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Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe

Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Stuffing
  • Vegetarian stuffing

Acorn squash is baked then stuffed with a mixture of cooked rice, cashew nuts, red onion, dried cranberries and apple. A delicious vegetarian meal for 2!

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 small apple - peeled, cored and grated
  • 250g cooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  2. Place acorn squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish. Add a few tablespoons water and cover with foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until squash is soft and can easily be pierced by a fork, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile toast cashews in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle. Chop cashews.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and cook onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in balsamic vinegar and mix well. Add apple and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  6. Combine onion-apple mixture, rice, cranberries and cashews in a bowl. Season filling with thyme, salt and pepper and mix well.
  7. Remove squash from the oven and leave oven on. Distribute filling among the 4 squash halves. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and some butter on top of each squash half. Return to oven and bake until filling is hot and breadcrumbs are toasted, 20 to 30 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(5)

Reviews in English (2)

by AnnC

I made this for Christmas dinner for a couple of guests that are vegetarians. They said it was the best squash recipe they ever tried. I followed the recipe exactly (except I microwave the shells) and sealed it up and froze it. I put it in the fridge the day before I baked it for dinner. Stood up very well to freezing!-03 Jan 2019

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I first made this stuffed acorn squash recipe for Thanksgiving, but its spiced quinoa filling is so good that it's become one of my go-to fall recipes.

The year I first became vegetarian I truly missed the turkey part of turkey day. It seems like ages ago now, but back then I barely knew how to cook for myself, let alone embrace seasonal foods like squashes, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes (you know, the kind without marshmallows).

Now, with hearty vegetarian main dishes like this stuffed acorn squash, I couldn’t miss the turkey less. When I started working on this recipe, I knew I wanted to make an unconventional stuffed squash. Obviously, you won’t find ground beef or a sausage and apple combination here, but I also veered off the traditional vegetarian stuffed acorn squash path. Instead of using wild rice, dried cranberries, and onions and celery in my filling, I went in a totally different direction: Tex-Mex!

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe Ingredients

This stuffed acorn squash filling is DELICIOUS, hearty, and healthy. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Cooked quinoa and black beans make up its hearty base.
  • Avocado adds creaminess.
  • Cumin and coriander spice it up.
  • Feta gives it a tangy, salty punch of flavor.
  • Onion, green onions, and green chiles add heat and depth of flavor.
  • Pepitas add crunch.
  • Lime brightens it up.

While the squash roasts, sauté the onion and stir in the other ingredients. When the squash halves are tender and golden brown, remove them from the oven and load them up with the yummy filling! Enjoy!

Stuffed Acorn Squash Serving Suggestions

If you serve this stuffed acorn squash recipe at Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’ll have a spread of dishes like cornbread stuffing, cauliflower mashed potatoes, an autumn salad, and apple pie or crumble to go with it.

If you make it on its own, I recommend pairing it with a simple veggie side like roasted beets, lemon green beans, or roasted cauliflower. Alternatively, embrace its Mexican flavors and pair it with my Mexican street corn salad!

Depending on the size of your acorn squash, you may have some of the filling left over. My leftover suggestion: make post T-giving tacos!

Ultimate Stuffed Acorn Squash

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The Native American “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash—come together in these individual holiday entrées stuffed with corn pudding and black beans.


  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.), divided
  • 4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder, plus more for sprinkling squash
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, plus more for sprinkling squash
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen organic corn kernels, divided
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbs. melted butter or olive oil
  • 3 oz. soft goat cheese or low-fat cream cheese (1/3 cup)
  • 3 oz. grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (3/4 cup), plus more for sprinkling tops, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large poblano chile or 1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 8 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling tops


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine oil and 2 tsp. minced garlic in small bowl. Brush squash halves with garlic oil, and sprinkle lightly with ancho chile powder and coriander. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and place on large baking sheet.

2. Pulse 2 cups corn kernels in food processor until finely chopped and milky. Set aside.

3. Whisk 1/2 tsp. each coriander and ancho chile powder into cornmeal, along with sugar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne (if using) in medium bowl. Set aside.

4. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in separate bowl. Whisk in butter, then puréed corn, remaining 1 cup corn kernels, goat cheese, Cheddar, and remaining 2 tsp. garlic. Fold in cornmeal mixture with spatula, then fold in black beans, poblano chile, and green onions.

5. Divide filling among squash halves. Sprinkle each squash with extra Cheddar (if using).

6. Bake squash halves 30 to 45 minutes, or until squash are tender and filling is set. Sprinkle with green onions. Squash can be prepared 24 hours ahead, then reheated 20 minutes at 325°F.

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash

This Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is a regular in my house. I first had it a few years ago when our dear friends Donna and Scott invited us over to their home. Donna served this squash with kale, white quinoa, cranberries and garbanzo beans. It was totally delicious!

I’ve modified the recipe to include red bell peppers, tri-colored quinoa (cooked in vegetable broth, which takes the taste up by several notches!), garbanzo beans, onions, garlic, ginger, jalapenos (an Indian gal must show her true colors, right?!) with a touch of fresh home-grown parsley.

It feels like this recipe has several steps. And it does. But it is SO easy to make because of how versatile roasted squashes are. You can roast the acorn squash one day and make the filling on another day. Put them all together when you are getting ready to eat your meal. The stuffed acorn squash can be quick baked to warm it up. Once baked the acorn squash will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days. This lends for a great plan-ahead meal.

You can roast the acorn squash and use it in a variety of ways – to add to your sandwiches, over pasta, into a salad, or to roll it into a taco. You can even add it into your soup for that deliciously sweet flavor. But do try eating it with stuffing. You’ll love it. I guarantee it.

