Combining all the classic Thanksgiving flavors in one edible dish, this Grilled Stuffed Acorn Squash is the perfect Thanksgiving camping meal.

This post was written in collaboration with Eddie Bauer

One of our favorite traditions is our annual “Campsgiving” trip— basically an autumn camping trip where we just hang out around the fire and cook a lot of good food together!

Some years we’ve endeavored to make quite a feast (including the time we cooked a whole bird in a dutch oven), but this year we’re keeping things simple with this grilled acorn squash.

This recipe has all the flavors that conjure up memories of a big family Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t involve nearly as many dishes (and you don’t have to invite a dozen of your relatives over to help finish it all!)

Recipe ingredients displayed on a table.

ingredients

Acorn Squash: We love the flavor that acorn squash brings to this meal, but you can replace it with other squash such as delicata or a small kabocha.

Ground turkey or sausage: Either will work – sausage will add more flavor, but ground turkey is easy to work with too! Just make sure to add salt and pepper to it.

Filling: To make things easy, we use boxed stuffing and add some extra stuff (see below). Feel free to make and use your own if you prefer!

Celery and onion: These aromatics really take box filling to the next level.

Pecans and Cranberries: Pecans add some texture and cranberries add a nice sweet tart flavor. Try not to skip these!

Equipment

Tin foil: Optional, but wrapping the squash halves in foil can help them cook faster, prevent campfire smoke from discoloring the squash, and save the squash from charred skin that can flake off onto your plate and into your food.

Long-handled pliers: A pair of long-handled tongs is the best way to safely move or flip the squash over the campfire grill.

Skillets: If you have to cook the filling over the fire, it is best to use a cast iron pan. If you’re cooking over a stove, any frying pan will work!

Stuffed acorn squash halves in a yellow enamel dish.

How to make grilled stuffed squash

Here is an overview of the recipe with tips & tricks and step by step pictures! The full recipe with measurements and a printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of the post.

Prepare your fire / charcoal (or grill)

You can make this recipe on a propane grill or over a campfire. Be sure to prepare your fire well in advance so that the larger pieces of wood can burn down to usable embers. For more information on preparing a fire for cooking, check out our Campfire 101 Article.

Scoop out the seeds from half an acorn squash.

Prepare the squash

Use a large knife to cut the squash in half pole by pole. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center with a spoon and discard. Rub the cut sides of each squash half with a teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt. Wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil (optional, but recommended if cooking over wood).

Grilling the squash

Place the squash on the grill, cut side up, over medium heat. Roast for 30-45 minutes, then turn the squash cut side down and roast for another 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. These times can certainly vary based on the size of your squash, whether you wrap it in foil, and situational variables like outside temperature and your campfire. Start early!

Fill a cast iron pan on a grill grate.

Cook the filling

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat – you can do this over a camping stove or fire. Add the chopped onions and saute until they start to soften. Add the turkey and cook until it begins to brown, breaking it apart with your spatula as it cooks. Add celery and cook for 2 more minutes. Add box filling and liquid to the pan and fold all the ingredients together. When the filling is hydrated, add pecans and cranberries.

Stuffed acorn squash halves in a yellow enamel dish.

Collect and serve

Carefully remove the squash from the foil. Pour half of the filling mixture into the cavity of each squash half.

If your squash was on the smaller side and it all won’t fit, just serve the extra on the side, or save it for the morning and make Thanksgiving breakfast hash by adding a fried egg and home baked potatoes!

Do it in front: Roast the squash, unwrapped, cut side up on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, until just tender. Prepare the filling as directed. Gather and wrap each stuffed squash half in foil. When you get to camp, place the wrapped squash on the fire and heat until heated through.

Two pieces of roasted stuffed squash on a plate
Acorn squash halves filled with stuffing on plates with fall foliage in the background

For the squash

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoonfuls olive oil
  • ½ teaspoonful salt

For the filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, in dice
  • 4 ounces turkey sausage or ground turkey, (or tempeh for a vegetarian/vegan option)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into slices
  • 1 teaspoonful salt
  • cups dry stuffing
  • 1 cup broth, or water
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Avoid your screen going dark

  • Prepare the squash: Use a large knife to chop the squash in half pole by pole. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center with a spoon and discard. Rub the cut sides of each squash half with a teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt. Wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil (optional, but recommended if cooking over wood).

  • Roast the squash: Place the squash on the grill, cut side up, over medium heat. Grill for 30-40 minutes, then turn the squash cut side down and grill for another 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.

  • Prepare the filling: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook until it begins to brown, 5 minutes or so, breaking it up with your spatula as it cooks. Add celery and cook for 2 more minutes. Fold the prepared stuffing into the turkey and vegetable mixture (or, if using store-bought stuffing, add the mixture and liquid to the pan), pecans, and cranberries.

  • Gather: Carefully remove the squash from the foil. Pour half of the filling mixture into the cavity of each squash half.

  • Serve * enjoy!

Move on: Roast the squash, unwrapped, cut side up on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, until just tender. Prepare the filling as directed. Gather and wrap each stuffed squash half in foil. When you get to camp, place the wrapped squash on the fire and heat until heated through.

Calories: 678kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 28g | fat: 30g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 18g

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information from a third party nutrition calculator

It’s the season!

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the camper, hiker, or outdoor lover on your list, you’ve hit the jackpot! We have a gift guide for everyone, so take a look and find the perfect gift.

Related Posts