Truly the best stuffed acorn squash recipe! If you’re ready to elevate your fall cooking, look no further than this mouthwatering Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. This dish combines the earthy sweetness of acorn squash with a savoury sausage and wild rice stuffing, creating a culinary masterpiece that’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner and fancy enough for special occasions.
Not a fan of acorn squash? No problem – use this stuffing in delicata, carnival or butternut squash or if you’re just not a squash fan at all – simply eat it as is! It’s a fantastic gluten-free alternative to traditional stuffing. See recipe notes for a vegetarian/vegan option.
Tips for Cutting Acorn Squash
Cutting acorn squash can be a bit tricky due to its hard shell and ridgy wobbly shape. Follow these basic steps to cut acorn squash. For more options, see Three Ways to Cut Squash
- Wash and Dry: Start by thoroughly washing and drying squash.
- Slice Off Stem: Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully slice off the stem of the squash.
- Soften Squash (optional): Pierce deeply with knife and place in microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften skin.
- Halve the Squash: Cut from stem end to pointy end (lengthwise) as close to center as possible but just to the side of the stem (it’s really tough to cut through). Place a large chef knife in one of the ridges, put a double layer of dish towel over back of knife and use flat side of meat mallet to pound the knife through the squash.
- Remove the Seeds: Once you have two halves, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and any stringy pulp. You can discard or save the seeds for roasting later.
- Stabilize the Squash Halves: To have your acorn halves sit flat once stuffed, slice a small piece off the bottom of each squash half. This will create a flat surface, ensuring that the squash sits nice and flat when stuffed.
- You are ready to roast your acorn squash in preparation for stuffing as shown in recipe.
Make Ahead – Save Time and Prep Ahead
Preparing stuffed acorn squash ahead of time can be a real time-saver, especially for busy weeknights or holiday meals. Here’s how you can do it:
- Pre-Cook the Squash: Roast the acorn squash halves as directed in the recipe, but only partially. You want them to be tender but not fully cooked. This can be done 2-3 days in advance.
- Make the Stuffing: Prepare the stuffing mixture according to your recipe. You can make it entirely and store it separately for 3-4 days.
- Refrigerate Separately: Allow both the partially cooked squash and the stuffing to cool to room temperature. Then, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- Assembly and Final Baking: When you’re ready to serve, stuff the acorn squash with the pre-made stuffing and bake as directed. Since you’re starting from cold, it may take an additional 10-15 minutes to ensure everything is heated through.
How to Make this Stuffing Vegetarian/Vegan
Adapting this delicious recipe to cater to vegetarian or vegan friends is a breeze. Follow these steps:
- Replace the sausage with mushrooms for a hearty and savoury filling. Use 8-10 oz, about 250 grams of fresh mushrooms. Chop and sauté in a bit of oil or vegan butter for at least 5-8 minutes until they release their moisture and turn golden brown. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance their flavor. Set aside and add to recipe when assembling the stuffing.
- Add chopped nuts for added texture and a bit of protein. Consider 1/2 to 1 cup of lightly toasted walnuts or pecans.
- Ensure veggie broth and any additional seasoning you use is vegetarian or vegan friendly.
What to Serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash
When you’re planning a meal around stuffed acorn squash, think about complementary side dishes. Here are some ideas to enhance your dining experience:
- Fresh Salad: A crisp and refreshing salad with mixed greens pairs wonderfully with the rich flavors of the stuffed acorn squash. Try Pear & Pomegranate Salad, Mandarin Spinach Salad or Fresh Citrus Salad or a simple tossed salad with tomatoes and cukes will do nicely too.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus, can add depth and variety to your plate. The caramelized flavors of roasted veggies complement the sweetness of the squash.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes infused with garlic and butter provide a comforting and hearty side that balances the dish’s textures and flavors.
- Herb-Roasted Potatoes: For a different twist on potatoes, try herb-roasted potatoes with rosemary and thyme. The aromatic herbs will add depth to your meal.
- Cranberry Sauce: A dollop of homemade cranberry sauce or chutney can add a burst of tangy sweetness that contrasts nicely with the savory stuffing.
- Gravy: If you’re serving stuffed acorn squash for a holiday meal, a rich gravy can tie everything together beautifully.
Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squashes
- halved and seeds removed
- ½ cup wild rice blend
- 1 Tbsp oil divided
- Dash salt and pepper
- ½ lb mild Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 ¼ cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 onion diced
- 1 medium carrot diced finely
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ apple diced finely
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Brush cut sides of squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on baking sheet and roast until tender for ~30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. (Pro Tip: Before cooking, slice a piece off the bottom of each squash half so they will sit upright when stuffed. Soften the squash before cutting as shown on page 13.)
- Meanwhile, cook rice blend according to package directions. It will take ~45 minutes. When cooked through, fluff with fork, add dried cranberries, cover, and let stand 5 minutes to plump up cranberries.
- In large skillet, cook and crumble sausage until brown browned and cooked through. Remove cooked sausage and set aside. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and carrot is tender. Add garlic, thyme and sage and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Stir in cooked rice, sausage, apples, nuts and parsley. Cook for 3 minutes to heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Fill each squash half with rice mixture, pressing down gently.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until filling is heated through and tops are slightly browned.
- Serve each person half an acorn squash as a main dish or serve as a side dish. Place halves on table for people to scoop out portions for themselves or cut into smaller portions before setting on table.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
This gluten free stuffing is a great way for anyone to get more whole grains into their diet.
Try this recipe with other squash as well. We tried it with butternut squash and enjoyed the sweetness it added.
Will you try this stuffed acorn squash? If you do, take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it! Let me know what sides you serve it with.
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Select, store and serve seasonal food for everyday cooking with Getty. Getty is a food educator and Professional Home Economist,who loves sharing tips and recipes following the seasons from her Canadian kitchen. Sign up to get seasonal tips and recipes delivered to your inbox. Learn more about Getty or check out her books and pdf guides.