Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash is a wonderful main dish option for the holidays. Stuffed with wild rice, veggies, and tempeh, this autumn-inspired squash becomes so flavorful and comforting. It's easy to make ahead of time and freezer friendly.
Celebrate the cooler weather and the holidays with this warm and nutritious Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash. The beautiful and bright squash is roasted, then stuffed with lots of healthy veggies, simple seasonings, wild rice, and tempeh. When it’s done, the recipe is transformed into a must-have for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Winter is a busy time, which is why we need as many stress-free recipes that we can get our hands on. Simply whip up this recipe ahead of time and store it away for later. Keep the stuffed squash in the fridge until you’re ready to serve or freeze it months in advance!
This versatile meal can take on all of your favorite ingredients and flavors with ease. It’s also a great way to eat all of your daily veggies in one meal. Load it up with more vegetables, grains, beans, or vegan meat alternatives.
So much good stuff! Stuff your winter squash with grains, veggies, and plant-based meat to create a filling and complete meal.
These are the ingredients you need:
- Acorn squash - Just like other winter squash varieties, you can find acorn squash at farmer’s markets or grocery stores in fall and winter. Ripe acorn squash will have a dark green skin with a patch of orange near the top.
- Tempeh - This vegan meat substitute is made from fermented soybeans. It’s a great source of protein, calcium, and can help balance the healthy bacteria in our guts. Free free to subsitute cooked lentils or other beans or use another vegan meat substutite.
- Veggies - Like kale onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Feel free to add more veggies if you wish.
- Simple seasonings - All you need are thyme, parsley, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and pepper.
- Tamari - To give the stuffing a meaty flavor. If you're not gluten-free, you can sub in soy sauce.
- Wild rice - This nutty and earthy alternative to brown rice or quinoa is perfect to enjoy all year long or for the holidays.
- Vegan parmesan - Make your own homemade vegan parmesan or use your favorite storebought brand.
How to prepare & bake acorn squash
Make sure you wash the outside before cutting into the squash. Get out your sharpest knife and slice the squash in half, stem to stem. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
TIP: If you can't cut into the squash because it's too hard (me!), put it in the oven while it is heating up. This will make the squash softer and easier to cut.
To roast acorn squash, place each half cut side up on a lined baking sheet. You can brush it with a little olive oil if you wish or even maple syrup to add a subtle sweetness. Roast in a 400ºF oven for about 40 minutes or until the squash is tender.
How to make the filling
It's so easy to make this gluten free squash dish. Just follow these simple directions.
Step 1: Begin by cooking the tempeh in a large skillet. Add tamari and tempeh spices and heat through. Then set aside.
Step 2: Add the onion, garlic, vegetables, allspice, nutmeg, and vegetable broth to the skillet. Cook until the veggies are tender then add kale and cook 1 more minute.
Step 3: Add the tempeh, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, vegan Parmesan, and cooked wild rice mix. Stir.
Step 4: Take the acorn squash out of the oven when tender, add ¼ of the vegetable/rice mixture to each half, and bake for another 10 minutes.
What goes with this dish?
- Is your squash too hard to slice? Put the squash in the oven when it's heating up (so easy!) or heat it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes first. This will soften the skin and make it easier to cut.
- Customize the recipe to your liking: Swap the rice for quinoa, add in cooked chickpeas, swap or add in your favorite vegetables, or use veggie sausage instead of tempeh. There are a million substitutions you can try!
- Making ahead tips: You can easily make the filling and roasted squash ahead of time. Roast the squash and prepare the filling without baking it. Stuff the squash and place them in an airtight container. Reheat the stuffed squash by covering them in foil and heating them in the oven. Remove the foil and let them cook for another 10 or 15 minutes before serving.
- Freezing tips: Wrap cooled stuffed squash halves in foil and seal them in an airtight container or quart size freezer bag (removing as much air as possible). Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Sub a different grain. Instead of wild rice, try quinoa, brown rice or farro. Note farro is not gluten-free.
- Switch out the plant-based protein: Instead of tempeh, add the same amount of tofu crumbles. Or add about a cup of cooked lentils, chickpeas, or white beans.
- Use Butternut Squash. Follow this same recipe, but bake and stuff butternut squash halves instead of acorn squash. Note: the baking time for the butternut squash will need a bit longer (45 to 55 minutes).
Place them in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheating from the fridge: Place the stuffed acorn squash in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. You could also reheat in the microwave for 2-4 minutes (until heated through).
Reheating from the freezer. Place it a in covered casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for and 45 to 50 minutes. Or you could reheat them in the microwave heat on high for 5 to 7 minutes. You could also let the squash half thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm according to the “Reheating from the fridge” directions above.
The short answer is yes, you can eat acorn squash skin! The skin can be a bit too tough if it isn’t cooked long enough, so make sure to roast it until the skin is tender.
Acorn squash is a great source of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. It’s low in calories and packed full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and B vitamins. It’s a perfect food to add to your winter diet and can be stuffed with grains and veggies, roasted and blended into a soup, or cubed and tossed in a salad.
More recipes with squash
Try these healthy vegan meals featuring squash when you’re craving something warm and nutritious:
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash With Wild Rice
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided (see notes for oil-free option)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 oz Tempeh
- 1 TB Soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ onion chopped (about ½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 stalks celery about ½ cup
- ½ cup Carrots shredded
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup vegetable broth or water
- 1 /2 bunch kale destemmed and chopped
- ½ teaspoon Thyme
- ½ cup wild rice pre-cooked
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Vegan parmesan pluse more for garinsh
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the squash halves and season with salt and pepper. See notes if you're having trouble cutting open the squash.
- Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet and bake until fork-tender (about 35-40 minutes but times will differ depending on the size of the squash).
- While the squash is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet. Add tempeh and cook on medium heat until the tempeh is browned (about 5 minutes). Add tamari and tempeh spices (Italian seasoning, fennel, paprika) and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, vegetables, allspice, nutmeg, and ¼ cup of vegetable broth or water to the skillet. Cook on medium until the veggies are tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add kale and heat for about a minute until cooked.
- Turn off heat, add half of the cooked tempeh (save the leftover tempeh for another use), thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, vegan parmesan, and cooked wild rice mix. Stir to combine.
- Take the acorn squash out of the oven when tender, add ¼ of the vegetable/rice mixture to each half, and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the stuffed squash with some extra vegan parm and chopped parsley. Serve warm.
PLEASE NOTE: Nutritional information data is computer generated and only an estimate so it should be used only as a guide.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel clear and confident about what is uniquely nourishing to them. Mary Ellen's recipes and nutrition information have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.