I made the most incredible stuffed acorn squash for Christmas dinner a couple of years ago. It was stuffed with apples, cranberries, and pecans, then drizzled with maple syrup. I’m tempted to make it for every holiday, but I can’t just keep blogging the same recipe. Well, I could, but it would get very boring! So this year I decided to make stuffed acorn squash for Thanksgiving dinner and with a savory twist instead of sweet. My husband has been asking me to make macaroni and cheese, so this White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese Stuffed Squash was the answer to both our cravings. How perfect is that?!
The weather hasn’t cooled down in LA yet, but I’m ready for fall and some good fall comfort food. Let’s start with some extra-sharp white cheddar mac n’ cheese, shall we? I’m a huge fan of mac n’ cheese and have made many different variations using different types of cheese, but the classic cheddar is still my favorite. I’ve used extra-sharp white cheddar here, which goes so well with the acorn squash. You can use any type of squash you’d like, although you may need to adjust baking times.
The first thing I noticed when preparing my shopping list was this recipe makes 8 Mac n’ Cheese Stuffed Squash. It’s just the two of us, so I decided to cut the recipe in half. Two servings with Thanksgiving dinner and 2 more leftovers for dinner the next day sounded generous.
This time of year it was easy to find the acorn squash. I lucked out and had everything else on hand except the macaroni and extra sharp white cheddar cheese. They’re pretty basic items, though, so no problem finding either. A short grocery list is always good, and somehow even better during the holidays!
This recipe only had the cooking times listed and no prep or total. I didn’t separate the prep and cooking times, but everything took exactly 1 hour.
Things went pretty smoothly and according to the instructions, although cutting the tops off the squash was tough at times. I tried my usual santoku knife and a serrated bread knife. The santoku was the best for this job, it just took some elbow grease. That reminds me, I need to be better about sharpening my knives.
Cutting the bottoms of the acorn squash was very easy, but it was also easy to cut too much off and create a hole in the bottom. You can see the holes in the photo below. It was my first squash, and I figured out what not to do pretty quickly.
Getting the squash ready to bake was a good chunk of the work, and I was glad once I had them ready to bake. My only question during the entire process was on this step. Was I supposed to bake the squash with the lids on or off? The recipe and accompanying blog post’s pictures didn’t specify, so I chose to put them on.
With the squash baking in the oven, it was time to move on to the macaroni and cheese. It took three pots going simultaneously, but it wasn’t too hectic. I used two 2.5-quart saucepans for the milk and macaroni. My 4.5-quart pot was perfect for the flour and cheese mixture that the milk and macaroni were ultimately added to.
Stuffing and baking the Mac n’ Cheese Stuffed Squash was easy, but I was disappointed that the macaroni and cheese didn’t bubble up like it was shown in the author’s pictures. that left me wondering if the macaroni I used was too small. Also, breadcrumbs didn’t brown, so I turned the broiler on for a few minutes to fix that.