Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash are a type of winter squash packed with nutrients: fiber, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and Vitamins A and C. This is a hearty, nourishing vegetarian entree for fall which can easily be made vegan by substituting vegan sour cream. It’s also a great choice for a Halloween dinner, especially when using antioxidant-rich black forbidden rice for festive color!

Serves: 4

Acorn squash (2 medium ones)
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon + more for drizzling
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 onion, diced

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup celery, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup cooked brown rice, wild rice, forbidden rice or farro
1 cup black beans (cooked or canned)
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 mandarin orange
1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled or light sour cream


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Prepare the acorn squash by cutting off the bottom “point” to create a flat surface (don’t take too much off), and also cut the stem part off to create another flat surface, again taking care not to cut too much off; next, cut each squash in half lengthwise, creating 4 halves; scoop the seeds and stringy bits out, drizzle a little bit of olive oil into each of the 4 halves, and add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper to each half.

Place each squash half onto the baking sheet with the cavity facing down, and roast for roughly 35 minutes, or until the flesh is tender; remove from the oven, and allow the squash to cool slightly until they can be handled.

Saute the vegetables: heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan; once the oil is warm, add the onion to the pan and saute for a few minutes; while the onion is still cooking, add the bell pepper and celery to the pan and saute for 5 minutes; then, add the garlic to the onion/pepper mixture in the pan, season with the cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and a little salt and pepper and stir to combine. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Scoop the cooked vegetables into a large bowl and add the cooked rice, the black beans, the cherry tomatoes, the cilantro and the orange juice; combine the ingredients well and set the mixture aside, keeping it warm.

Spoon equal portions of the rice/bean/vegetable mixture into the cavity of each squash half and sprinkle the top with an equal portion of feta cheese (or a dollop of light sour cream).

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 35 min

Nutrition Analysis: (per serving)

  • Calories: 388
  • Carbohydrates: 56.5 g
  • Fiber: 16.5 g
  • Protein: 14.5 g
  • Fat: 14 g

Adapted from:

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  1. This recipe sounds delicious!! I wonder if cooking the squash in the Instant Pot will work instead of roasting in the oven. I am going to try that!!

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