Acorn Squash Stuffing Ideas

Most of the time, I am using leftovers from my refrigerator to stuff the acorn squash. Here are some other recipes that you can use the “stuff” the baked acorn squash.

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash

If all the varieties of squashes had a competition on who’s the healthiest, acorn squash will be declared as the winner. It offers more folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium than butternut, hubbard and spaghetti squash. The nutrients in the stuffing offer generous amounts of protein (in the form of quinoa and garbanzo beans) and the addition of veggies, garlic, onion and ginger make this dish rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect against arthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

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What to serve with stuffed acorn squash

This recipe is great as a complete meal all on it’s own but here are a few other meal additions that it would pair great with.

  • Salad: Like this Easy Kale Salad, Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, or this Chopped Kale Salad with Quinoa.
  • A side of veggies: Such as these Easy Ranch Roasted Carrots, Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice, or Easy Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic.
  • More protein: Like these Healthy Black Bean Burgers, Chickpea Cauliflower Burgersor these Kale and Quinoa Patties.


Squashes are so healthy, that it’s important to me to try and find ways to make it palatable to those of us who grew up not liking it. An entire medium acorn squash is around 170 calories,and 1 cup of mashed acorn squash gives you 145% of your daily value of Vitamin A. Wow! It also contains quite a bit of Vitamin C, Potassium and some fiber and protein as well. With all those nutritional benefits, how can you not want to like squash?

Unless you grew up eating slimy squash.

When fall harvest comes I’m always experimenting in search of new answers to the age old question of how to cook acorn squash. Okay, maybe it’s not age old, but I feel like I’m constantly asking myself what to do with my squash from our CSA.

This recipe is very similar to my mother’s way of cooking acorn squash, you know the melted butter and brown sugar, roast it till it’s soft method. But she put water in the dish which always gave it a slimy texture I couldn’t stand (sorry mom!).

Roasting the squash gives it a smoother texture with some caramelization to add to the flavor. Since Eric also considers squash to be slimy, I knew I needed some kind of stuffing for the squash to add to the texture.

I kept it simple with a few ingredients we always have in our pantry. Brown sugar, pecans, and cranberries. It became my easy vegetarian recipe for stuffed acorn squash, and I’ve loved bringing it to my meatlessfriends in need of a meal.

Eric and I usually each have a quarter of vegetarian stuffed acorn squash as our main dish for a vegetarian dinner, maybe with a salad or some cheese and grapes on the side. It’s also a GREAT option for a healthy dessert, especially if you’re in need of a gluten free dessert recipe.

We’ll be making stuffed acorn squash in the Healthy Cooking on a Tight Budget class this Friday. It’s a perfect dish for class because whether participants are on a vegetarian, vegan (just sub coconut oil for the butter) or gluten free diet they can eat it!

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I enlisted the kids’ help with this stuffed acorn squash recipe, but there was some mom-strategy involved in that decision. See, my kids think they don’t like squash. I remain convinced that time will cure them of this blasphemy, so I continue making squash and attempt to convince them to take a bite or two just in case their taste buds have changed.

This time, I knew that if I invited them in to help me with the prep and cooking, it would be easier to get them to taste it. Esme and Eila scraped out all the seeds and pulp, and had fun doing it I might add.

They brushed the squash with butter and sprinkled salt and pepper. They chopped onions and measured out quinoa. They stirred breadcrumbs and melted butter in the microwave.

When the final timer buzzed and I pulled these gorgeous things out of the oven, the kids still remained skeptical. So skeptical in fact that I called my parents and invited them over to eat stuffed acorn squash with us because I thought I’d have way too much left over after the kids forced down their obligatory bites.

These Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash, however, might be the great squash neutralizers. As it turns out, the kids loved every single cheesy bite, even the squashy ones, and we didn’t even have enough for everyone after all. I wouldn’t have predicted it, but I was pleasantly surprised!

This stuffed acorn squash recipe, with quinoa and white beans, is hearty enough to be a vegetarian meal on its own. It also works well as a side dish and we’re using it in our Thanksgiving line up this year.

The recipe is simple, simple enough to get the kids involved in the kitchen too. The hardest part is getting those acorn squash cut open (try microwaving them for a few minutes first, I think that helps). Best of all, these look stunning when they’re finished, which as you well know if you’ve been reading this blog for long, prettiness earns lot’s of good recipe points for me.

And, though no one will really notice because these look so pretty and delicious, these are quite healthy too. That’s not really the point this time though, just a little something extra to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving my American friends, may you find many blessings in your life.

Recipe Summary

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 small acorn squashes (each 1 to 1 1/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 6 cups Mixed-Grain Stuffing
  • Pomegranate Relish, for serving
  • Toasted slivered almonds and coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving

Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush a baking sheet with oil. Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, and coriander sprinkle inside of squashes with spice mixture. Place squashes on sheet, cut-sides down, and roast until just tender, about 20 minutes.

Turn cut-sides up and fill with stuffing, mounding slightly (you should use about 3/4 cup in each squash half). These can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, up to 1 day bring to room temperature before baking. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve, with relish and sprinkled with toasted almonds and parsley.

Thanksgiving recipe

This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash would also make a great addition to your holiday table. If you are hosting dinner and you have vegetarian guests coming to your thanksgiving table, this is a delicious option you could offer.

I love serving roast acorn squash at Thanksgiving (the sides are my favorite part). I’m not a huge fan of turkey, so I always fill up on dressing/stuffing, vegetables and mashed potatoes. That being said, I do like a turkey sandwich the next day with lots of mayo!