Acorn squash is stuffed with a combo of brown rice, lentils, apples, raisins, pecan, rosemary and celery. It tastes just like vegan stuffing without the bread!
I’ve been experimenting with stuffed acorn squash recipe for years, but I didn’t really get it right until now. I’ve tried stuffing it with different mixtures, but I couldn’t get the flavors and textures quite right. Then an idea popped into my mind…
What if I made a stuffing that tasted like, well, Thanksgiving stuffing? But what if it was healthier and didn’t contain any bread?
So I tried out this concept that I had in my head, and let me tell you… it’s ah-mazing! It’s incredibly easy to make– just roast the squash and throw together the quick rice and lentil mixture in a pan.
Then you’ve got a satisfying vegan meal to make any night of the week.
The lentil & rice mixture tastes like vegan stuffing…
I know that everyone makes their stuffing quite differently. In my family, my uncle usually prepares Thanksgiving dinner, and he packs the stuffing with tons of flavorful goodness.
Over the years, more and more people in my family have started eating a plant-based diet, so he has transformed the stuffing into a vegetarian side. He combines bread with crunchy produce, like celery, carrots and apples, then adds plenty of herbs and spices.
I used his stuffing recipe as the inspiration for the rice and lentil mixture that goes in this acorn squash. It’s a winning combination or brown rice, lentils, chopped apples, diced celery, scallions, fresh rosemary, chopped pecans and raisins for sweetness.
Trust me, it tastes just like Thanksgiving stuffing!
How to make Stuffed Acorn Squash
Making this recipe is incredibly easy. The hardest part is probably cutting open the squash. To do so, use a sharp chef’s knife and slice the squash in half. Then scoop out the seeds and place the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender.
While the squash is cooking, make the rice mixture. You’re going to want to use an instant rice for this recipe, so you can add it directly to the sauté pan.
Add the oil, celery, apples, scallion and rosemary to the pan and cook until fragrant. Then add the rice and lentil mixture, chopped pecans and raisins. Sauté for a few more minutes and set aside.
Making the stuffing for the acorn squash should take about 10 minutes or less.
Next, spoon the rice mixture into the squash. Eat the whole thing together, with a heart spoonful of squash and rice. Although you can eat the skin of the acorn squash, you probably won’t want to because it’s tough and chewy.
What kind of rice and lentils do I need?
I bought a mixture of instant rice and lentils, but it’s no problem if you can only find rice. Look for a rice that is in a microwave packet– it should say “instant rice” or “reheat and eat rice”. The lentils add more protein to the dish, but it tastes just as good with only instant brown rice.
If you can’t find both together and want to include the lentils, buy a separate package of cooked lentils. Trader Joe’s has a really tasty option.
What to serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash
This dish is absolutely perfect on its own. But if you want to jazz it up a bit, serve it with any of these fall favorites:
- Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Cashews
- Frisée Salad with Apples & Goat Cheese and Maple Vinaigrette
- Smoky Sweet and Spicy Roasted Fall Veggies
- Honey Lime Roasted Carrots
- Kale Winter Salad
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 large acorn squash cut in half with seeds removed
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 4 celery ribs chopped
- 2 red apple chopped
- 2 scallion diced
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary diced
- 8 ounces instant brown rice
- 8 ounces cooked brown lentils
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pecans
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle each half with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Flip the squash so it’s flesh side down and bake for 40-45 minutes or until it’s tender.
Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the celery, apple, scallion and rosemary and cook until fragrant (about 3-4 minutes). Add the brown rice and lentils, pecans, raisins and salt. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes, then set aside.
When the squash is done, spoon the rice mixture into each open half. Serve immediately.