This Vegan Apple Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is officially my favorite way to eat squash! Roasted acorn squash is filled with apple, cranberries, mushrooms, wild rice, & kale for a vegetarian & gluten-free squash recipe that is wholesome, delicious, and full of flavor.
It can sometimes be hard to know what to serve to vegetarians, but this stuffed acorn squash is truly the perfect main dish for a Vegan Thanksgiving or as a Fall dinner idea.
How to make apple wild rice stuffed acorn squash
While the full recipe & instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post, let's quickly recap how to make this vegan stuffed acorn squash!
Prep & bake the acorn squash
To prep acorn squash, wash it, slice it in half stem to end, and scoop out the fleshy seed-filled inside. Then, rub the inside of each squash with a little olive oil, salt, & pepper to season.
Once the squash is prepped, place it onto an aluminum baking tray covered in parchment paper with the flesh side facing down. Then add to a preheated oven and roast at 400F for 40-45 minutes until cooked through.
My best tip is to check if the squash is cooked through? Pierce the inside with a fork. It should be easy to pierce all the way through when it's fully cooked.
How do I know acorn squash is ripe?
It's all about the color! Ripe squash will be a deep green color mixed with deep orange. Fun fact- The orange color is actually where the squash was lying on the ground as it was growing as it did not see the sun.
Cook the wild rice
For this wild rice stuffed squash, we are cooking the rice while the squash is roasting in the oven. While wild rice takes much longer to cook than brown/white rice, I promise it is worth the extra time. It has a nutty flavor and, once cooked, is chewy & delicious! In fact, you may have already cooked with it if you've tried my Vegan Wild Rice Mushroom Soup!
I love cooking with wild rice because it has a ton of fiber & protein while still being a great gluten-free grain! For this recipe, we are using ½ cup wild rice and cooking it with 1.5 cups of veggie broth for the best flavor.
To cook add the rice & broth to a pot, stir, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes until tender. P.S- if you need more tips, check out this post on How to Cook Wild Rice.
Cook all other ingredients in a large pan
While this recipe involves three distinct steps, we are really doing all three at the same time since cooking the squash and wild rice is pretty hands-off. This makes it so this whole stuffed squash recipe comes together in 1 hour!
First, add the oil to a large pan and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add in the chopped shallots & minced garlic and cook for 3 minutes until they are beginning to caramelize.
Then, add in the chopped mushrooms. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to get browned and crisp.
Next, add in the chopped kale and chopped apples and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add in the pepitas, dried cranberries, seasoning, and cooked wild rice and mix everything together.
Add wild rice apple stuffing to squash
As a final step, add the wild rice & apple stuffing to the cooked squash. I like my squash overflowing with stuffing, so I think this recipe is perfect to make 4 stuffed squash halves. However, if you are okay with less stuffing it could easily make enough to fill 6 squash halves.
Then, dig in and enjoy this delicious vegan acorn squash recipe!
FAQ & Substitutions:
Can you eat the skin of acorn squash?
Yes! That's one of the best parts of these roasted acorn squash boats- the whole squash is edible!
Can this recipe be prepped in advance?
You bet! That's what makes this recipe a perfect vegan main dish for Thanksgiving or really any holiday celebration.
If making ahead of time, just store the stuffed squash in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If stored in the fridge, you can also store each squash wrapped in aluminum foil. To reheat add to a tray, cover with foil, and bake until warmed throughout.
Can I make this recipe with white/brown rice?
Yes! Just keep in mind that the cooking time for white/brown rice is usually around 20 minutes, so make sure to follow the package instructions. Otherwise, any rice variety or even quinoa could work great in this recipe.
I can't wait for you all to make this Vegan Apple Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe! It'ss truly the perfect savory & sweet vegan dinner recipe for any Holiday celebration. Enjoy!
More savory vegan recipes for the holidays you will love:
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Vegan Apple Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash halved and deseeded
- ½ cup wild rice uncooked
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth or vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped kale loosely packed
- 1 sweet red apple chopped (about 1 ¼ cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper more or less to taste
- ¼ cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- fresh thyme & fresh sage optional, I add about 1 tsp of each
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Then, wash the acorn squash, slice each in half from stem to end, and remove the seeds & stringy flesh inside. Add the squash halves to a baking tray covered with parchment paper and season by rubbing with olive oil, salt, & pepper. Then, flip upside down so the fleshy inside is facing down and add to the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through. Once cooked, flip over and set aside to be filled.
- Once the squash is in the oven, add the wild rice and vegetable broth to a small saucepan and stir together. Cover, turn on the heat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes until cooked through. Cooked wild rice will be chewy, but should be tender.
- While the squash and wild rice are cooking, make the filling. Cut the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, apples, and kale before starting. Then, add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the shallots & garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until beginning to brown and caramelize. Then, add in the chopped mushrooms, stir, and cook together for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are beginning to brown and crisp.
- Next, add the chopped kale, chopped apples, salt, and pepper. Stir and sauté with the other ingredients over low heat for another 2-3 minutes until the kale has wilted and the apples are slightly cooked.
- Then, turn off the heat and add in the pepitas, dried cranberries, cooked wild rice, fresh thyme, and fresh sage. Mix together and season with additional salt & pepper to your liking.
- Fill each cooked acorn squash half with the wild rice stuffing. Then, garnish with additional fresh sage & thyme and serve warm. Enjoy!
- Squash is great prepped a day ahead! To store leftovers, place in a closed container or wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- To reheat, preheat an oven to 200F and add the squash to a tray and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until warmed throughout (about 15-20 minutes). They can also be microwaved, but it is not recommended for the best texture
- Acorn squash skin can be eaten and is delicious!