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I love recipes that look fancy but are super easy. This stuffed acorn squash is just that: It’s very easy to make, yet it looks like you spent hours in the kitchen. It does take about an hour to prepare, but the assembly and cooking parts are very easy and even fun. It’s the perfect dish to feed a dinner party.
Acorn squash are in season in the autumn months along with spaghetti squash, delicata, butternut, pumpkin, kabocha, etc. The acorn squash are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they’re delicious! They have a silky, buttery, nutty flavor that lends well to roasting.
The stuffing here includes wild rice, some of the scooped out acorn squash, onion and garlic, mushrooms, greens, and optional sausage. Did you know that wild rice is actually a species of grass? It’s high in protein, minerals, and antioxidants and contains an impressive 10 grams of fiber per cup. It’s super tasty and has a slight nutty flavor. I included greens here too, because we could all use more greens. The stuffing contains an impressive array of nutrients!
This stuffed acorn squash recipe is very adaptable: You can make it with wild rice; or exclude the rice and make it paleo; or exclude the sausage and make it vegetarian. You can make it vegan by leaving out the cheese and just using a wild rice and veggie stuffing.
Easy Stuffed Acorn Squash
You’ll need the following:
- 3 acorn squash
- 1 bag of Lundberg’s wild rice
- Onion & garlic
- Greens (I like the power greens baby kale, spinach & chard mix)
- Olive oil
- Ground Italian sausage if not making it veg
- Optional: fancy hard Italian cheese, fresh herbs, dried cranberries
What to do:
Saw the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and innards so they make cute little bowls. Preheat the oven to 400, then drizzle the insides with olive oil and sea salt them. Place them face up on a cookie sheet .
Put these babies in the oven for about 40 minutes or until fork-tender and edges slightly caramelized, like this.
Scoop enough filling out of the squash so the edges are about 1/4″ thick. Add filling to a bowl and set squash and bowl aside. Prepare the filling (see recipe and directions below). Once the filling is done, spoon the filling into each half squash and pack it down. Divide evenly.
Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, then return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and just starts to brown around the edges and filling is warmed through. Top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives if you have it; plate the squashes, and serve!
STUFFED ACORN SQUASH (PALEO & VEGAN OPTIONS INCLUDED)
- 3 acorn squash
- 1 cup wild rice (not cooked yet) I like Lundberg's
- 1 3/4 cup chicken broth, veg broth, or water
- 1/2 large or 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2-3 cups packed baby spinach and/or baby kale (I often get the organic tender baby greens in a large clamshell from the store)
- 1 lb or so crumbly sausage omit for vegan
- 1 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, optional
- Slice and pre-roast squash: Saw the squash in half. I do it lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Preheat the oven to 400, then drizzle the insides with olive oil and sea salt them. Place them face up on a cookie sheet. Roast for 40 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, add 1¾ cup water or broth to a saucepan along with 1 cup wild rice and make that according to package directions.
- When the rice has about 15 minutes left, make the rest of your filling: Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, then remove. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook about 3 minutes. Add broth if needed to prevent sticking.
- Add greens and cook until they wilt, about 5 additional minutes.
- Rice should be done by this point, so add the rice to your skillet with other veggies, reduce heat, then add the sausage and scooped out squash and mix everything together in the skillet. Add about 1 tsp of Italian seasoning or oregano if you have it, or fresh herbs are even better. Add salt to taste If needed.
- You can also mix dried cranberries in the filling if you have them.
- Spoon filling into squash bowels, then divide grated cheese (if using) between squash halves and return to oven for 15 or so more minutes.
- FOR PALEO OPTION: skip the wild rice and just make the filling with sausage, onion, garlic, greens, mushrooms, and optional cheese.
- FOR VEGETARIAN VERSION: skip the sausage and just make the filling with wild rice, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and greens. Cheese optional (avoid cheese if vegan unless you have vegan cheese). Enjoy!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
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