Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stuffed Acorn Squash (for Camping and Home)

Me, Karen, Duffy, and Allison at the falls.
This past weekend I went camping with three great friends. We left our husbands and children at home and communed with nature and caught up with each other. We went to Cunningham Falls State Park near Thurmont, MD. I was responsible for bringing dinners, and decided to make a variation on my mom's stuffed acorn squash for dinner on Saturday. She created the recipe for camping well before I was born. It was so good, though, that it's not just for camping. This recipe is just as easily made in the oven as on the campfire. My favorite thing about this meal is that it stays hot while you eat it - always good for a cold camping night!

I prefer to do all the prep work at home, so on Thursday evening I cut and cleaned the acorn squash, coated each half in oil, and wrapped each individually in heavy duty aluminum foil. Using the heavy duty kind of aluminum foil is important when cooking on a fire.

Next, I prepared the filling, let it cool, and packed it in a plastic bag. Both the squash and filling were refrigerated overnight and packed into a cooler on Friday morning, ready for camping!
Cleaned and oiled.
Wrapped up and ready to go!
Filling ready to go.
We did two hikes on Saturday, the first one was an easy jaunt to Cunningham Falls. The second one, Cat Rock Trail, was harder, but well worth it. Cat Rock is a rock scramble at the top of a large hill / small mountain. When you climb to the top of it you are rewarded with some beautiful views. Below are some pictures from our hikes.

After a lunch of Karen's homemade hummus with a variety of GF chips and carrot sticks, we went to the lake. Here are some pictures from that area.

It was an excellent trip with excellent friends. We are planning to do it again next year!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground meat, I used pork this time
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • oregano to taste
  • basil to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 slices cheese, sharp cheddar is best
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Run inside of squash with oil. Place cut-side down on cookie sheet and put in oven.
  3. While squash is baking, saute onion. When the onion is translucent, brown the ground meat.
  4. Add the tomatoes, rice, and spices to the meat mixture.
  5. After baking for about 25 minutes, remove squash from oven, turn over, and fill with meat mixture. Cook for 20 minutes more.
  6. Place one slice of cheese on each squash half.  Return to oven until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes.)

Camping Method Notes

Before you leave:
  • Prepare meat mixture as described above, cool, and package for trip.
  • Cut and clean squash. Coat with oil and wrap individually in heavy duty aluminum foil. Package for trip.

About an hour before you want to eat:

Get a good bed of coals to cook on. Place the acorn squash (still wrapped in foil) cut-side down on the coals. You may want to rotate them or switch positioning, depending on the uniformity of your coals. When they start to soften, pull them off. I usually let the meat mixture sit out while the squash is cooking, just to take the chill off.
Unwrap squash and fill with meat mixture. Wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil (I typically use a new piece). Place in the coals cut-side up. Again, you may want to rotate them or switch positioning. When the squash has finished cooking and the meat mixture is hot, remove from the fire; I pulled ours off after 20 minutes and they were nice and hot. Unwrap each squash and place in a bowl (or plate) and top with a slice of cheese. Enjoy!

This recipe was shared on Allergy Free Alaska's Whole Food FridaysAllergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, and The Daily Dietribe's 5-Ingredient Mondays.


  1. What a perfect camping treat!! How cool! I'd love to have you link this up at our Gluten Free Fridays recipe link up over at vegetarianmamma.com It actually will go live tonight at 7:05 pm eastern! We are having a giveaway this week from Domata Gluten Free Products! Hope that you can join us, I'd love for you to share some of your awesome goodies!!

    1. Ooo, thanks for the invite! I will link up shortly.

  2. Thanks for linking up! I got this tweeted and pinned!

  3. so glad cindy invited you to our linky party!! This looks delicious and I'm a bit jealous of your camping trip. Thank you for linking up with us at gf fridays

    1. I totally recommend camping with your best friends!

  4. Yum! When you cook the squash in the oven, how long do you cook it by itself before added the rice mixture? One hour? Thanks!!!

    1. About 25 minutes. I'll add that into the recipe now ;-) Thanks for finding that!

  5. This sounds so good! Thanks for joining in on 5-Ingredient Mondays!