Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is a quick and healthy main dish you can make for a fun weeknight dinner any day of the week. Packed with simple ingredients, only a few easy steps to pull together, plus it’s already gluten-free and easily adaptable for any diet.
This stuffed acorn squash recipe pretty much sums up the way I like to eat on any given day. Loads of veggies, plant-based proteins and crunchy nuts all piled into a perfectly roasted squash. Yum!
Savory and hearty with a little taste of sweetness from the cranberries, creaminess from the parmesan cheese (use any cheese you like or omit it altogether), all rounded out with a burst of citrus flavor from the orange.
Only a few easy steps to make like, roast the squash, make the filling, bake until the top is golden brown and crispy and wallah, a perfect healthy meal in no time all!
Why you will love this recipe
- Hearty and filling
- Simple ingredients but tastes decadent
- Packed with crazy good flavors like tart, sweet and salty
- Meat-free and packed with plant-based proteins like chickpeas and wild rice
- Fun to eat in a cute little roasted acorn squash package
- Easily adaptable recipe – you can make it vegan, it’s already gluten-free and vegetarian or even add meat if you want!
Ingredients needed for this amazing recipe
How to make Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
First, you need to prep and roast the acorn squash – a very easy step that I do almost weekly in the fall, just so I can have acorn squash on hand all week.
- Use a sharp kitchen knife to slice the ends off of the squash about 3/4 inch below the stem. This will help the squash sit nice and flat when roasting.
- Scoop out the seeds and excess pulp from inside the squash.
- Scrape the inside with the back of the spoon to get it nice and clean for roasting.
4. Then, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place it onto a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, you can make the filling. It’s so good!
To make the filling
- Start with sautéing the mushrooms, garlic, and shallots in a little olive oil until the mushrooms start to brown.
- Then add in the spinach and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is slightly wilted.
- Pour in the chickpeas and walnuts and toss in the spices. I used onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Let that all cook for 2-3 minutes to wake up the spices and get the chickpeas slightly golden brown.
4. Finally, add in the cooked wild rice, toss, and let that all cook for 1-2 minutes.
5. Sprinkle in the grated parmesan cheese and toss to allow it to melt a little. Add in the juice and zest of an orange and the dried cranberries as the final touch. Toss everything together.
Expert tip: Before adding the dried cranberries to the filling, I like to plump them up a little bit by letting them sit in a bowl filled with a little warm water for about 5 minutes.
Once the acorn squash is done let it cool for a couple of minutes, then you can fill it with the amazing filling.
Fill each squash half with the rice and chickpea filling. I like them to be pretty stuffed, almost overflowing. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 5-7 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden brown. Top with more cheese if desired.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe vegan by removing the parmesan cheese and use vegan parmesan or omit it altogether.
- Add in some meat for the meat-eaters in your life. Cooked, crumbled sausage or ground turkey would both work in this dish.
- Use roasted butternut squash or even a small pumpkin in place of the acorn squash.
- Swap out the walnuts and add in some chopped cashews, pecans or pistachios. The nuts really give this dish a nice crunch.
- Use any type of cheese like goat cheese, mozzarella, or feta cheese in place of the parmesan cheese.
- How to pick an acorn squash – 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 just scrape those off. Make sure to choose a squash will dull skin. Shiny skin means it was picked too early and will not have as much flavor. True for any type of squash.
- How long to bake acorn squash – Most acorn squash will take about 20-35 minutes roasted in the oven at 425 degrees F.
- Can you freeze stuffed acorn squash? Yes, you can! To Freeze this stuffed acorn squash: 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 to the freezer. When ready to eat, remove from bag and microwave on high from frozen 5-7 minutes.
- What can you serve with stuffed acorn squash? This recipe pairs great with so many things. Some of my faves are Mushroom Asparagus and Leek Quiche and this Easy Kale Salad With Lemon Dressing.
Update: This recipe and post have been updated with step by step photos and easier steps and ingredients.
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below!Print