Combining all the classic Thanksgiving flavors into an edible bowl, this grilled Stuffed Acorn Squash is the perfect camping meal for Thanksgiving.
This post was written in partnership with Eddie Bauer
One of our favorite traditions is our annual “Campsgiving” Trip—essentially an autumn camping trip where we just hang out around the campfire and cook a lot of great food together!
Some years we’ve endeavored to cook 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 Stuffed 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 need to invite a dozen of your relatives over to help finish it all!)
Acorn squash: We love the flavor that acorn squash brings to this meal, but you can substitute it with other squash such as delicata or a small kabocha.
Ground turkey or sausage: Either will work—sausage will carry more flavor, but ground turkey is easy to work with too! Just be sure to add salt and pepper to it.
Stuffing: To make things easy, we use boxed stuffing and add some extras in (see below). Feel free to make and use your own if you’d prefer!
Celery & onion: These aromatics really bring boxed stuffing to the next level.
Pecans & cranberries: Pecans add some texture and cranberries add a nice pop of sweet-tart flavor. Try not to skip these!
Aluminum foil: Optional, but wrapping the squash halves in foil can help them cook faster, prevents the campfire smoke from discoloring the squash, and saves the squash from charred skin which can flake off onto your plate and into your food.
Long handled tongs: A pair of long-handled tongs is the best way to safely reposition or flip the squash over the campfire grill.
Skillet: If you’re going to prepare the stuffing over the campfire, it’s best to use a cast iron skillet. If you’re cooking over a camp stove, any skillet will work!
How To Make Grilled Stuffed Squash
Here’s an overview of the recipe with tips & tricks and step by step photos! The full recipe with measurements and a printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of the post.
Prepare Your Fire / Charcoals (or grill)
You can make this recipe on a propane grill or over a campfire. Make sure to prepare your fire well-enough in advance to allow the larger pieces of wood to burn down to usable embers. For more information on preparing a fire for cooking, check out our Campfire 101 article.
Prep the squash
Using a large knife, cut the squash in half pole-to-pole. Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of 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 a wood fire).
Grilling the squash
Place the squash on the grill, cut side up, over medium heat. Roast for 30-45 minutes, then flip the squash so the cut side is facing down, and roast for an additional 15 minutes or until the squash is tender. These times can definitely vary based on the size of your squash, wether you wrap it in foil, and situational variables like outside temperature and your campfire. Start early!
Cook the stuffing
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat—you can do this over a camping stove or the campfire.. Add the diced onions and saute until they begin to soften. Add the turkey and cook until it starts to brown, breaking it apart with your spatula as it cooks. Add the celery and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the boxed stuffing and liquid to the pan and fold all the ingredients together. Once the stuffing is hydrated add in the pecans and cranberries.
Assemble and serve
Carefully unwrap the squash from the foil. Scoop half of the stuffing mixture into the cavity of each squash half.
If your squash was on the smaller side and it doesn’t all fit, you can 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 fried potatoes!
Make it Ahead: Roast the squash, unwrapped, cut-side up on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, until just tender. Prepare the stuffing as directed. Assemble and wrap each stuffed squash half in foil. Once you get to camp, place the wrapped squash on the campfire and heat until warmed through.
For the squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the stuffing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 ounces turkey sausage or ground turkey, (or tempeh for a vegetarian/vegan option)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups dry stuffing
- 1 cup broth, or water
- ¼ cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Prepare the squash: Using a large knife, chop the squash in half pole-to-pole. Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of 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 a wood fire).
- Roast the squash: Place the squash on the grill, cut side up, over medium heat. Grill for 30-40 minutes, then flip the squash so the cut side is facing down, and grill for an additional 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Prepare the stuffing: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions and saute until they are just beginning to soften about 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes or so, breaking it apart with your spatula as it cooks. Add the celery and cook for 2 minutes more. Fold the prepared stuffing into the turkey and vegetable mixture (or, if using store-bought stuffing, add the mix and liquid to the pan), pecans, and cranberries.
- Assemble: Carefully unwrap the squash from the foil. Scoop half of the stuffing mixture into the cavity of each squash half.
- Serve * enjoy!
Nutrition (Per Serving)
Tis’ the season!
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a camper, hiker, or outdoors-loving person on your list, you’ve hit the jackpot! We have a gift guide for everyone, so take a look and find the perfect gift.