This Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice is a versatile dish, perfect as a main course for the holidays, including Thanksgiving, or as a weeknight autumn dinner. The roasted squash is filled with savory wild rice that’s been infused with sage and thyme. Everything is topped with crunchy walnuts, in-season apples, and juicy pomegranate seeds.
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
This vegan stuffed acorn squash recipe features in-season favorites like squash, apples, pomegranates, and sage. I love how simple it is to prepare and that it’s also brimming with rich, autumnal flavors, making the most of what the season has to offer. Here are a few more reasons we love this recipe and you will too:
- Rich Fall Flavors: The combination of savory vegan beef crumbles, sweet apples, and aromatic herbs creates a complex and comforting filling.
- Vibrant Wild Rice Filling: The chewy wild rice stuffing pairs wonderfully with the tender baked squash.
- Easy Recipe: Despite its impressive appearance, this recipe is quite simple to prepare, making it accessible for cooks of all skill levels.
- Adaptable for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a regular weeknight or a special gathering like Thanksgiving dinner, this dish is versatile enough to suit any situation.
This vegan acorn squash with wild rice is made with wholesome seasonal ingredients that add tons of flavor to the dish. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Wild Rice: The star of the filling, wild rice brings a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor to the dish.
- Vegetable Broth: This adds flavor to the wild rice filling.
- Acorn Squash: These medium-sized squashes are the perfect vessel for our filling, with their tender, slightly sweet flesh.
- Vegan Ground Beef Crumbles: A fantastic plant-based alternative that adds a ‘meaty’ texture and absorbs all the savory flavors of the herbs and spices. I use my homemade recipe or Trader Joe’s Beefless Crumbles.
- Fresh Herbs & Spices: The combination of poultry seasoning, thyme, and sage adds depth and a classic, comforting flavor profile.
- Apple & Pomegranate Seeds: For a hint of sweetness and a pop of color, these fruits are the perfect addition to the filling.
- Nuts: Toasted or candied walnuts provide a delightful crunch and a nutty finish.
- Vegan Butter or Olive Oil: You can easily interchange these depending on what you have on hand. Both work wonderfully to sauté the filling.
- Wild Rice: Swap wild rice with brown rice, white rice, or even a different grain like farro, barley or cooked quinoa.
- Nuts and Seeds: Replace walnuts with crunchy pecans, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds for varied textures.
- Acorn Squash: Other root vegetables or winter squashes, like sweet potatoes or spaghetti squash, can be used in place of the acorn squash.
- Vegan Ground Beef: If you prefer a more whole-food approach, consider using finely chopped mushrooms or cooked lentils as a substitute. You could also use vegan sausage.
- Fresh Herbs: While fresh herbs offer the best flavor, you can use dried herbs in a pinch. Just remember the ratio: one teaspoon of dried herbs for every tablespoon of fresh herbs.
- Rice Cooker or Saucepan: For cooking the wild rice.
- Baking Sheet: For evenly roasting the acorn squash.
- Parchment Paper: For roasting the squash.
- Sharp Knife: For cutting the squash.
- Large Skillet: To prepare the savory filling.
Step By Step Instructions
Ingredient quantities are in the recipe card below!
STEP 1: Cook the wild rice using a rice cooker or on the stovetop until it’s tender and the liquid is absorbed.
STEP 2: Roast the acorn squash by first baking it whole. This helps soften it so it’s easier to cut in half.
STEP 3: Once it is slightly tender, cut it in half with a sharp knife. Oil the baking sheet and place the cut sides down.
STEP 4: Continue to cook the squash for 15-20 more minutes until it’s perfectly soft.
📌 TIP: Cooking time will vary slightly based on the size of your acorn squash!
STEP 5: Heat a skillet with vegan butter or oil. Prepare the filling by sautéing onions, garlic, and celery.
STEP 6: Then add the vegan ground beef and herbs. Cook the mixture on medium-high heat until it is golden brown and fragrant.
STEP 7: Deglaze the skillet with vegan white wine, then mix in the cooked rice, adjusting the seasoning as necessary. Remove everything from the heat, then, fold in the diced apple.
STEP 8: Fill the roasted acorn squash halves with the rice mixture, and garnish with pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
This vegan stuffed acorn squash is a versatile recipe that can be served as a main course or as a side dish, making it a perfect addition to your vegan Thanksgiving menu. Here are some ideas for dishes that pair beautifully with it:
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and buttery (with vegan butter, of course), these are a must-have at any Thanksgiving table.
- Vegan Brioche Rolls: A classic buttery, rich side dish for your holiday meal!
- Cranberry Sauce: The tartness of cranberry sauce complements the sweet and savory flavors of the stuffed squash.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Their crispy edges and tender centers provide a nice textural contrast to the softness of the squash.
- Vegan Gravy: Rich and flavorful, vegan gravy drizzled over the squash can enhance its savory notes.
- Vegan Cornbread: Perfect for soaking up any extra filling or sauce, cornbread adds a touch of sweetness to your meal.
- Roasted Carrots: Glazed with a touch of maple syrup, roasted carrots add a sweet and earthy element.
- Vegan Mac and Cheese: For those who love a creamy, comforting side, this is an indulgent addition to any holiday meal.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in the oven or microwave for a quick, wholesome meal.
- Adjust Cooking Time as Needed: Consider the size of your squash when adjusting cooking times. Squash that are on the larger side will need a few extra minutes in the oven.
- Checking Doneness: The acorn squash skin should be tender, and the flesh of the squash should be easily pierced with a fork.
- Serving Leftovers: If you have extra wild rice filling, it makes for a great addition to salads or as a side on its own.
Yes, the recipe is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions. Be sure to use vegan ground beef that is gluten-free or opt for one of the substitutions listed in the notes section of the recipe card below.
Wild rice can be substituted for white rice, brown rice, quinoa, farro, or barley.
looking for more Vegan Recipes?
- Vegan Roast Dinner with Gravy
- Roasted Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup
- Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- The Best Vegan Meatloaf
- Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie