Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is perfect for a hearty plant-based meal or side dish. It’s warm and cozy for fall or winter evenings and is especially delicious on Thanksgiving or over the holidays!

I’m obsessed with this dish for vegetarians or those trying to eat more plant-based.

It’s rich, hearty, satisfying, filling, and is packed with whole grains, protein-powered legumes, leafy greens, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, and umami-laden cheese!

I used to only promote this as a Thanksgiving side dish because it’s the best vegetarian main or side dish for Thanksgiving and its flavors of thyme, rosemary, and cranberries scream Thanksgiving to me!

And if you’re here for a Thanksgiving recipe for your vegetarian guests or self, hooray! You’ll love it.

But I realized I was selling this recipe short. It’s not just a Thanksgiving recipe!

It’s a delicious vegetarian recipe for any night of the year, but is especially cozy during the fall and winter months.

Vegetarians deserve filling, satisfying, and delicious food too. This recipe hits the mark for all of the above.

If you love acorn squash and cozy flavors, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Notes on Ingredients

acorn squash: you can cut these in half lengthwise or horizontally, but I like the presentation lengthwise better.

farro: a nutty whole grain, high in fiber, protein, and vitamins like B3, magnesium, and zinc. Use quick-cooking farro as a time saver!

vegetable broth: to cook the farro in to give it more flavor

onion: adds aromatic flavor to the dish

garlic: also adds a punch of flavor!

kale: buy pre-shredded, pre-washed kale as a time-saver!

chickpeas: adds plant-based protein to the dish!

thyme: adds an earthy, minty, lemony flavor

rosemary: adds a piney, peppery flavor

pecans: adds a satisfying crunchy texture and source of protein and fat!

dried cranberries: adds an element of sweetness to contrast the savory farro mixture

parmesan cheese: adds a savory (umami) flavor

Equipment You’ll Need (affiliate links – if you make a purchase I receive a small commission)

Baking sheet

How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

Bake the squash. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until fork-tender, about 40-50 minutes.
Cook the farro. Bring vegetable broth and farro to a boil then simmer, covered, until farro is chewy, about 30-40 minutes.
Make the savory stuffing. In a large sauté pan, cook onion, garlic, and kale. Stir in farro, chickpeas, and remove from heat. Stir in thyme, rosemary, pecans, and cranberries. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Fill the squash. Fill each squash with about 1/2 cup farro mixture. Top with parmesan cheese.
Bake the squash. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake squash until filling is heated through, about 15 minutes.

Expert Tips

For time-saving, I like to use quick cooking farro, which cooks in just 10 minutes on the stove. It’s partially cooked and dried, which is how it takes significantly less time to cook.
Another time-saving tip is to buy pre-washed, pre-shredded kale.
Roast the squash cut side down so it doesn’t dry out and form string-like strands.
Save any leftover stuffing for a delicious, satisfying topping for salads.

Recipe FAQs

What does acorn squash pair well with?

Acorn squash pairs well with almost everything! Enjoy it as side dish with chicken, salmon, turkey, or beef. It also is delicious on top of pizza or mixed into pasta dishes.

Do you have to remove the the skin from acorn squash before cooking?

You can keep the skin on acorn squash – no need to remove! 

How long does it take to cook acorn squash?

At 375 degrees F, it takes about 40-50 minutes to cook.

Can you eat the skin on acorn squash?

You can! As long as the acorn squash is cooked enough the skin should be soft enough for you to eat, if you choose! It also peels away easily if you don’t want to. Or, you can just scoop the squash and stuffing right out of the skin without eating it.

Should I roast the squash cut side up or down?

I suggest roasting squash cut side down so that it doesn’t dry out, and you don’t end up with stringy squash.

What flavors go well with acorn squash?

Acorn squash pairs well with savory spices like rosemary and thyme and sweeter spices like cinnamon and ginger.

Is acorn squash healthy for me? 

Acorn squash is high in antioxidants and packs in vitamins A and C, B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes! Simply substitute the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast!

Storage and Preparation

Stuffed acorn squash leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze acorn squash raw or cooked and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can prepare the filling ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Recipes That Pair Well

Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole

Slow Cooker Mushroom Stuffing

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Holiday Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

For more squash inspiration, check out my other recipes below!

Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Curried Lentils

Fall Harvest Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash

Farro Breakfast Bowl 

If you like this recipe, please be sure to comment and give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on Instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

Ready to enjoy eating foods like this without the guilt? Download my free guide: Rediscover the Joy in Eating: How to Stop Stressing About Food + Enjoy Every Meal. 

This recipe was retested, reshot and revamped to bring you the most delicious (and most beautiful) dish! The original post was published November 2017.

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)Loading…

5 from 3 reviews

Yield: 8 servings 1x

Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is perfect for a hearty plant-based meal or side dish. It’s warm and cozy for fall or winter evenings and is especially delicious on Thanksgiving or over the holidays!

4 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup farro
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
½ tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Brush inside of squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until fork-tender, about 40-50 minutes.
Add farro and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until farro is chewy but no longer tough, about 30-40 minutes. Drain excess liquid.*
In a large sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in kale and add 2 tablespoons water and cover until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cooked farro and chickpeas and remove from heat.
Stir in thyme, rosemary, pecans and cranberries. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Fill each squash cavity with about 1/2 cup farro mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake until filling is heated through, about 15 minutes.

Notes

For time-saving, I like to use quick cooking farro, which cooks in just 10 minutes on the stove. It’s partially cooked and dried, which is how it takes significantly less time to cook.
Roast the squash cut side down so it doesn’t dry out and form string-like strands.
Save any leftover stuffing for a delicious, satisfying topping for salads.
For a vegan version, substitute parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast.
Method: OvenCuisine: Holiday

Keywords: vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, vegetarian acorn squash recipe, stuffed acorn squash for vegetarian

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