Gluten-Free and Vegetarian, these Stuffed Acorn Squash are a Fall and Thanksgiving must! Stuffed with a wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans, they are super simple, festive, colorful and so delicious!
Gluten Free Stuffed Acorn Squash
Easy, Festive, Nourishing and Delicious!
So excited for you to try these gluten-free Stuffed Acorn Squash!
Simple, festive and so delicious, they are a perfect Fall and Thanksgiving dish!
I love roasted acorn squash and you can stuff them with just about anything, so when I set out to make this recipe for you, I had several filling combinations in mind… but after several rounds of testing, I always came back to this simple Wild Rice Salad.
The Wild Rice Salad is a fall and holiday favorite already because it’s naturally gluten-free, so colorful and flavorful and pairs with everything! And, because it can be made ahead and served room temperature, it is perfect for Thanksgiving when oven space is at a premium!
Paired with roasted acorn squash, you have either a meal (I love it for lunch!) or a delicious side dish, easy enough for an every day meal, festive enough for a holiday table!
So let’s make it!
One of the things I also love about this dish is that it can be partially or entirely prepared ahead. Here are some options:
The entire dish can be prepared and served immediately.
The entire dish can be prepared ahead and served later. Reheat the squash, stuff them with the room temperature salad and serve.
Prepare the wild rice salad ahead of time and bring to room temperature while roasting the squash, then stuff and serve.
We’ll start with preparing the acorn squash.
All you need is:
acorn squash (or any similar shaped squash, my farmers market had some called honeynut in a similar shape)
maple syrup (optional for roasting)
And it’s quite simple!
First cut the squash in half (either way, some people prefer to see the stem (bottom row of the tray and cut through the stem. I like the shape of cutting them in half through the middle and then removing the stem. Your preferene.
Remove the seeds.
Lightly coat with olive oil and maple syrup, if desired — I happen to love the touch of sweetness, and sprinkle with a touch of kosher salt if desired.
While the squash roasts, make the Wild Rice Salad…
This colorful salad is bursting with an amazing mix of flavors & textures, is super easy to whip together!
a ton of diced vegetables and dried fruit
all tossed in a Lemon-Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette.
All you need is:
Green onion and
and easy Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette (see details below)
The combination is makes it savory, a touch sweet, a touch tangy, earthy and has just a bit of crunch.
And it pairs so well with the warm acorn squash!
It’s just fresh, satisfying and delicious!
And it’s simple to prepare.
While the rice cooks, you dice and measure out the other ingredients and whisk together the simple dressing.
For the Lemon Honey Dijon Dressing, you’ll need:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
Salt & Pepper
and all you do is whisk together!
Pro-Tip: If making this ahead of serving, I like to keep the dressing separate for ultimate freshness of the salad.
Once you have your Wild Rice Salad and roasted acorn squash ready, all you do is stuff them and serve!
How good does this look?
It tastes even better!
A super fresh and flavorful combo!
A few serving tips.
I already shared that this is a perfect dish to make partially or fully ahead. But if you’re making this ahead for Thanksgiving or another gathering or holiday, let’s look at serving options.
For ultimate freshness, I suggest keeping the salad, dressing and roasted squash separate. Then if possible, reheat the squash for just 15 minutes to warm. Meanwhile, bring the salad to room temperature, dress it and then stuff the warm squash.
You could also just bring both the salad and the squash to room temperature, stuff squash and serve it! Personally I prefer the squash warmer but when oven space is at a premium, room temperature works great!
These Stuffed Acorn Squash are a Fall and Thanksgiving must! Stuffed with a wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans, they are super simple,festive, colorful and so delicious! Options to prepare partially or fully ahead.
Author: Healthy Gluten-Free Family
Recipe type: Side Dish, Dinner, Fall, Thanksgiving
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Serves: 8 stuffed squash
4 Acorn Squash (or similar shaped squash)
maple Syrup (optional)
Wild Rice Salad
1⅔ cups wild rice or wild rice blend (we used Lundberg wild rice blend ) (This translates to 5 cups cooked)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, cut into bite size pieces
½ cup pecan halves, broken into pieces
½ cup roasted and salted pistachios
½ cup celery, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup green part of green onions, sliced thin
Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste -- NOTE: the pistachios we use are salted; use more salt if unsalted pistachios)
⅛ teaspoon pepper or more to taste
Roast the acorn squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut acorn squash in half (either across the middle - my preference, or through the stem). Spoon out and remove seeds. Place open side up on the baking sheets.
Lightly coat the inside and top of each squash half with olive oil. Then also coat with a maple syrup if using. The syrup adds a touch of sweetness that tastes great! Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just starting to get golden on top, the squash will be a fabulous golden orange color and tender.
Making ahead: if making ahead of serving, store in a sealed container and either bring to room temperature or ideally reheat at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes to warm.
Wild Rice Salad
While the squash roasts, prepare the wild rice.
Make the rice (you can do this while preparing the to roast the squash if trying to minimize prep time)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil
While waiting for water to boil, rinse rice to remove some of the starch.
When water is boiling, add rice to water and cook rice as you would pasta. Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes. Taste the rice, should be cooked but firm. You do not want a mushy rice. As cooking times vary by brand, you may need to cook a few minutes longer but we have always been good with 30 minutes.
Drain rice into a strainer with small holes (you don't want to lose the rice!) and run cold water over it to remove any remaining starch.
Set aside and let cool.
Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.
Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Bring to room temp and give a good shake or whisk before adding to salad.
Wild Rice Salad
Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.
Serve room temperature.
Making ahead: When making ahead, keep the dressing separate until serving so that it stays fresher. And when you add dressing, a little goes a long way!
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Spoon Wild Rice Salad into the warm or room temperature roasted acorn squash and enjoy!
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...