Roasted acorn squash is filled with a gluten-free wild rice stuffing with flavors of carrots, red pepper, celery, and onions. This vegan stuffed acorn squash makes an excellent vegan main dish for your Thanksgiving dinner, or as a side dish at a traditional Thanksgiving as a vegan or vegetarian option.
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. I’ve been working in the kitchen testing recipes, and coming up with some delicious options that will satisfy every guest.
There will be no Tofurky at our Thanksgiving! Instead I’m making this vegan stuffed acorn squash recipe that will serve as our main dish.
I remember the first time I ever had acorn squash. I must have been about ten years old. It was Halloween and my best friend and her family came over to my house to trick-or-treat. We lived in a neighborhood with lots of houses, and she lived out in the country. It became a tradition that we’d share dinner together before heading outside to gather our candy. Our moms were also best friends and both amazing cooks. They always planned a spectacular dinner to fill us up before we tried to eat all our candy.
This particular Halloween, my friend’s mom brought over roasted acorn squash filled with wild rice. I hadn’t tasted anything like it before, and I was completely hooked. The acorn squash was a little sweet, and the wild rice was savory. It was a perfect combination, and it looked beautiful too!
Acorn squash became one of my favorite fall treats. We didn’t have it often, but when we did my mom made it with butter and brown sugar. It was always a big treat!
This recipe is inspired by my very first experience with acorn squash. It’s a vegan version of the original I had as a kid. The squash is roasted with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
The wild rice filling is made with carrots, celery, onions, red peppers, walnuts, and thyme which make this an authentic gluten-free version of a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing.
It’s an easy recipe to make, but it does take time to roast the acorn squash and cook the wild rice. You’ll need to set aside a good hour to pull this together from start to finish. But hey, that’s nothing compared to the time it takes to roast a whole turkey!
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- 2 acorn squash
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Bay Leaf
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 carrot
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- Salt and Pepper
- Parsley (optional)
Tools and Equipment You’ll Need
Nearly every recipe I make requires a large skillet. It’s a must have kitchen tool for every home cook. I like this large skillet. It’s manufactured without PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. The coating won’t blister, peel or release any harmful fumes, even if you overheat your pan. This pan is also oven safe. You can easily move it around the stove and kitchen with it’s heat resistant handles.
You’ll also need a sheet pan and parchment paper to roast the acorn squash. A good stainless steel sheet pan comes in handy for so many uses. I use mine to roast vegetables, make cookies, and create sheet pan meals. These sheet pans are easy to clean, and won’t break the bank.
I must have been in my twenties when I discovered the magical power of parchment paper. It makes cleaning up pans a breeze, and is extremely useful in oil free cooking. The acorn squash easily lift off the pan when lined with this parchment paper.
When making the wild rice you’ll need a medium size pot. I like this 3 qt pot . It had a durable hard anodized body, scratch resistant construction, and drip free edges. The rice cooks nicely in this pan and doesn’t stick to the edge.
How to Roast Acorn Squash – Step by Step
Step 1-Slice the acorn squash in half.
Step 2-Remove seeds with a spoon.
Step 3-Brush a light amount of olive oil on the flesh of the squash or leave oil off if you’re oil free.
Step 4-Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
Step 4-Place flesh side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Step 5-Place in a preheated oven at 400 F for 40 minutes. Allow to cool before flipping the squash over. It will be very hot and steamy.
How to Make the Wild Rice Stuffing – Step by Step
While the acorn squash is roasting begin the wild rice stuffing.
Step 1-Bring 1 cup of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup of wild rice to boil. Add one bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Step 2-While rice is simmering, chop the red onion, carrot, celery, and red pepper. Mince the garlic.
Step 3-Sauté red onions in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, red pepper, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes of until vegetables soften.
Step 4-When rice is done remove from heat and allow to sit covered in the pan for an additional 10 minutes to allow all liquid to be absorbed. Remove bay leaf and add rice to vegetable mixture. Stir in chopped walnuts.
How to Assemble Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
To assemble the vegan stuffed acorn squash, scoop the wild rice stuffing and place into the center of the roasted acorn squash. Top with parsley to garnish, and serve!Serve warm or at room temperature.
Why You’re Going to Love Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- It contains all the flavors of Thanksgiving yet it’s still a whole food plant-based vegan dish.
- The wild rice stuffing is full of texture and crunch. No mushy stuffing!
- It’s simple to make!
- It takes about 60 minutes from start to finish.
- You can make this dish in advance to save you time on Thanksgiving Day.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- It’s heart healthy.
- It’s kid friendly!
If you’re not a fan of wild rice you can substitute quinoa in its place. It will still be gluten-free. Feel free to get creative with the vegetable combination you use in this dish. Use what you have on hand. I love the flavor of the carrots, celery, and red onion in this dish. It reminds me of an authentic Thanksgiving stuffing, but any combination of vegetables would work.
How to Serve Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
You can double this recipe to make it for a larger crowd of 8. As written this recipe serves 4. I had leftover wild rice stuffing when making this which did not go to waste as my kids gobbled it up, and it makes for an excellent lunch the next day!
Add this recipe to your vegan prep meals rotation!
Check out these other vegan Thanksgiving and holiday recipes!
- Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Meal Plan
- Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Kale Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Butternut Squash
- Vegan Green Beans with a Citrus Glaze
- Sugar Free Apple Crisp
- Vegan Potato Casserole
If you’ve tried my Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2 cup red pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (optiona) to garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice the acorn squash in half. Remove seeds with a spoon. Brush
with 1 tbsp of olive oil on the flesh of the squash or leave oil off if you're
oil free. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Place flesh side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place in a preheated oven at 400 F for 40 minutes.
- While the acorn squash is roasting you can begin the wild rice stuffing. Bring
1 cup of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup of wild rice to boil. Add bay leaf. Cover
and simmer for 40 minutes.
- While rice is simmering chop the red onion, carrot, celery, and red pepper.
Mince the garlic. Sauté red onions in 1/4 cup of vegetable broth for 3 minutes
or until softened. Add garlic and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add
carrots, celery, red pepper, thyme, and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer for
an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables soften.
- When rice is done allow to sit in covered pan for an additional 10 minutes to allow
all liquid to be absorbed. Remove bay leaf and add rice to vegetable mixture. Add chopped walnuts. Stir to combine.
- Scoop about 1/2 a cup of wild rice stuffing and place into the center of the roasted acorn squash. Top with parsley to garnish, and serve! This can be served warm or at room temperature.