AIP Recipe

Stuffed Acorn Squash Paleo Recipe (AIP, Whole 30, Gluten-Free)

stuffed acorn squash
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You are going to love this stuffed acorn squash paleo recipe!  I’ve been brainstorming different dishes to make when my in-laws are in town for Thanksgiving this year. We’re going to be renting a cabin the two days leading up to Thanksgiving and driving back home the morning-of. Without much time to prep, I decided I would need to make sides that are eloquent, delicious, and easy to put together. Enter this stuffed acorn squash paleo recipe!

stuffed acorn squash

Stuffed acorn squash is great for the holidays

Acorn squash is in season in the fall. It’s no secret that eating seasonally is  more nutrient dense and more sustainable, but  it’s also more affordable. When you’re hosting several people it can feel kind of overwhelming to have to spend lots of money on groceries, so save money where you can by purchasing in-season produce.

Not only is this stuffed acorn squash recipe delicious, it presents beautifully on the thanksgiving table. The festive dark green, red, and orange colors are a reflection of the deepening of the leaves in the trees as the seasons change.


baking dish with stuffed acorns

Is it possible to make this dish ahead of time?

Yes! I know Thanksgiving gets hectic (understatement!). I tested this recipe twice and both times I reheated the leftovers. They turned out great! Here’s how:

  • Make the stuffed acorn squash up to 5 days in advance (without the pomegranate seeds)
  • On Thanksgiving day (or whenever you want to make them!), preheat the oven to 250 degrees and pop them in there for 20-25 minutes
  • Top with the pomegranate seeds and enjoy!

Note: the kale does get a little crispy when you go the reheat route, but I didn’t mind it at all!

wood dish with stuffed acorns

What else goes with stuffed acorn squash?

What doesn’t? Here are a few recipes that would pair really well with acorn squash:

Caramelized Blood Orange Sweet Potato Wedges

AIP Festive Holiday Salad

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Risotto 

Can stuffed acorn squash be frozen?

I wouldn’t recommend doing it ahead of your holiday meal. Sometimes freezing food can interfere with the texture and make it less enjoyable. If you are feeling like you have too many leftovers, separate the stuffing and the acorn and freeze the ingredients separately. If you’re freezing the acorn squash, scoop out the meat of the squash and discard the skin. This will make delicious additions to vegetable soups and chilis in the coming months! The stuffing would taste great in a frittata.

Pinterest image for stuffed acorn squash

stuffed acorn squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash Paleo Recipe (AIP, Whole 30, Gluten-Free)

This dish is perfect for the holidays or meal prep! It reheats really well.
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 8 people


  • baking sheet
  • cast iron skillet


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups kale thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic sub 1 TSP ground, if needed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary minced
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage sub ground pork if you're in the AIP elimination phase and can't find it sugar and nightshade-free
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds fresh
  • 1/4 tsp salt to taste
  • 4 acorn squash small-medium sized, cut in half with seeds discarded


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet with the flesh (orange part) facing up
  • Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, then put them in the oven for 45-60 minutes until fork tender and golden brown
  • While the acorn squash is cooking, add olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add your onions and cook until they start to look translucent, about 3-5 minutes
  • Next, add in the garlic, pork, and herbs, and mix well with the onion. You may need to break the ground pork apart and mix it in with the ingredients intermittently
  • Once the pork is thoroughly cooked (about 7-10 minutes) add in the chopped kale
  • reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan with a lid to help the kale wilt a little bit (about 1-2 minutes). Now salt to taste.
  • Once the acorn squash is done, pull it out and carefully spoon the pork mixture into the hole of the acorn squash.
  • Top with pomegranate seeds and serve!


I do not remove the stems from kale because I don't mind them. You can if you want, though! 
Keyword AIP, Autoimmune paleo, christmas, gluten free, thanksgiving

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Hi, I'm Whitney. Your Holistic Nutritionist and Autoimmune BFF

Owner of Rooted in Healing Nutrition Therapy, autoimmune expert, and steward of your wellbeing. Whitney's approach is both scientifically informed and emotionally supportive because she knows healing is multifaceted and you deserve a care team who can support you through the many layers of healing.

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