This festive recipe is perfect as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish for a holiday occasion. To make it a balanced meal, serve it with a green vegetable and 4 ounces of a protein-rich food. 

Serves 2-4 

INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 large acorn squash 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp 
  • Butter, 2 pats 
  • Pomegranate seeds, 6 Tbsp (divided into 2 portions of 3 Tbsp each) 
  • Feta cheese, 4 oz (divided into 2 portions of 2 oz each) 
  • Roasted pecans, 4 Tbsp (divided into 2 portions of 2 Tbsp each)  
  • Green onions (dark green parts, chopped), 4 Tbsp (2 portions of 2 Tbsp each) 
  • Salt, to taste 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Chop the pecans and green onions and set aside. 
  2. Halve the acorn squash: Place a moist kitchen towel underneath a cutting board and place the acorn squash on top of the cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife or large serrated knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise from the tip to just next to the stem–be careful, take your time.  
  3. Rub the cut sides of the squash with the olive oil and a little salt. Place each squash half cut-side down on the parchment-lined pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until tender. 
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully flip the squash halves over so they are cut-side up on the pan. Add 3 Tbsp of pomegranate seeds to the cavity of each half and top each with 1 pat of butter. Return the pan to the oven and bake squash for 5 additional minutes. 
  1. Remove the pan from the oven. Taste the squash for salt and add a little more salt if needed. Top each squash half with chunks of feta cheese, the pecans and green onions. Serve immediately. To make 4 portions, cut each cooked half lengthwise. 

Copyright 2023, Vitalita Health/Lisa Henderson, RDN