This Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash is a healthy main dish you can make that the whole family will love! Made with delicious roasted acorn squash filled with an incredibly flavorful filling that is packed with bold flavors. Perfect as a vegetarian side dish for the Holidays or just for a healthy fall meal.
This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is a fall favorite in our family. It is filling and satisfying and loaded with flavor and texture. Everyone who tries this stuffed acorn squash recipe goes crazy for it.
You can make the stuffed squash as directed in this recipe or customize it with your fillings of choice, even add some cooked ground meat if you prefer as we did with this stuffed butternut squash!
We like to keep this squash recipe vegetarian because it is just so amazing and it makes a wonderful, filling, tasty MEATLESS dish that everyone can enjoy! The stuffing is adorned with fluffy wild rice, chickpeas, spinach, cranberries, nuts, and creamy parmesan cheese. We added a hint of orange for a festive touch, that everyone loves!
Plus it is a fun vegetarian gluten-free dinner that you can also make ahead, which is a great time saver!
- Why you’ll love this recipe
- How long will acorn squash keep before you need to cook it?
- Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients
- How to make Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Recipe Tips & Variations
- Make it ahead
- Serving Suggestions
- Storing and reheating
- More delicious squash recipes to try
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Hearty and filling.
- It is loaded with incredible flavor and texture!
- Meat-free and packed with plant-based proteins like chickpeas and wild rice.
- Impressive meal everyone will love!
- Easily adaptable recipe – you can make it vegan, it’s already gluten-free and vegetarian, or even add meat if you want!
- Great for a vegetarian main dish for the holidays
How long will acorn squash keep before you need to cook it?
Acorn squash like many other hard squashes will last for 1-2 months if stored properly in a cool, dry place (ideally between 50-55°F or 10-13°C). Alternatively, it will last about 2-3 weeks if stored at room temperature.
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients
- Acorn squash – 1 medium ripe acorn squash. Or 2 small acorn squash.
- Wild rice – any will work or you can also use brown rice or quinoa.
- Chickpeas – canned low-sodium chickpeas, or use black beans or even kidney beans.
- Spinach – fresh baby spinach or you can also use kale.
- Dried cranberries – I used sugar-free dried cranberries.
- Mushrooms – Baby Bella mushrooms work best because they are so hearty but button mushrooms will also work in this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese – grated parmesan cheese, omit this if you need to keep this recipe dairy-free.
- Shallots – 1 medium shallot or ¼ cup diced red onion.
- Walnuts – for that crunch, pecans will also work or leave out if you need to keep this recipe nut-free.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic works best.
- Olive oil – or avocado oil.
- Spices + salt & pepper – I used onion powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
How to make Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
You can get the complete list of recipe ingredients and detailed instructions in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post. Here is a summary of the recipe steps.
How do you cut acorn squash for stuffing?
Roasting acorn squash is very similar to roasting spaghetti squash or butternut squash. You use a sharp kitchen knife to cut the squash in half from the stem to the root. Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. You can roast them later or discard them. This gives you a nice vessel to hold the acorn squash stuffing.
To roast the acorn squash: Season the cut side of the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake it for 25-30 minutes at 375°F until it is fork tender.
Make the filling: Cook the veggies then add in the chickpeas, walnuts, and rice.
Sprinkle in the grated parmesan, orange juice, and zest then add the cranberries and toss everything together.
Stuff and bake the squash: Fill each acorn squash half with the filling and bake at 425° F for about 5-7 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden brown. The filling will get crispy and flavorful, allowing the cheese to melt perfectly which makes this acorn squash so appetizing.
Expert tip: If you are using smaller acorn squash then roast two (four halves) in case you have enough filling since this recipe does make a good amount.
This amazing stuffed acorn squash recipe is incredibly flavorful and delicious and it makes a show-stopping meatless meal. Perfect for a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish! It is so filling and tastes even better the next day!
Pro tip! This stuffed squash recipe makes a good amount of stuffing, if you find you have leftovers you can save them and serve them as a side dish with another meal. You can also roast an additional squash and use the filling to make more servings.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe vegan by removing the parmesan cheese and using vegan parmesan or omitting it altogether.
- Add in some meat for the meat-eaters in your life, such as cooked, crumbled sausage or ground turkey would both work in this dish.
- Alternatively, you can use roasted butternut squash or even a small pumpkin in place of the acorn squash.
- Make sure to cut the squash into even-size halves so they cook at the same time. Note: The squash may take longer to fully cook since ovens vary as well as the size of the acorn squash you are using.
- You can roast the squash in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it easily in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes then fill and bake it as directed in this recipe.
Make it ahead
To make this full recipe ahead of time: cut and roast the squash, make the filling, and fill the squash, Cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a sealed container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve it, remove it from the fridge and bake it at 350°F in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
If you are only roasting the squash ahead of time, you can let it cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days before you fill and bake it. You will want to warm the squash up in the oven at 350°F on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes before you fill it with the stuffing.
This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is great as a complete meal all on its own. If you are serving this vegetarian acorn squash for Thanksgiving then you will have so many other sides to pair it with. Here are a few more ideas:
- Salad: Like this Easy Kale Salad, Kale and Brussels 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 Burgers, or these Kale and Quinoa Patties.
Storing and reheating
To store this stuffed acorn squash: let it cool completely, place it into an airtight container, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Place one half-stuffed squash into a freezer-friendly quart-sized bag and remove as much air as possible. Place it in the fridge to cool it completely and then transfer it to the freezer. When ready to eat, remove it from the bag and microwave on high from frozen for 5-7 minutes.
Reheating: You can reheat it in the microwave for 5-7 minutes or in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. If reheating from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight then reheat in the oven at 350°F or in the microwave until warmed through.
How do you pick a ripe acorn squash?
Considering squash is not in season all year round you want to select a squash with a lot of green and less orange or white with very few blemishes. If it has some wart-looking hard spots, you can scrape those off. Make sure to choose a squash with dull skin. Because shiny skin means it was picked too early and will not have as much flavor. True for any type of squash.
Does acorn squash need to be peeled before cooking?
Cooking acorn squash is a breeze since it is not necessary to peel it. The flesh can easily be eaten directly from the shell of the squash once you cook it.
How can you tell when the acorn squash is done?
Most acorn squash will take about 30-35 minutes when roasted in the oven at 375° F. Of course the cooking time depends on the size of the acorn squash. You can tell it is done when the flesh is fork tender.
Can you eat the skin of the acorn squash?
Yes, the skin of an acorn squash is delicious and fine to eat.
More delicious squash recipes to try
If you enjoyed this vegetarian stuffed squash then try these too:
- The Best Mashed Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash Salad
- Air Fryer Squash
- Healthy Butternut Squash Soup
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Check out this full list of healthy gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes!
Did you make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below! I would love to hear how it turned out!Print