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Stuffed Acorn Squash

The natural shape of this neat little squash is perfect for adding stuffing. This delicious Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is packed with beta carotene and fiber, and makes a beautiful table display, especially during the holidays!

2 acorn squash halves stuffed with wild rice

A number of years ago, I made this recipe for a Food for Life class I was teaching, and it was a huge hit! One participant said they would be perfect for an upscale dining restaurant. Not only beautiful and delicious but very nutritious as well.

overhead shot of 2 stuffed acorn squash in silver pan with forks and maple syrup

Stuffed acorn squash is…

  • A rainbow of warm colors
  • Loaded with wholesome ingredients
  • Perfect for stuffing
  • Bursting with flavor
  • Great for holidays or any time of the year
  • Amazingly delicious
collection of whole acorn squash on burlap in dark lighting

What is acorn squash?

Believe it or not, acorn squash is in the same family as zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), though it has much tougher skin and is quite hard to peel in comparison. Most grocery stores carry it year-round.

The creamy yellow inside flesh has a delicious nutty flavor that reminds me of a sweet potato. Some people say it tastes like a combination of butternut squash, sweet potato, and corn. It has a slightly sweet flavor compared to a pumpkin. 

acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, walnuts, and spices with bottle of maple syrup in background

How to make stuffed acorn squash

This is such a beautifully colorful dish that is perfect any time of year but extra special during the holidays when you are trying to make a great impression with your plant-based cooking skills.

Cooking the squash

The first thing you will need to do is cook the acorn squash. In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is to bake it whole in the oven, so that’s the way I am going to show you. However, if you would like other cooking options, take a look at my How to Cook Acorn Squash article.

2 whole raw acorn squash on a cutting board with knife

Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F and then carefully poke 5-7 holes in the squash with a knife. This is to prevent it from exploding in the oven.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (because I’m too lazy to wash the pan afterward).

Place the whole acorn squash in the oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on the size of your squash. The larger ones will need a little more time.

While it is cooking is a great time to begin cooking the stuffing.

Once the squash is cooked, set it to the side to allow it to cool before trying to handle it.

acorn squash cut in half on baking sheet with seeds being spooned out

Slice the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out seeds and strings. This will be SO much easier now that it’s cooked.

It can be sliced in either way–length-wise or through the middle–depending only on your preference. I’ve included a photo above to show both ways. I think I like through the middle the best personally.

Making the stuffing

While the squash is baking, start to prepare the wild rice stuffing that will take about the same amount of time to cook.

I use a rice blend that is very colorful and hearty for this recipe. It adds a warmth and density that is perfect for this winter squash in my opinion.

Dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Then gather the spices needed that include curry powder, cinnamon, sage, cloves, and chopped walnuts. The full ingredient list is in the recipe card below.

onions being sliced into crescent shapes on wooden cutting board

Heat 3 Tbsp veggie broth or water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.

stainless pot with wild rice, onions, garlic, cinnamon, and spices

Add the rice, curry powder, cinnamon, sage, clove, walnuts (if using), and salt and stir for about 1 minute.

Add veggie broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cover and stir occasionally, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 30 minutes (different brands of rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat.

stainless pot with wild rice cooking

Evenly stuff the scooped-out squash halves with the filling, then drizzle with maple syrup, a little more cinnamon, parsley, and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve warm.

cast iron baking pan with 4 stuffed acorn squash

*Originally published November 2015.

Your stuffed acorn squash questions answered

  • Can I use another kind of rice? Any type of rice can be used. I like the wild blends because they are heartier and more colorful and make a beautiful display. However, white, jasmine, brown, or another variety can be used as well.
  • What if I don’t like acorn squash? This rice stuffing can be used in other squashes like butternut or even in a sweet potato.
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it is, but make sure to check the label on the rice blend you choose.
  • Can I leave out the salt, walnuts, or maple syrup? Absolutely! Any of these can be left out completely.
  • How long will this keep? If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should keep about 4-7 days.
  • Do you have more vegan holiday recipes? I sure do! Check out my 21 Vegan Holiday Recipes post for more ideas.
2 acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and seasonings in silver dish

Other great squash recipes

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2 acorn squash halves stuffed with wild rice

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The natural shape of this neat little squash is perfect for adding stuffing. This delicious Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is packed with beta carotene and fiber, and makes a beautiful table display, especially during the holidays!

