This acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish is topped with candied pecans, pomegranate and a tasty dressing. Perfect as a holiday side, and healthy too.
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There are a few sides that are pretty much always going to be on our table, with cranberry sauce being at the top of the list, but I do mix things up as well. Recently, I've been playing around with trying something new. This acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish is so easy and tasty, with a wonderful sweet-savory mix, I wish I'd made it sooner.
The Holiday side checklist
While I do like trying new sides, I still kind of have a few criteria I tend to stick to. I love things that are roasted, so they will always be higher up in my list. Seasonal vegetables, such as roots, are perfect for this time of year so any excuse to build them in is good.
A little sweet and savory combined is also something that feels so fitting for the Holiday season (as I have included previously in my rutabaga, bacon and date stuffing and Jerusalem artichoke and persimmon stuffing).
This acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish (or Brussels sprouts, as they're more commonly known in the US) has all of that and more. It's a tasty combination of roasted vegetables, nuts, pomegranate and a delicious dressing. Plus, it has the added bonuses of being gluten free and vegan so it's a dish that can be enjoyed by almost everyone.
How to make this side dish
This acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish is also easy to make. After preparing the squash, onion and Brussel sprouts, you roast them with a little salt and olive oil.
Meanwhile, make your quick and healthy candied pecans by dry-frying the pecans then adding the maple syrup.Toss and tip them out and allow them to cool while you whisk up the dressing and pop the pomegranate seeds from the shell. Once the vegetables are ready, toss everything together and serve.
This acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish is a lovely mixture of flavors and textures. It's colorful and full of the flavors of the season. One of the best things for me, though, is it's a lot lighter, and healthier, than so many traditional sides and works for so many diets. This is a dish you'll be glad to add to your table, whether for Thanksgiving or any meal you like. Give it a try, and enjoy.
Try these other seasonal sides:
- Butternut squash wild rice salad with cranberries and fennel
- Fennel, prune and pork stuffing
- Green lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprout and grapes
- Plus get more Holiday recipes in the archives.
Acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish
- 14 oz acorn squash ½ squash, approx, 400g unpeeled, 10oz/280g peeled and deseeded weight
- 8 oz Brussel sprouts 225g, approx 6 ½oz/180g peeled weight
- ½ red onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ¼ cup pecans 30g
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses pomegranate syrup
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into roughly bite-sized pieces. Remove the ends from the Brussel sprouts and cut them in half length-wise, or in quarters if larger. Remove the outer 'leaf' from them as well. Peel and roughly chop the onion.
- Toss the squash, sprouts and onion in 1tbsp of the oil and lay in a single layer in a baking dish/baking sheet. Sprinkle over the salt and roast for approx 30min until the squash is tender and all vegetables are just browning.
- Meanwhile, have a piece of parchment paper ready to put the pecans on. Then toast the pecans for a couple minutes in a dry skillet/frying pan until you can start to smell their slight nuttiness. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup. Quickly toss so all the pecans are coated then tip out onto the parchment, making sure the buts are separated. Leave to cool.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and remaining 2tbsp olive oil for the dressing.
- Once the squash and sprouts have cooked, add the pecans, broken up if you prefer, pomegranate seeds and drizzle over the dressing (you may not want all of it). Best served warm.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try some other Holiday side dishes:
Potato Side Dishes
- Gingered Sweet Potatoes by Simple and Savory
- Southwestern Potato Bake by The Freshman Cook
- Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter by Cooking Chat
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Bake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Casserole by Food Lust People Love
- German Green Bean Salad (Bohnensalat) by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole by Family Around The Table
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole by My Life Cookbook
- Pan Roasted Carrots with Apple Molasses by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Cranberries by The Chef Next Door
- Roasted Onions with Parsley Pesto by Monica’s Table
- Roasted Parsnips with Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary by Wholistic Woman
Other Side Dishes
- Chestnut Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Easy Mushroom Rice Pilaf by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- One Pot Macaroni and Cheese by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Potato Dinner Rolls by The Redhead Baker
- Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing by Life Tastes Good