Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

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by Amy Flanigan on November 16, 2009 · 17 comments

You know Paul…my husband? The one who vacuums, cleans the bathrooms, and does the laundry. (Score.) Well, he has a nice tush, too (bonus.) More importantly, he’s also a great eater (major bonus.) But there are definitely some food items he’s not fond of; olives, goat cheese, and artichokes come to mind (flaw.) And squash (major flaw.)

He was recently out of town, but my mom was visiting. So, I took advantage by experimenting for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. My mom likes squash. She’s a smart lady.

I discovered this excellent recipe c/o Martha Stewart years ago when I was embracing my turkey-less lifestyle. Thanksgiving would never be right without the glorious side dishes, but I still wanted something more substantial to replace the bird. Something tasty. Filling. Meaty, without the meat. And none of this Tofurky business that everyone raves about (I’m sorry, but I just think it’s DIS.GUS.TING.)

The turkey was welcomed back into my life several years ago. Like an old friend, really. But to this day, the Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash that you see before you is still a staple at holiday time.

I usually make it with dried cherries, but I made it with dried cranberries for my mom. I have to say that I prefer it with the cherries because acorn squash is slightly bitter, so the sweetness of the cherries is a great contrast. BUT, the cranberries are a wonderful runner up.

I’ll be making this again in ten days. Can’t wait.

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

• 2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend
• 1/2 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook rice according to package directions.

Remove rice from heat, and stir in cherries and pecans; season stuffing with salt and pepper. Season the inside of each squash half with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, mound stuffing into halves, and serve.

(from Everyday Food)

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

nora@ffr November 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm

It does look very tempting and comforting. love the idea you have used :) also the addition of cranberries :)


Karine November 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm

This sounds to be an amazing way to use squash! thanks for sharing :)


pam November 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Darn! I almost bought some acorn squash at the store today, but then I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them. Now, I know.


Amy November 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Dani – thank you all the kind words, you are too sweet! My dad…funny man, for sure. I’m so glad you’ll be with your family this holiday, too. Nothing can replace that.

Daphne - Paul is a gem. I hit a goldmine when I met him. What a shame you don’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving. It’s my absolute favorite holiday!


daphne November 16, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Your hubby is such a dear! His reply is so sweet (windows!) LOL

What great presentation for stuff squash! Especially since there are heaps of jewels in this one- wild rice and dried fruits! Darn, thanksgiving is not popular in Aus,.and I wish I have a chance to experience that one day!


Dani November 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

This looks extremely yummy! And with the rice from a box, I think I might just try it. Soon. I love your dad’s comment about the mice and rats! You are one lucky lady with such beautiful kids, great parents, and a husband who cleans. I don’t suppose you’d send him to Phoenix to do my bathtub? Ah, well. I’ll settle for the squash. Have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving! (I’ll get to be with my daughter and grandkids. Yay! Oh, and my great son-in-law, too. He cleans some and cooks some, so he’s a keeper, too.)


Amy November 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Joanne – I totally thought about you and your “12 Weeks of Squash” series when I was making this.

Paul – you’re Babe-a-licious.

Mike & Dad – poo poo on all you squash haters!!

JT – you’re still sick?? Good grief. Get better, Dammit! And make this.

Nana – miss you so much already. You sure you won’t consider moving in?

Jude – I always think about you when I make this. You must attempt it. I also think it’s funny that this recipe uses wild rice from a box…all those foodies out there that have so much contempt for Sandra Lee and her usage for canned and boxed goods, take note – this is a recipe from MARTHA STEWART.


Jude November 16, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Another reason to love this time of year – the abundance of squash and sweet potatoes and the like! At first glance, I figured that the number of ingredients (more than two) and the fact that an oven was needed would certainly prohibit my making this dish. Then I read the recipe. OK – rice from a mix! And simple directions. I. Can. Do. It.

Oh, about the tofurkey? What a horrible joke to play on us vege/pesca-tarians. I’ll continue to fill up on the savory side dishes. Like this one, I hope.


Nana November 16, 2009 at 11:15 am

When marketing, Amy asked if I could eat a whole acorn squash. I eyed the vegetable in her hand and said, “Oh, yes.” Well, my eyes were a bit larger than my stomach, as this dish was more filling than expected. I did, however, get through three quarters. One quarter would probably be enough for a side dish depending upon what else is being served. The rice and cranberries were a terrific balance to the acorn squash, but if the dried cherries are sweeter than the cranberries, it would be even better (as Amy mentioned). Amy’s pumpkin muffins with cranberries and pecans finished off the meal……….yummy! Ethan and Paul, you don’t know what you are missing.


Mike November 16, 2009 at 9:02 am

The stuffing part looks great! But I’m afraid I’m with Paul when it comes to squash. Luckily for you guys, it looks like Paul could easily scoop out the stuffing and give you his squash so you could have double squash, Amy. Win-win!


jive turkey November 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

THANK YOU, because this photo is the first thing in DAYS that has looked appetizing to me. You are solely responsible for the return of my appetite. Bless you. And please mail me a wild rice stuffed acorn squash, KTHXBYE.


Dad November 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

You can make a pumpkin into a carriage and mice into coachmen, but a pumpkin is still squash and mice are still little rats although Disney made them cute just like you made this thing look absolutely … edible. Please tell me that acorn squash is only 5¢ a pound, and that the whole thing can be used for decoration and put back on the oak for the holidays.

P.S. Paul is four for four in his dislikes.


noelle November 16, 2009 at 8:55 am

Yummy! I think I might just make this for my hubby and I. I was trying not to think about Tofurky, but this seems like a great substitute! Nice pic by the way!


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie November 16, 2009 at 8:38 am

Looks wonderful, I love the cranberries in the stuffing, great with dried cherries too!


Paul November 16, 2009 at 8:04 am

Babe, you’re the best. Ever.

(I do windows, too.)


Natashya November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am

What a great idea for a side.. or veggie alternative. I am a huge fan of stuffed acorn squash. Looks totally delicious.
I have one of those men who vacuums and cleans tubs and floors. They are keepers!


Joane November 16, 2009 at 6:34 am

Oh my god, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only ten days away. I had better start cooking. Immediately.

This looks fantastic! My family are not squash lovers like I am, so I don’t think I could coerce them to eat a whole half a squash on T-day. But I will certainly be making this. Do I smell another entry into the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash…


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