Plant-Based Stuffed Acorn Squash: Meatless Thanksgiving Dish

plant-based stuffed acorn squash

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Looking for a fun and festive plant-based dish to try? This plat-based stuffed acorn squash recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. The combination of savory stuffing and sweet squash is irresistible, and it’s a great way to get your veggies in! Plus, it’s easy to customize depending on your preferences. So give it a go – you won’t be disappointed!

rice stuffed acorn squash
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How to make plant based stuffed acorn squash recipe

Ingredients for the plant based stuffed acorn squash recipe
Nutrient rich ingredients are the basis of this recipe

I’m gonna be honest with you: this recipe is not difficult, but it does take a little time to prepare. In case you’re short on time, you can prepare the filling in advance and store it in the fridge. Then it’s just a matter of roasting the squash, stuffing it and done! A delicious and Instagram ready savory acorn squash recipe.

How to roast the acorn squash

I recommend starting out this recipe with the acorn squash, since you can prepare the stuffing while it’s roasting. For this particular recipe, I used a medium-sized acorn squash, but you can use any type of squash you have available. If its skin is on the thicker side, then cooking time will increase somewhat.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Make sure to wash the squash well, especially if you’re like me and like eating the skin. I like to use a veggie wash like the one below, which not only removes visible soil, but also any waxes and chemicals present in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Then, with a good, sharp knife, cut the squash lengthwise, from top to bottom. Remove the seeds (you can save and roast them later!) and stringy bits, and pierce the insides of the squash with a fork.

In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of olive oil with 3 cloves of minced garlic, onion powder, plus salt and pepper to taste. With a basting brush, brush this mixture throughout the inside of the acorn squash, and on the peel as well.

Basting acorn squash
Seasoning the acorn squash thoroughly before roasting will give it a nice, savory flavor

Once thoroughly seasoned, place the acorn squash halves in an oiled baking dish, and roast during 40-60 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and spoon stuffing into each half.

How to prepare the wild rice stuffing

While the squash is roasting, start preparing the stuffing. I made this vegan stuffed acorn squash with a wild rice blend for this recipe since I love its texture. It also goes really well with the roasted acorn squash’s flavor and texture. And did you know that wild rice is not really rice, but a grass species?

Wild rice for the acorn squash stuffing
Fresh rosemary imparts its aromatic flavor to the wild rice stuffing

Start by boiling, over medium heat, the vegetable broth along with the rosemary sprigs. Add the wild rice and stir well. Once it’s boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the rice is tender.

In a pan, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms, taking care not to crowd them, and keep them in a single layer. I always remember that scene from the movie Julie & Julia, when Julie is explaining that if this happens, the mushrooms won’t brown (and it’s true!). Cook for about 1 minute on one side, flip them, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. When they are nicely browned, remove them from the pan and place them in a separate bowl.

Tip: Do not wash mushrooms by immersing them in water. Clean them with a paper towel moistened with water or a veggie wash. Mushrooms should be kept as dry as possible in order to brown well. That’s also why salt should not be added to mushrooms while cooking, either. Salt draws out moisture from the mushrooms and they end up steamed, not browned.

In the same pan, sauté the onion and celery until tender, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the vegetables to the mushrooms in the bowl.

Once the wild rice is ready, remove the rosemary sprigs (you can leave the leaves in) and mix it with the vegetables in the bowl. Add the thyme, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Combine all these ingredients well. We’re almost done!

Assembling and serving plant-based stuffed acorn squash

As soon as the squash is fully cooked, fill each half with the wild rice and vegetable stuffing. Sprinkle sliced ​​almonds on top, and decorate with rosemary sprigs. You can also roast the squash seeds in the oven and use them instead of almonds (or together with the almonds if you want a bigger crunch factor).

Serve the squash portions with a bit of vegan gravy. It’s just not Thanksgiving without gravy, right?!

When presenting this recipe at the dinner table, I love using this serving platter. It’s simple design goes with any decorating scheme, and any holiday as well. Score!

What does acorn squash pair well with?

Acorn squash is a winter squash that typically has dark green or orange skin and a sweet, nutty flavor. It pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes, making it a versatile ingredient for plant-based cooks.

When paired with plant-based ingredients like quinoa, kale, and mushrooms, acorn squash makes a hearty and satisfying plant-based stuffed acorn squash. For a sweeter dish, try pairing acorn squash with apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

The combination of sweet and savory flavors is sure to please any palate. Acorn squash is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of plant-based dishes. With its sweet taste and nutty flavor, it’s a perfect addition to any plant-based meal.

Can you freeze stuffed acorn squash?

To freeze any leftovers, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the squash in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the oven at 350 F until reheated through.

You can also thaw it and reheat in the microwave during 2-3 minutes, turning frequently.

Make Ahead Tips for Plant-Based Stuffed Acorn Squash

The best part about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time (up to 2 days), so you can enjoy it when needed. To make plant-based stuffed acorn squash, simply cook the squash in the oven as instructed above. Cool and refrigerate.

Prepare the stuffing as recommended above. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to eat. When you’re ready to enjoy, assemble the acorn squash and bake as instructed above. This delightful dish is sure to become a new fall favorite!

Additional fall recipes

Savory Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Plant-Based Stuffed Acorn Squash

Melissa E. Nieves, LND, RD, MPH
Serve this savory plant-based stuffed acorn squash recipe during holiday gatherings for an impressive vegan main course. This dish is not only rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fiber, but full of autumnal colors and flavors as well.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 339 kcal


  • 1 medium sized acorn squash
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Wash the acorn squash well, and cut it lengthwise (from top to bottom)
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of olive oil with 3 garlic cloves, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Using a fork, pierce the inside part of both acorn squash halves.
  • With a basting brush, brush the olive oil mix all over the inside and outside of the squash halves
  • Roast for 40-60 minutes, or until squash is fully cooked and tender
  • While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing. On medium heat, boil together the vegetable broth, rosemary sprigs and wild rice.
  • Once boiling, set heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for around 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat, and saute the mushrooms. Be careful not to crowd them, keeping them in a single layer. Saute one side during 1 minute, flip, and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until nicely browned. Remove from heat and place in a separate bowl
  • In the same pan, saute the onion and celery until tender, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, around 1 minute
  • Remove from heat and add the vegetables to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the thyme, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Once the wild rice is ready, remove the rosemary stems (leave the leaves) and add it to the vegetables in the bowl. Combine well
  • As soon as the acorn squash is fully cooked, stuff each half with the wild rice and vegetable stuffing. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and decorate with rosemary sprigs
Keyword Acorn Squash, Healthy Recipe, Plant based Recipe, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Vegan Recipe, Vegan squash recipe, Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe, Vegetarian Recipe

As you can see, this savory stuffed acorn squash recipe is also rich in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, because all its ingredients are plant-based. Who said you can’t eat healthy during the holiday season?

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