Acorn squash lends itself well to being stuffed, with its little natural cup ready to hold whatever you have in mind to fill it with. I’ve done meaty fillings in the past, especially with ground lamb (very yummy), but I wanted to find a really hearty, meatless version that would go great as a side dish on a holiday table, but could easily work as a healthy main course as well. I came up with this recipe as all these flavors, from the wild rice to pecans to cranberries, remind me of fall, and are the perfect stuffing to add to this delicious fall squash.
Between the squash, wild rice and pecans, this recipe is high in fiber and protein and a great source of vitamins A and C, making it a great vegetarian meal or side dish.
The squash that grew in my garden this year were on the small side, but most farmer’s markets and supermarkets tend to have larger squash. This would make a filling meal with one or two halves or a great side dish with smaller squash halves.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 3/4 cup wild rice mix
- 1 3/4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 425º. Carefully slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard.
Put the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 350º.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and sage and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and toast for about 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
When the inside of the squash is easily pierced with a fork, remove them from the oven, turn them over so the cut side is up, and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper to the inside of each squash half.
When the rice is finished, fluff it with a fork, add the cranberries, pecans, brown sugar and Parmesan cheese and stir to incorporate.
Divide the filling among the four squash halves.
Bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350º and serve warm.