Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash

This Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash is the perfect Fall side dish, and perfect for Thanksgiving. The roasted onion and fresh cranberries give it warm bursts of delicious flavor, and the walnuts add a fabulous crunch! 

Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash 

This week has been a truly amazing whirlwind. The Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Cookbook is here and it has been so much fun connecting with so many long-time readers, new faces, and friends! I see so many of you receiving your books and I hope you have a blast cooking your way through it! 

But first, are you thinking about Thanksgiving yet? I am! Definitely, definitely add this to your Thanksgiving menu this year! It is my new favorite and festive side dish. We are having a Friendsgiving next week to kick off the season, and you can bet this will be on the menu! 

Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash

Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash

Preparation 10 min 2017-08-18T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 45 min 2017-08-18T00:45:00+00:00



  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle veggies and cranberries with oil, spices, ginger, and honey.
  • Roast for 40 minutes until fork tender.
  • Add the walnuts and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve hot.
  • Cranberry Walnut Roasted Acorn Squash

    Fresh cranberries, roasted red onion, tender acorn squash, and walnuts. The perfect combination!  

    squash-cranberry-side-dishWhat is on your Thanksgiving menu this year? 


    Cranberry Spice Relish

    Thanksgiving is on my mind!!! Now that it’s here next week, let’s discuss the menu. What are we serving with our turkey? This week for Healthy Food Friday with American Express let’s whip up the most wonderful side. It’s seriously a must for your dinner!

    Cranberry Spice Relish. Sweet and flavorful, the perfect dollop on top of your slices of turkey. Or if you’re like me, a nice big spoonful onto of the entire plate which turns into a big mix of everything in one bite.




    Cranberry Spice Relish

    Preparation 5 min 2017-08-18T00:05:00+00:00 Cook Time 20 min 2017-08-18T00:20:00+00:00


    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup maple sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
    • 1 cup fresh cranberries
    • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup golden raisins
    • 1 teaspoon- 1 tablespoon orange zest, for garnish


  • Add maple sugar and water in a small pot, bring to a boil over high heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add in everything else except for orange zest and let boil for 20 minutes, or until all of the water has evaporated (stir occasionally so that the mixture does not burn on the bottom and sides of the pot).
  • Top with orange zest and enjoy!
  • Recipe Notes

  • 1 cup
  • CranberrySpiceRelish4


    I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American Express are my own.

    What’s on your Thanksgiving menu every single year?

    Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Sliders

    Wait, what?! Thanksgiving is NEXT week already. If you’re like we are over here, we have been planning planning planning! I generally keep it rather simple for my appetizers. Lately I am all about the perfect cheese board for my family and friends. I wanted one more fun appetizer that I could also turn into a spin on the traditional sweet potato mash side dish. These beauties arose. Sweet potato sliders!

    Remember these? Those are one of my football Sunday favorites, so naturally a spin on them for the holidays was just what I wanted!


    Creamy, flavorful, sweet potato topping piped onto a nice slider bottom and topped with bacon. Sign me up. I love that these can go from the appetizer table to the sides with your turkey!

    Versatile, baby!



    Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Sliders

    Preparation 10 min 2017-08-18T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 40 min 2017-08-18T00:40:00+00:00


    For the Potato Base

    For the Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Topping

    • 1-2 orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
    • 1 tablespoon almond milk or milk of choice
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces


  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Slice potatoes or sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices*
  • Toss with oil, salt and pepper and line on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through
  • While baking, boil sweet potatoes
  • Once fork tender, place sweet potatoes in your high-speed blender
  • Add in butter, almond milk, maple syrup, and salt
  • Blend until smooth, taste and add any additional salt or maple syrup that you'd like
  • Cook your bacon with your desired cooking method and set aside
  • Once potato bases are done, remove from the oven and set aside
  • Transfer maple sweet potato mixture to a piping bag or large ziplock bag (cut the top off), and pipe onto bases
  • Sprinkle with bacon and serve
  • Recipe Notes

  • *Thick enough to pick up!
  • SweetPotatoSliders3

    What appetizers do you serve time and time again?

    Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

    This Harvest Salad has all the ingredients you’ll want in a Fall dish! Packed with chopped kale, roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans and topped with a super easy & delicious Maple Balsamic for the absolute perfect Thanksgiving salad! 

    Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

    My fabulous blogging girlfriends are here with me today bringing you healthy sides for your Thanksgiving feast. I am in love with this month’s round up because I mean… check out these recipes! Gorgeous, delicious, and good-for-you! I call it a WIN. Your family and friends will thank you, too!


    Cauliflower Stuffing from The Healthy Maven

    This healthy, low-carb cauliflower rice stuffing will convince your Thanksgiving guests to jump on board the cauliflower rice train, while secretly getting them to eat more veggies! Plus it’s ready in under 20 minutes.


    Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Almonds from Eating Bird Food

    Add some green to your holiday table with this flavorful recipe for tender crisp green beans tossed with caramelized shallots, toasted almonds and fresh parsley.

    Green Beans with Shallots

    5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from Running to the Kitchen

    This simple cranberry sauce is made with just 5 ingredients. Make it in the slow cooker and save the stove-top space for all the other Thanksgiving sides.

