Acorn Squash Salad and Apple Pie Filling

Add to Your Thanksgiving Feast with These Delectable Dishes

Article by Lindsay Sellin, ARNP, RD

Photography by Lindsay Sellin

Originally published in Kirkland Lifestyle

It's no longer just a nip in the air; fall is in full swing now! These crisp, cool days urge us to wear layers with warm sweaters, scarves and jackets. We’re getting cozy on the couch with blankets, a hot beverage and a good book. In the kitchen, it’s the time for soups, casseroles and every kind of comfort food. 

Fall is also the season for get-togethers at home with family and friends, including the ultimate dinner party of the year, the Thanksgiving feast. These recipes will be a hit anytime this fall, but surely on Turkey Day. The best part about these recipes is that they both offer ways to prepare ahead of time. We all need a little less stress during the holiday season! 

The acorn squash salad will add vibrant color to your table. It’s simple to make and seasoned with some of our favorite savory herbs. It’s also delicious served at room temperature, freeing up precious oven space. Roast the squash in the morning, then assemble the whole salad just before dinnertime. 

There is no getting around pie this time of year, and you can’t get more Washingtonian than apple pie! This recipe for apple pie filling can be made up to seven days in advance, then goes straight into an unbaked pie crust. With the flavor of this homemade filling, no one will be able to tell if you use a store-bought crust! This recipe is enough for two pies, one for you and one for your neighbor! 

Acorn Squash Salad

Serves 6


2 acorn squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (use any combination of rosemary, thyme and/or sage)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups fresh arugula

1/2 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray.

  2. Slice acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Slice each half into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. 

  3. In a large bowl, add squash slices, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat squash. 

  4. Arrange squash in a single layer on sheet pan. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until fork-tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. 

Note: Can store squash in the refrigerator at this point if preparing ahead. Then take squash out of the refrigerator 1 hour ahead of desired serving time to bring it back to room temperature. 

  1. Just prior to serving, toss arugula with vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer the dressed arugula to a serving platter then top with squash, arranging in overlapping fashion. Sprinkle salad with pomegranate seeds, goat cheese and parsley. Add a finishing pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Apple Pie Filling

Yield: 4 quarts

You’ll need 1-2 quarts per pie depending on the depth of your pie dish and how high you pile the filling!


3 pounds apples (Any kind will do, but I like crisp, semi-sweet apples like McIntosh, Pink Lady, Gala or Honeycrisp)

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups water

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Peel, core, and slice apples into 1- to 2-inch pieces. 

  2. Stuff raw apples into quart-sized canning jars.

  3. In a large saucepan or pot, mix together sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt. Add water and stir well.

  4. Put pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir often and cook until thick and syrupy. 

  5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. 

  6. Pour syrup over apples, stopping about 1 inch from the top. 

  7. Cover jars with lids and secure tightly. Store in the refrigerator and use within one week. Or for canning, submerge tightly secured jars into a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and listen for the lids to pop, indicating they are sealed. 

To bake a pie using this apple pie filling:

Place 1 pie crust in an ungreased pie plate, pressing firmly against side and bottom. Pour apple pie filling into unbaked crust coming all the way to the top. Leave open or top with a lattice of pie crust. Crimp edges with a fork. (If using a top crust or lattice, brush the top with a beaten egg white). Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven on the center rack for 45 minutes until crust is browned and filling is bubbling. Check the crust edges about 25 minutes into the cooking time. Cover edges with strips of foil to avoid over-browning. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 hours. 

Follow Lindsay Sellin, ARNP, RD, on Instagram at @sheeatstolive

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