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Fork tender maple roasted acorn squash stuffed with a harvest wild rice medley, boasting dried cranberries, maple pecans, apples, sage, and rosemary. A beautiful festive side dish or vegetarian main course.
This wild rice stuffed acorn squash recipe is simple to make at home and can be prepared ahead of time, making it perfect for the holidays. The harvest wild rice medley is a balanced combination of textures and flavors, using homemade toasted maple pecans, dried cranberries, apples, onions, celery, fresh herbs, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. The wild rice stuffing is unbelievably scrumptious and would be a fine side dish even on its own.
Stuffing the halved acorn squash and using the as a serving vessel for the delicious harvest wild rice medley adds an extra special visual appeal and a bonus nutrient-rich component, as the maple-roasted squash bowl is completely edible as well!
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Make the Roasted Acorn Squash Bowls
Let’s start by roasting the acorn squash!
Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy bits from the middle, and discard.
Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Roast cut side down for 20 min in 400 degree F oven.
Remove from oven, flip the squash flesh side up, and brush with maple syrup. Set aside for now.
Make the Harvest Rice for the Roasted Acorn Squash Bowls
Now let’s work in the Harvest Rice Stuffing!
Prepare the chopped apple, celery, and onion
Rinse rice and cook according to package instructions. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and celery. Cook until softened and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Then add the chopped apple. Cook an additional 5-7, until the apple is crisp tender.
Chop remaining ingredients: dried cranberries, maple roasted pecans, rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley
In a large mixing bowl combine cooked rice, sautéed apples, onions and celery, maple roasted pecans, cranberries, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. Taste and add more salt and/or maple syrup, if desired.
Fill par-roasted squash cavities with wild rice medley.
Then return the squash to the oven to complete the baking of acorn squash.
Roast for about 15-20 additional minutes. I used some chopped parsley as a garnish to serve.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
Preparing Maple Roasted Squash Stuffed with Harvest Wild Rice Medley in advance will help you focus on the main course or other side dishes for your occasion. All you will need to do is follow the recipe up until step 4. After you have filled the squash with the Harvest Rice, pause and place it in a covered container for up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F bake the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet for an additional 20 minutes to complete the squash’s cooking and warm the “harvest wild rice medley” stuffed inside.
What kind of rice should I use?
I used a “wild rice blend,” which is a blend of wild rice and other types of rice, such as brown rice, red rice, and black rice.
In this stuffed acorn squash recipe, I used Lundberg Family Farms. Pure wild rice is chewier and tougher, which is why I prefer the wild rice blend for its mix of textures. Additionally, wild rice can be expensive, so using a wild rice blend is more cost-effective.
How do I choose the right Acorn Squash?
Find ones with a smooth exterior and a dull rind, if it’s too shiny, it’s not ripe yet. And conversely, you will want to avoid acorn squash with too much yellow/orange coloring, as this indicates it is overripe. Also, try to select an acorn squash that is small or medium-sized to make it suitable for individual servings.
Maple Roasted Squash Stuffed with Harvest Wild Rice Medley
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash halved with seed scooped
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
Maple Roasted Pecans
- ¾ cup pecans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Harvest Wild Rice Medley
- 1 Granny Smith Apple peeled, cored and diced
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 cup wild rice blend or wild rice measured uncooked
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- ½ tsp salt divided
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Maple Roasted Squash:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy bits from the middle and discard. Drizzle insides of squash with olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ pepper. Roast cut side down 20 min at 400.¼ tsp black pepper.
- Remove from oven, flip the squash flesh side up and brush with 1 tbsp maple syrup. Set aside, until filling Harvest Wild Rice Medley is made.
Maple Roasted Pecans:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- On small parchment line baking sheet add whole pecans, olive oil, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Toss well to coat the pecans
- Roast in oven for 5-6 mins.
- Remove from oven and chop, set aside to add to Harvest Wild Rice Medley.
Harvest Wild Rice Medley :
- Rinse and cook rice according to the package. Set aside.
- Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and sauté onion and celery. Cook until softened and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the chopped apple. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes until apple is soft.
- In large mixing bowl combine cooked rice, sautéed apples, onions and celery, maple roasted pecans, cranberries, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. Taste and add more salt and/or maple syrup, if desired.
- Fill squash cavities of par roasted squash with wild rice medley and bake for an additional 15- 20 min. Squash is ready when it can be pricked with a knife without any resistance.