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.
- 1 regular size acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
- The juice and zest of 1 large orange
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Prep the squash
- Place the squash on its side, use a sharp kitchen knife, place it horizontally across the top of the squash and slice the top off about 3/4 inch below the stem. Then carefully place the knife horizontally in the center of the squash and slice it down the middle. You can cut the squash either vertically or horizontally down the center. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and scrape the inside to get it nice and clean.
Roast the squash
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Brush each half of the squash with some of the olive oil and sprinkle each generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash, face-side up onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, remove and let cool.
Make the filling
- Heat a skillet to medium heat, add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add in the minced garlic, minced shallots, and sliced mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, tossing gently as it cooks until the veggies start to brown.
- Add in the spinach and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is slightly wilted. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and pour in the chickpeas and chopped walnuts. Sprinkle the chickpeas with the spices (onion powder, cumin, chili powder) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and let them cook for 2-3 minutes to get them nice and golden.
- Add in the cooked wild rice, toss everything together and let cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and let it melt into the mixture. Pour in the orange juice and zest and toss. Add in the dried cranberries and let that all cook for 1 minute to get the cranberries slightly plump.
Fill and bake the squash
- Fill each squash with the filling, I like to fill them with a lot of filling. Store any remaining filling for another meal. Top each stuffed squash with more cheese if desired and bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for 4-5 minutes to get the tops nice and golden brown.
- Serve warm and top with fresh herbs like sliced basil or parsley
- Make this recipe vegan by removing the cheese and use vegan parmesan cheese 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. Cook using the same method but a butternut squash may take 10-15 minutes longer to cook.
- 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.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: acorn squash, roasted squash, stuffed acorn squash, healthy vegetarian squash recipes, chickpeas