MAKES: 12 SERVINGS
PREP: 25 MINS
SLOW COOK: 4 HRS TO 6 HRS (LOW) OR 2 TO 3 HOURS (HIGH)
3 medium acorn squash (3-1/2 to 4 pounds total)
4 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 thick slices bacon
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
- Cut 1/2 inch off the top and bottom of each squash; cut each squash in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds. Cut each squash half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
- Layer squash slices in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add garlic and thyme. In a 2-cup glass measure stir together cider, broth, and brown sugar. Pour over squash in cooker.
- Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours.
- In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; discard drippings. (Do not wipe skillet clean.) Finely crumble bacon. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko; cook and stir for about 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer toasted panko to a medium bowl; cool completely. Stir bacon pieces and chives into panko. Cover and chill until serving time.
- To serve, transfer squash to a serving platter. Sprinkle with panko mixture.
From the Test Kitchen
Prepare squash as directed in Step 1. Place squash slices in a resealable plastic bag; chill for up to 24 hours.
Nutrition Facts (Acorn Squash with Bacon-Chive Crumbs)
Per serving: 87 kcal , 2 g fat (1 g sat. fat , 0 g polyunsaturated fat , 1 g monounsaturated fat ), 3 mg chol. , 134 mg sodium , 15 g carb. , 2 g fiber , 2 g sugar , 3 g pro.