Ingredients

Acorn's Stuffing

  • 1 whole butter nut squash
  • 1/2 cup wild rice or other rice
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 cup veggie broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • maple syrup for drizzling
  • salt & pepper (to taste preference) 

Instructions

Cooking Acorn Squash

  1. The first thing you will need to do is cook the acorn squash. In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is to bake it whole in the oven, so that's the way I am going to show you. However, if you would like other cooking options, take a look at my How to Cook Acorn Squash article.
  2. Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F and then carefully poke 5-7 holes in the squash with a knife. This is to prevent it from exploding in the oven.
  3. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (because I’m too lazy to wash the pan afterward).
  4. Place the whole acorn squash in the oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on the size of your squash. The larger ones will need a little more time.
  5. While it is cooking is a great time to begin cooking the stuffing.
  6. Once the squash is cooked, set it to the side to allow it to cool before trying to handle it.
  7. Slice the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out seeds and strings. This will be SO much easier now that it’s cooked.
  8. It can be sliced in either way–length-wise or through the middle–depending only on your preference. I’ve included a photo above to show both ways. I think I like through the middle the best personally.

Making the Stuffing

  1. While the squash is baking, start to prepare the stuffing that will take about the same amount of time to cook.
  2. I use a rice blend that is very colorful and hearty for this recipe. It adds a warmth and density that is perfect for this winter squash in my opinion.
  3. Dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Then gather the spices needed that include curry powder, cinnamon, sage, cloves, and chopped walnuts.
  4. Heat 3 Tbsp veggie broth or water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.
  5. Add the rice, curry powder, cinnamon, sage, clove, walnuts (if using), and salt and stir for about 1 minute.
  6. Add veggie broth or water and bring to a simmer. Cover and stir occasionally, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 30 minutes (different brands of rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat.
  7. Evenly stuff the scooped-out squash halves with the filling, then drizzle with maple syrup, a little more cinnamon, parsley, and a few grinds of black pepper. Serve warm.

Notes

Your Questions Answered:

  • Can I use another kind of rice? Any type of rice can be used. I like the wild blends because they are heartier and more colorful and make a beautiful display. However, white, jasmine, brown, or another variety can be used as well.
  • What if I don't like acorn squash? This rice stuffing can be used in other squashes like butternut or even in a sweet potato.
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it is, but make sure to check the label on the rice blend you choose.
  • Can I leave out the salt, walnuts, or maple syrup? Absolutely! Any of these can be left out completely.
  • How long will this keep? If stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it should keep about 4-7 days.
  • Do you have more vegan holiday recipes? I sure do! Check out my 21 Vegan Holiday Recipes post for more ideas.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3.1gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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photo collage for stuffed acorn squash for pinterest
photo collage for stuffed acorn squash for pinterest

Sara

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Once you have stuffed the squash, do you put it back in the oven to heat?

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Hi Sara- You can place it back in the oven especially to keep it warm while preparing other dishes, but it's not required.

Melody

Saturday 25th of April 2020

This is very good. Stuffed with a wild rice mixture and added a bouillon cube.

Tina

Wednesday 31st of August 2016

Going to try this. Quinoa would make a great grain to stuff with also!

DeAnne

Tuesday 10th of November 2015

This looks great! I will definitely try it.

Cheri

Monday 9th of November 2015

This filling looks yummy. I have found that cutting the squash on the equator presents the pretty scallop on the edges. I have cut the squash when raw, cutting off pointy ends so it sits flat like a bowl.

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