Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • prep time15 min
  • total time 85 min
  • serves 4

“On the farm I grew up on we always had a large vegetable garden and squash was a vegetable that I looked forward to eating each fall. Mom prepared it simply; she roasted it and melted her homemade butter on top. This recipe adds a few more ingredients and dresses the squash up into a superb main dish while adding a modern twist to an old favourite.” —Rosemary

10 Ratings
Directions for: Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash


⅓ cup pearl barley, rinsed using a wire strainer

1 cup no salt added chicken broth

2 medium-sized acorn squashes

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

¾ cup chopped button mushrooms

1 roasted red pepper, chopped

½ Northern Spy, Russet or a tart Canadian apple, diced

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ tsp crumbled dried sage leaves

to taste salt and pepper (optional)

½ cup shredded old Cheddar cheese


1. Place barley in a small saucepan with broth and bring to the boil; cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 9- × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) rimmed baking sheet with wet parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Scrub squash well. Cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds, scooping out some squash to make a larger cavity. Place squash cut side down on the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until flesh is tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove squash and increase oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). If the parchment paper is burnt, discard and reline pan with clean parchment paper.

5. In a 4-cup (1 L) microwave-safe container, cook onion and garlic in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 additional minute on high. Stir, add cooked barley, roasted red pepper, apple, walnuts and sage. Mix together and cook on high for 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.

6. Place squash in prepared pan and spoon mixture into squash halves. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and mixture is heated through.

Tips and Substitutions


For show appeal we cut the squash sidewise to feature the detail of the edges. There is less of a cavity so you will have more stuffing than needed. Bake off extra stuffing in an oiled casserole dish.

To prevent the squash halves from rolling around in the pan, cut a small slice off the rounded side of each squash half so they will sit flatly in the pan. 

For convenience, feel free to buy roasted peppers in a glass bottle. Freeze any leftovers, or roast them.

One serving = 1/2 squash
Per serving: 353 Calories, 17 g Total Fat, 5 g Saturated Fat, 0.2 g Trans Fat, 207 mg Sodium, 44.4 g Carbohydrate, 8.5 g Fibre, 5 g Sugars, 0 g Added Sugars, 11.8 g Protein Carbohydrate Choices: 2 ½

Source and Credits

Recipe by Rosemary Vanderhoeven, PHEc

Recipes from "Homegrown: Celebrating the Canadian Foods We Grow, Raise and Produce" by Mairlyn Smith

Copyright © 2015 by the Ontario Home Economics Association
Whitecap Books

See more: Bake, Cheese, Fall, Great Canadian Cookbook, Mushrooms, Winter

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