Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash (Gluten Free + Vegan)
This Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash is filled with caramelized onions, cauliflower florets, spinach, dried cranberries, and pecans. It’s served with a drizzle of lemon tahini sauce. This comforting and colorful dish has a variety of textures, tons of flavor, and makes the perfect hearty dinner or side dish.
The first time I made this recipe was in the quaint seaside town of Mendocino, CA. I visited with my dad and my sister this past summer and we stayed in a beautiful house with an amazing kitchen – so naturally, we cooked almost every night (except for necessary meals at Ravens and Wild Fish).
My sister and I came up with the idea for this recipe, but we used bell peppers to stuff the delicious filling into. I’m not a huge bell pepper fan, so I ended up eating most of the filling but not eating the pepper itself. BUT I loved the filling so much, I had to make it again.
I’ve made it a few times since then, and my FAVORITE vessel by far is acorn squash. I prepped these stuffed acorn squash halves for my family’s Hannukah this year and after getting so many questions after putting them on my stories, I made them again the next day so I could share this killer recipe with you all.
Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash…too good!
The recipe isn’t too hard to make and turns out SO flavorful and delicious. You start by halving 2 acorn squashes (if it’s just you or you and a partner, you can halve the recipe to just make one – but these do make great leftovers!) and roasting them on a baking sheet until soft, about 45 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, we make that epic mushroom and wild rice filling. In addition to the mushrooms & wild rice, the filling has sauteed onions, diced cauliflower, dried cranberries, pecans, and spinach. The cranberries add such a delicious burst of sweetness and chewiness. The pecans add crunch, and the spinach adds freshness and a burst of green color.
To make life easier, I used wild rice from the freezer section of Whole Foods. I put it in the microwave and tossed it in the pan with all the browned veggies. After mixing the filling, we flip the softened squash halves over, fill them with the wild rice and mushroom mixture, and place them back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to bring it all together.
While they’re finishing up in the oven, time for the SAUCE. I didn’t have the ingredients to make the sauce when I served these on Hannukah. Disgruntled, I told everyone how much better they’d be with the sauce. They assured me it was still SO good without the sauce.
Eating it the next day though, after taking these photos, I knew I was right. The lemon tahini sauce drizzled all over the stuffed squash halves makes them SO much better. It adds a bright, lemony flavor and complements the earthy flavors of the squash and mushrooms so wonderfully. So – don’t skip the sauce!
I hope you love these Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Halves as much as I do! They’re a new favorite around here, and I hope they’ll become one in your house too. Enjoy :)
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Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 75 minutes
- Yield: 4 squash salves 1x
- Category: Main Course, Side Dish
- Cuisine: American
This Mushroom & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash is filled with caramelized onions, cauliflower florets, spinach, dried cranberries, and pecans. It’s served with a drizzle of lemon tahini sauce. This comforting and colorful dish has a variety of texture, tons of flavor, and makes the perfect hearty dinner or side dish.
For the stuffed acorn squash
- 2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more to brush acorn squash halves
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces cauliflower, chopped into very small florets
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (I used frozen Ancient Grain Mix from Grain Trust – found it at Whole Foods!)
- 2 cups fresh organic spinach
- ⅓ cup toasted pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Salt & pepper, to taste
For the tahini dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2–3 tablespoons water, based on how thick you want it
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the stuffed acorn squash
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush with 1 teaspoon avocado oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is pierced easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove the onions and place in a bowl; return the pan to the heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cauliflower to the pan and add some salt to season. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the onions back into the pan.
- Stir in the wild rice, spinach, pecans and dried cranberries, and stir to wilt the spinach for a minute or two. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the acorn squash halves from the oven and fill each with the wild rice mixture. You may have some leftover. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to heat through before serving with the lemon tahini sauce.
For the sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the tahini sauce, adjusting the amount of water based on how thick you want it. Serve with the stuffed acorn squash. Store any extra sauce in a small jar.
Thanks for another great and yes epic recipe! Doubled this recipe and made it for a big group of non-vegans and it was a huge hit! I couldn’t find that rice at whole foods so I cooked up some brown basmati and wild rice mix which worked well. The flavor of the rice stuffing is super delicious, and with the squash makes a very filling meal on its own. I did have some leftover which I was very happy about, and it’s already been requested for our next dinner! I can see making just the rice again at some point for a side dish too. Another winner…thanks again!
So thrilled it was such a hit, Michelle! One of my favorites and definitely a recipe you’ve reminded me to make again soon :) thank you so much for leaving your feedback!
Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! A bit of extra stuffing but I’m certainly not complaining. I was rushing and added way too much water to the sauce but the whole thing was still so good! Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipe!
So glad it was a hit, Lauren! Thanks so much for the feedback.
Could you make the filling a day ahead, and while the squash is baking let it come to room temp and add it at the end for 5 min?
Hi Heather, absolutely! It may need a little longer than 5 minutes to heat through, but will totally work just fine. Enjoy!
Have a big family to feed for thanksgiving this year with a good portion of them vegan, I’m thinking of making this for a crowd and was wondering if this could be switched up a bit for a casserole type dish, maybe cut up the squash into squares and cover it with the rice? Thoughts or advice?
Hi Danielle, what a great idea! I’m guessing that should probably work just fine if you’d prefer to do it that way. I would probably cube the squash, roast it, and then top with the rice mixture and bake for a little while longer to heat through. Hope this helps! Let me know if you need any other advice :)
Amazing! Subbed a quinoa/brown rice mix for the wild rice (may have tamed it too much) and almonds for the pecans. We absolutely loved it! Thank you!
So glad you loved it, Mark!! Thanks for the feedback :D
This was great! I made a few substitutions because of what I had in the house. Instead of pecans, I used walnuts. For the spinach, I used the last few leaves of gai lan from the fridge and some sorrel from the garden. Left out the cranberries, but added thinly sliced and chopped lemon peel and lemon juice. Really delicious way to use seasonal vegetables.
Awesome!! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it, Bob. Always makes a recipe better when you can incorporate garden goodies, too. Lemon sounds like a fabulous addition.
I am going to make this for my vegetarian family for Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you so much for sharing.. These incredible ingredients are going to please everyone!! I will try a practice one on Saturday!!
I hope it’s a hit, Annmarie!!
I tested this yesterday. All 3 of us loved it. I forgot to toast the almonds and I put too much lemon juice in the Thani!! I will be making this for Thanksgiving for 8-10 guests at my sister’s. A few are vegetarian and the rest are totally fine with a meatless meal. I will bring some turkey in gravy with stuffing in a covered dish for those that want some. The only wild rice that I could find was Lundberg’s Wild Blend. It was perfect! My sister never noticed the cauliflower!! She doesn’t like it! Funny!! I think that it was delicious and the presentation is absolutely wonderful!! Can’t wait to serve and enjoy myself!!!
So thrilled it was a hit, Annmarie! I’m thrilled to have this recipe be a part of your family’s Thanksgiving celebration :) I hope it’s a hit!
Can you recommend a substitute for the cauliflower?
You can replace with more mushrooms, broccoli, another veggie you love, or just leave it out!