Thanksgiving is a time for food, gratitude, few obligations, and more food. However, this meat-centric holiday can be challenging for vegetarians. Too often, vegetables are thrown to the side to make room for the “substantial, hearty” meat dishes, but meat is not a Thanksgiving prerequisite.

Take this opportunity to make vegetables the star of the show by utilizing them as the main entrée. Stuffed squashes are equally hearty, delectable, and much less laborious than a 15-pound bird that has been repeatedly basted and roasted for hours.  Dedicate your precious oven and table real estate to veggies, leaving you plenty of time for family, friends, and food. 

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 15 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 2 small to medium acorn squashes
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 apples cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil divided
  • 2 tbsp sage chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
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  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

    Halve squashes and brush 1 tablespoon oil over the flesh. Roast for 30 minutes or until squash is cooked through, but still firm.

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  • Step 2

    Rinse rice and put it in a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and allow rice to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

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  • Step 3

    Prepare your stuffing ingredients by chopping the veggies, apples, and garlic.

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    Clara Park
  • Step 4

    In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and sauté onion until softened, about 3 minutes.

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  • Step 5

    Add celery and apples and continue to sauté for another 4 minutes.

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  • Step 6

    Add garlic and mix everything until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside until rice is done.

  • Step 7

    Mix together vegetables, rice, cranberries, pecans, and sage.

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  • Step 8

    Fill squash halves with the stuffing and place them back in oven at 375°F for 15 minutes.

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  • Step 9

    Remove squashes from oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

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These stuffed squashes pair really well with piping hot dinner rolls, crispy green bean casseroles, and tart cranberry sauce. Feel free to tailor the stuffing ingredients to your taste buds by adding carrots, bell peppers, or even beans. Just don't forget the apple pie for dessert.