    5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce 700-3

    Vegan Scalloped Sweet Potatoes from Food Faith Fitness 

    These easy scalloped sweet potatoes are SO creamy and flavorful, you’ll have a hard time believing they’re secretly healthy and paleo and vegan friendly!



    Balsamic Sea Salt Brussels Sprouts from Fit Foodie Finds

    Make these delicious Balsamic Sea Salt Roasted Brussels Sprouts this holiday season for the most delicious vegan and paleo side that everyone will gobble up! 




    Now… my Harvest Salad

    You guys, I’ve been putting this dressing on EVERYTHING. It is my new favorite. 100%. You need to make it immediately. 


    Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

    Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

    Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing



    • 1 Kabocha Squash
    • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (code LEXI for 10% off) for roasting
    • 4 cups kale, chopped
    • 1 cup pecans, toasted
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

    Maple Balsamic Dressing

    • 1/3 cup avocado oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
    • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Slice kabocha squash and toss with olive oil and spread across a lined baking sheet
  • Roast squash for 30-40 minutes until fork tender
  • Remove and set aside
  • In a blender combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth
  • Place pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, tossing halfway through*
  • Assemble salad: kale, squash, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans
  • Top with dressing and serve
  • Recipe Notes

  • *Watch to avoid burning
  • Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing


    What is your favorite Fall flavor combination? What is your go-to side dish for holidays?


    Perfect Roasted Veggies

    Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. I don’t know about you, but the menu planning is the best part! You can get creative while pooling your favorite dishes for a fantastic spread. For the next few weeks for Healthy Food Friday with American Express, I’ll be getting you ready for your delicious & HEALTHY Thanksgiving feast. 

    I’m super excited to get you ready for your big dinner with some show-stopping dishes that’ll be devoured right off of the table. Whether you are hosting at your house, are a guest bringing a dish, hosting a “Friendsgiving”, or just looking for a delicious veggie side, this dish is for you!

    Perfect Roasted Veggies


    Simply roasted with some touches that’ll shine. That’s what I’m all about. Plus, just look at those colors!

    Perfect Roasted Veggies


    Perfect Roasted Veggies

    Preparation 10 min 2017-08-18T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 50 min 2017-08-18T00:50:00+00:00


    • 10-15 rainbow carrots
    • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced
    • 1 large red onion, sliced
    • 1 acorn squash or squash of choice, sliced
    • 2 cups purple seedless grapes
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (code LEXI for 10% off)
    • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 sprigs thyme
    • 4 sprigs of sage
    • 1-2 teaspoons fine pink sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • Optional: 2 tablespoons raw honey


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • In a bowl, combine sliced onion, Brussels sprouts, carrots, squash, and grapes
  • Add in oil, garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Toss to evenly combine
  • Line a baking sheet and spread out veggies across it
  • Top with thyme and sage
  • Roast for 45-50 minutes, tossing halfway through
  • Once soft and tender, remove from the oven
  • Remove any stems (from grapes and herbs)
  • If adding honey, add while veggies are warm and toss
  • Add additional salt and pepper as desired and serve hot
  • RoastedVeggies2


    I was selected by American Express to contribute to its Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American Express are my own.


    P.S. Don’t forget to use my handy guide to plan your meal!Thanksgiving Guide


    How To Build The Perfect Soup

    Happy Friday, all! We are changing gears this week for Healthy Food Friday with American Express. Pumpkin recipes out, hearty cold-weather holiday food in! All Fall and Winter long, my Dutch ovens stay out and a soup is constantly cooking. This infographic will help you build the perfect soup!

    How To Build The Perfect Soup | Infographic

    How To:

    1. Choose a fat: Grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil.

    2. Choose a base (1 or 2): chicken stock, beef stock, vegetable stock, tomato puree, pureed veggies, cream, dairy-free milk.

    3. Choose your meat: chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, steak, fish.

    4. Choose your veggies: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spinach, kale, green beans, zucchini, etc.

    5. Choose your spices: start with salt and pepper, then go with a flavor combination that works for your soup!

    Example: for chili use cumin, chili powder, celery seed, granulated garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.



    Heat your fat with your aromatic veggies (like garlic and onion).

    Sauté for 3-5 minutes then add in your meat and cook until brown (remove any meat bones if you have)

    Add in additional veggies and let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until fork-tender. Add softer veggies towards the end, like spinach.

    Add in your base(s) and then in your spices and mix well to combine.

    Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer.

    Add cream if you want a cream soup. Transfer to a high-speed blender if you want a fully pureed soup.

    Garnish and enjoy!

    *Certain aspects will vary based on the soup you decide to create.



    Choose a meat that complements your base (E.G. chicken with chicken stock).

    Consider adding two bases: chicken stock and diced tomatoes, pureed tomatoes and cream, etc.

    Use whatever veggies you have on hand, but go in with an end game for the type of soup you want to create!

    To avoid over spicing, taste and adjust spices as you go!


    Try These:


    Easy Pumpkin Soup



    Meatball Stew


    30-Minute Taco Soup


    I was selected by American Express to contribute to their Tumblr community. As such I was paid for my services, but all opinions in general and about American Express are my own.

    What is your favorite type of soup?