Buckwheat & Cheddar Stuffed Acorn

Try this twist on the stuffed bell pepper for a burst of many different flavors all in one dish.

buckwheat and cheddar stuffed acorn squash

Carson Downing

Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Acorn squash’s natural bowl shape practically demands to be stuffed. Instead of a heavy meat filling, Abra’s grain forward spin is just as satisfying. Balsamic pickled tart cherries add a surprising sweet sour zing.

This recipe calls for buckwheat groats, which are the seeds of a plant that, despite having “wheat” in the name, is actually related to rhubarb and sorrel. When cooked, groats are chewy with a nutty and slightly bitter flavor. One cup uncooked groats yields 4 cups cooked. If you prefer to swap out the grain, try an equal amount of bulgur, farro, or wheat berries. 


  • 1 11/2-to 2-lb. lb acorn squash

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup dried tart red cherries

  • 1 cup uncooked buckwheat groats

  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
    Fried sage* (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut sides down on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until squash is tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, 30 to 35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in the cherries. Cover and let stand while squash bakes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring 4 cups salted water to boiling. Add the buckwheat; reduce heat. Cover and cook until tender, 12 minutes; drain. Return buckwheat to saucepan and season with a glug (1 to 2 Tbsp.) of olive oil and pinch of salt.

  4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh away from the skin, leaving 1/2 inch flesh in place to keep the skin intact. Drain cherries, reserving liquid. Transfer the scooped squash flesh to a large bowl. Add buckwheat mixture, 1/2 cup of the cheddar, half of the pickled cherries, 2 Tbsp. of the pickling liquid, 1/4 cup of the pecans, and the chopped fresh sage. Stir to combine.

  5. Place squash halves on baking sheet and fill with buckwheat mixture. Top with the remaining cheddar. Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and filling is warm, 15 minutes.

  6. Place remaining cherries and pickling liquid in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon over stuffed squash and top with remaining pecans and fried sage (if using). Serves 4.

    *To make fried sage In a small saucepan heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium-high. Fry a few fresh sage leaves at a time in the hot oil until crisp, 20 to 30 seconds per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

422 Calories
19g Fat
57g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 422.5
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19.4g 25%
Saturated Fat 6.3g 31%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 202.4mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 56.5g 21%
Dietary Fiber 12.5g 45%
Total Sugars 12.7g
Protein 11.8g
Vitamin D 0.2mcg 1%
Vitamin C 25.2mg 126%
Calcium 327.8mg 25%
Iron 3.1mg 17%
Potassium 1150.4mg 24%
Fatty acids, total trans 0.3g
Vitamin D 6.8IU
Alanine 0.5g
Arginine 0.6g
Ash 4.4g
Aspartic acid 1g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 0mcg
Choline, total 19mg
Copper, Cu 0.4mg
Cystine 0.1g
Energy 1766.5kJ
Fluoride, F 11.2mcg
Folate, total 60.6mcg
Glutamic acid 2.2g
Glycine 0.4g
Histidine 0.3g
Isoleucine 0.5g
Leucine 0.9g
Lysine 0.5g
Methionine 0.2g
Magnesium, Mg 146.9mg
Manganese, Mn 1.4mg
Niacin 2.6mg
Phosphorus, P 301.9mg
Pantothenic acid 1.5mg
Phenylalanine 0.5g
Phytosterols 0.5mg
Proline 0.9g
Retinol 93.2mcg
Selenium, Se 11.2mcg
Serine 0.5g
Starch 0.1g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 0.5g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.4mg
Tryptophan 0.2g
Tyrosine 0.5g
Valine 0.6g
Vitamin A, IU 1401.3IU
Vitamin A, RAE 144.9mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 7.5mcg
Water 251.5g
Zinc, Zn 2.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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