Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

in Dinner

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Pecans and Goat Cheese  //

McCormick sent me an email and asked me if I’d be willing to take on their Go4Gourmet challenge of creating a dish with four secret ingredients. I love a challenge and I would consider myself a bit of a competitive person. In third grade I “accidentally” tripped this girl in a derby race. I’m not proud of that moment but I did win. So, I said yes.

When I found out the ingredients (acorn squash, pecans, honey and chipotle chile pepper), I was pumped. In my brain I loved the combination of spicy, smoky, sweet and crunchy and nutty. Perfect combination of flavors. And I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I’ve been wanting to make acorn squash boats for forever!

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and PecansAcorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

The acorn squash gets drizzled with honey, along with a sprinkle of salt and chipotle chile pepper.

Meanwhile the farro is cooked. I cheat and buy the par-cooked farro. It shaves 15 minutes off the cook time and I honestly can’t taste the difference.

The dressing is a mix of olive oil, pumpkin oil (my new obsession and totally optional), chipotle chile pepper, lemon juice and salt. I toss the warm farro with the dressing and fold in cubes of feta, Italian parsley, cilantro and honeyed pecans. It’s such a pleasant combination of spicy, sweet and nutty. I love it!

(This post is sponsored by McCormick. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.) 

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans

Serving Size: 2

Acorn Squash Boats with Farro, Honey and Pecans


  • 2 tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped
  • Honey
  • 1 acorn squash, deseeded and halved
  • Olive oil
  • McCormick Gourmet 's chipotle chile pepper
  • Salt
  • *2 tablespoon pumpkin oil (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup farro, cooked
  • 2 ounces feta, cubed
  • Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
  • Handful of Cilantro, chopped


  1. In a small skillet, placed over medium heat, add a tablespoon of honey. When the honey is hot, add the chopped pecans, tossing them in the honey until they're thoroughly coated. Toast them in the pan for 2-3 minutes, moving them occasionally. Remove the pecans from the skillet and set aside to cool.
  2. To a roasting pan, add the acorn squash. (Tip: If the acorn squash aren't standing upright and are a bit too wobbly, you can turn the acorn squash over (face-side down) and slice a bit of the skin off, creating a flat surface.) Sprinkle the squash with a bit of olive oil, a few pinches of chipotle chile pepper and a sprinkling of salt. Transfer to the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, until the squash are tender when poked with a fork. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: two tablespoons olive oil, pumpkin oil, if using, a dash of chipotle chip pepper, the juice from 1/2 lemon and a few pinches of salt. Give it a taste, and adjust seasoning according to your liking. Toss the farro with dressing, being sure it's evenly coated. Fold in the cubed feta, Italian parsley, cilantro and honeyed pecans.
  4. *If you don't have pumpkin oil, simply replace the amount with olive oil.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah | The Sugar Hit October 1, 2013 at 3:07 am

It is so inexplicably hilarious to me that you tripped another kid in a derby race. Squash boats look awesome!


Adrianna Adarme October 1, 2013 at 8:27 am

It was an “accident”! 😉


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 1, 2013 at 4:30 am

Mmm so much goodness in here!


Tieghan October 1, 2013 at 5:28 am

I love acorn squash boats, actually I am thinking my post tomorrow is the acorn squash boats I made last week! I am loving the feta and pecans in yours. So yummy!


Ali @ Inspiralized October 1, 2013 at 6:59 am

Oh man…. you did it again! I’ve had an acorn squash on my counter for about 2 weeks now… this is definitely going to motivate me to make it finally!


Bev @ Bev Cooks October 1, 2013 at 7:17 am



Nicole October 1, 2013 at 8:43 am

The tripping story is fantastic, ha! And also so much yes to this pretty fall recipe!


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 1, 2013 at 8:58 am

Those boats are dreamy, also we need to fist bump because I’ve totes done something “accidental” like that. Chea gurl.


Kasha the FarmGirl October 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who adores feta and pecans :)


Sarah Crowder (punctuated. with food) October 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Love dishes like this in fall. Chipotle chile pepper makes it.


Allie @ 6000 Miles to Home October 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

YUMM. Anything with farro and feta is okay in my book! I tried something similar with a pattypan squash here:

I’ll have to try this one asap!!


ashley - baker by nature October 1, 2013 at 10:12 am

I totally cracked up reading this! Hey – at least you won 😉

These boats are dreamy!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

Love this presentation for a fall side dish!


Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet October 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

Love it! I feel like it would have been so easy to go the dessert route with those ingredients, but this is such a great, creative savory dish.


Belinda @themoonblushbaker October 1, 2013 at 10:42 am

I feel you, I am too competitive. IN junior netball I was the one to watch if I “Bumped” the other person to the ground. Not sorry (well some times I am) but hey I am a fighter!

Lovely cute salad, cute to describe a salad? Only for your food recipes!


Adrianna Adarme October 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

It’s called a competition for a reason!


joelle (on a pink typewriter) October 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

This is SO fall. Love it.


Michelle October 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Yes to competitiveness! Yes to things in boats! Yes to farro in everything these days!


Tina October 2, 2013 at 5:54 am

Dang! This is prefect! Soooo fall appropriate.


Ashley M. October 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

WOW! I made this for dinner tonight, just took a few bites…so flavorful and comforting. Serious wow. Thank you so much!


Adrianna Adarme October 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Oh yay! The chipotle pepper and honey are perfection together. So glad it worked out for you! Oh quick question: Did you use the pumpkin oil? I’m obsessed with it but I do know it’s a little expensive so that’s why I gave the option for olive oil.


Ashley M. October 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Negative on the pumpkin oil, but paired it with a spinach avocado salad. solid sub.


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