This recipe for stuffed acorn squash with brown rice, kale, cranberries and pecans is a delicious and creative use for acorn squash that can be prepared ahead of time and easily reheated for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
I am in full fall food mode and have been buying up all the winter squash at the farmers market. This recipe came together when I was looking for something to do with my squash other than roast it and eat it. Acorn squash just lends itself to stuffing so I created a recipe with all of my favorite things!
While I was cooking my rice and assembling the filling, I threw the halved acorn squash in the oven to roast.
My filling was a mix of sautéed onion, shallots, kale and garlic with pecans, dried cranberries and fresh sage.
I also added some shredded cooked chicken to my filling but if you’re going for a meatless meal, you wouldn’t miss it. This would also be a great use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
I removed the squash from the oven once they were tender and piled them high with the brown rice stuffing mixture.
And then topped them with shredded goat gouda. You could leave the cheese off but I’m firmly in the camp that a little cheese makes everything taste even better!
I popped the squash back in the oven to finish cooking with the stuffing and took the dog for a quick walk. When I got home the house smelled amazing and I had a beautiful pan full of stuffed squash. Sadly, I had to run off to the yoga studio to teach but it was such a treat to have dinner waiting for me when I got home. It’s a simple, one-dish meal and one of my favorite fall recipes that I have ever created.
What was meant to be a simple weeknight dinner turned into something much more delicious. I want to serve this to friends and family this holiday season! It would be a beautiful entertaining meal, especially for a holiday luncheon or a simple dinner.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Rice, Kale, Cranberries and Pecans
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 4 servings||Total:|
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
- 1/2 large onion
- 2 cups chopped fresh kale
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little more
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional but highly suggested)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, finely diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, white cheddar, gouda, monterey jack, etc)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place squash flesh side down in a baking dish and add about 1 inch of water to the pan. Loosely cover with foil and place in oven to bake until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare rice according to package directions. While rice and squash are cooking, sauté the onion, kale and shallots in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once onions are soft and translucent and kale has wilted down, add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and cranberries. Place cooked rice in a bowl and add butter and salt/pepper to taste. Add the sautéed veggie mixture and fresh sage and toss to combine. Season again to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove squash from the oven and carefully flip flesh side up. Pour any remaining water out of the baking dish. Fill the squash with the stuffing mixture, letting it overflow a bit. Top with cheese if desired. Return to the oven and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.