Wild rice stuffed acorn squash is full of everything you're craving for Thanksgiving or a cozy winter night. Wild rice is combined with mushrooms, cranberries, shallots and sage for a hearty and delicious meal. Try it with gravy poured over the top to create an extra decadent dish.
When it comes to our Thanksgiving meal, I am most excited about the sides. Anyone else? The sides are where all the flavor and fun are at! But, its nice to have a main dish option too. This stuffed acorn squash fits both of those requirements. This meal was born from the gluten free wild rice stuffing recipe that I use for Thanksgiving each year. I had some stuffing left over and also had an acorn squash on hand, and wa-la! A whole new dish was created. So, we have a main dish and a side all in one. You'll often find me pouring gravy over the top of this and even possibly mixing bites with some cauliflower mash.
This wild rice stuffed acorn squash is vegan, gluten free, oil free, nightshade free and gives a substitute for nuts. This is a dish dish that almost anyone can eat and enjoy!
Ingredients in Vegan Acorn Stuffed Squash
- Acorn squash - Acorn squash is the perfect size for a main dish meal. Look for a squash that has no obvious blemishes and is mostly dark green (just a little orange remaining is ok). Picking a squash that is dark green ensures it was picked when ripe and will have a good flavor.
- Wild rice - You can use wild rice or a wild rice blend for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time according to package directions if you're using a blend.
- Shallots - Shallots are best described as a combination of garlic and onion. They are wonderfully fragrant and flavorful. If you can't find shallots you can substitute with diced onion.
- Mushrooms - This adds a meaty texture to the stuffing. White or cremini mushrooms both work well.
- Sage - Fresh sage boosts the flavor of this dish. If you can't find fresh sage you can use 1 tablespoon of dried sage.
- Dried cranberries - Use the fruit juice sweetened cranberries if they're available since they don't contain processed sugar.
- Cannellini beans - You can also substitute chickpeas or navy beans.
- Almonds - Pecans are also wonderful in this. If you need a nut-free option use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.
How to Make Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed Acorn Squash is a healthy and hearty main dish entrée. Start by preheating the oven to 400F and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half. Squash can be tricky to cut, and you don't want to end up cutting yourself, so if you're having a hard time use my pro tip below. Scoop the seeds and any stringy bits out of the squash. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
Next, cook the wild rice in a medium pan. Using vegetable broth in place of water infuses the rice with more flavor. However, if you're watching your sodium intake, make sure to use a low-sodium broth or use water instead.
While the squash is roasting and the wild rice is cooking, sauté shallot, mushrooms, celery, thyme and garlic in a little bit of water, adding more water as necessary to prevent sticking. This technique omits oil and reduces the overall calorie and fat content of the dish. Once the mushrooms have started to release their liquid and are becoming tender, remove from the heat. When the wild rice is done cooking stir it into the mushroom mixture, along with the sage, almonds, dried cranberries and cannellini beans. Cook until all ingredients are heated through.
Turn the acorn squash over and spoon the wild rice mixture into the cavity of the acorn squash. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes if the squash needs to be rewarmed. Serve with gravy poured over the top if desired. Enjoy!
Can I make this Ahead of Time?
This wild rice stuffed squash recipe can be made ahead of time. Make as directed above but refrigerate the squash and wild rice mixture separately for up to three days. When you are ready to eat, stuff the squash and reheat in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
What do you eat with Stuffed Acorn Squash?
Acorn squash pairs well with so many wonderful fall sides. I highly recommend eating it alongside:
- Maple-Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Cauliflower Mash
- Kale Salad
- Gluten Free Cornbread
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 3 acorn squash, halved
- 1 ½ cups wild rice
- 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup shallots, diced
- 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, chopped into ½” pieces
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons sage, minced
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted, or sunflower seeds for nut-free
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups cannellini beans, (or 1 15-ounce can drained and rinsed)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. (Squash can be tricky to cut, so if you’re having a hard time use my pro tip below.) Scoop the seeds and any stringy bits out of the squash. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared sheet pan and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice, broth and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until rice is al dente (soft, but still slightly firm when bitten). Remove from the heat, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons of water over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the shallot, mushrooms, celery, thyme and garlic and cook until shallot and celery have softened and the mushrooms have started releasing their juices, about 6-8 minutes. Add more water as necessary during cooking to prevent sticking. When the wild rice is done cooking stir it into the mushroom mixture, along with the sage, almonds, dried cranberries and cannellini beans. Cook until all ingredients are heated through.
- Turn the acorn squash over and spoon the wild rice mixture into the cavity of the acorn squash. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes if the squash needs to be rewarmed. Serve with gravy poured over the top if desired. Enjoy!
This is SO delicious. My husband loves it and tells me he likes knowing he's eating something really healthy! 🙂 I'll be making this again for sure!
This looks delicious! Can the wild rice mixture be frozen free preprint it?
Hi Ellen, Yes, the wild rice mixture can be frozen and thawed when ready to use. Enjoy!