You guys, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! And if you’ve been looking for a vegetarian (or vegan) main dish for Thanksgiving, this one is for you. And if you just want a show-stopping Autumn-inspired dish for any other day of the week, this one is for you, too. ;) This Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash is is colorful, flavorful, full of texture, and just as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s definitely a new favorite that I’m going to be making every year going forward!
Make it Vegan
The recipe as written below is vegetarian because it does include butter. To make this recipe vegan, simply swap the butter with a vegan butter substitute or your favorite cooking oil. I do feel like the butter adds some extra richness because of the butter cream, so a vegan butter substitute will probably be the closest flavor match.
Swap out the Wild Rice Blend
I used Lundberg Wild Rice Blend, but if that is not available in your area or you want to swap it out for other reasons, it can easily be swapped out for any grain or grain mix that you like. Just cook your grain according to the package directions, using broth in place of water for extra flavor, as I did below. Then simply add the cooked grain into the recipe at the same point I added the cooked wild rice blend.
How Do You Eat Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash?
Sure, these stuffed acorn squash are pretty, but how do you eat them?? Just dig in with a fork, grabbing some of the baked acorn squash flesh on each forkful with the filling. Think of it kind of like eating a stuffed baked potato. And while acorn squash skin is edible, it can be quite tough, so I usually just scoop everything out of the skin and leave the shell of skin behind. :)
Can This Be Prepared Ahead?
You can prepare the wild rice filling ahead of time, and then bake the acorn squash, stuff it, and finish baking the day it will be served. I think it’s best to roast the squash the day of instead of fully baking and assembling the day before because it will take just as long to reheat the stuffed squash in the oven as it would to just bake it fresh. But you can save time by preparing the filling the day before. The color of the filling may dull a bit when prepared ahead, but the flavor should still be just as delicious!
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash (3 lbs. total) ($3.01)
- ⅛ tsp salt ($0.01)
- ⅛ tsp pepper ($0.01)
Wild Rice Stuffing
- ½ cup wild rice blend (uncooked) ($0.72)
- 1 cup vegetable broth ($0.13)
- 2 Tbsp butter* ($0.28)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
- 3 ribs celery ($0.32)
- 1 apple ($0.70)
- ½ tsp dried sage ($0.05)
- ½ tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
- ¼ tsp salt ($0.02)
- ¼ tsp pepper ($0.02)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts ($0.30)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries ($0.22)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley ($0.05)
- Combine the wild rice blend and vegetable broth in a pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the rice simmer for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut each acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Season the cut side of each squash with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking and squash is baking, begin the rest of the filling. Dice an onion and add it to a deep skillet with the butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until soft. While the onion is sautéing, finely chop the celery. Add the celery to the skillet and continue to sauté for a few minutes more.
- Core and dice the apple, then add it to the skillet, along with the sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the apple is slightly softened.
- When the wild rice is finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the onion, celery, and apples. Also add the walnuts, cranberries, and chopped parsley. Stir to combine.
- Turn the acorn squash over so the cut side is facing up (you can either leave them on the baking sheet or place them in a casserole dish). Fill the cavities in the squash with the wild rice mixture. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot.
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How to Make Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash – Step by Step Photos
Begin cooking the wild rice blend first because it takes the longest. You can use a different grain if you prefer. To cook this Wild rice blend, combine ½ cup of the rice blend with 1 cup vegetable broth. Place a lid on top, bring it up to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and let simmer for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut two acorn squash in half, lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Place the acorn squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season the cut sides of the acorn squash with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the squash over so it is cut side down, then transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
After roasting for 20 minutes the squash will be mostly tender, but it will be baked again once stuffed to finish it off. While the acorn squash is roasting, begin making the rest of the filling…
Dice an onion and add it to a deep skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft.
While the onion is sautéing, finely dice 3 ribs celery. Add them to the skillet and continue to sauté.
While the onion and celery are sautéing, core and dice an apple. Add the apple to the skillet along with ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Continue to sauté just a few minute more or just until the apple begins to soften.
When the wild rice blend is finished cooking, add it to the skillet, along with ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup dried cranberries, and about 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine.
And then you have the finished stuffing. It’s so colorful, has so much texture, and it is SO DELICIOUS. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your taste buds.
Finally, turn the squash over so they are cut side up (you can transfer to a casserole dish if you’d like, or leave them on the baking sheet) and stuff the cavities with the wild rice mixture. Bake the stuffed acorn squash for an additional 20 minutes, then serve.