crispy or crunchy as a side.
4. Serve A Complementing Side
Complementary sides work well if you’re having stuffed acorn squash as a first course or appetizer. In this case, aim to complement the flavors of the filling rather than balance them.
For example, if your stuffed acorn squash contains sausage for a savory filling, serve it with roasted root vegetables tossed in olive oil and fresh herbs.
If your stuffed acorn squash has a sweet filling with nuts and dried fruit, serve it alongside roasted Brussels sprouts dressed in maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
What to Serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash: 11 Best Sides
- Roasted Potatoes
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Carrots
- Baked Beans
- Roasted Beets
- Green Salad
- Rice Pilaf
- Pasta Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Pick any of these tasty sides to go along with your meal.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to eat in no time!