This fall main course is perfect for entertaining and can serve as a beautiful centerpiece. Easy, flavorful, and healthy! It will be the talk of the table!
When thinking about fall main dishes, it is so easy to find squash. However, if you aren’t used to cooking with it then you may have no idea! This vegan stuffed acorn squash is so delicious!
It’s true, years ago I would walk past all the very cheap, in season squash and just have a look of confusion on what I would ever do with them.
Not only are squash in the fall very budget friendly, but they can be very filling.
Additionally, one of our favorite ways to use squash is to make it the main course you are serving for fall get togethers and holidays, like Thanksgiving.
In fact, this is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving main course option. It is filling and the adorable size of the acorn squash serves as an individual centerpiece at each place setting.
We are combining a handful of aromatics along with dried stuffing, apples, chickpeas, and mushrooms (optional!) to create an epic balance of sweet and savory.
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VEGAN STUFFED ACORN SQUASH INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make this vegan stuffed acorn squash recipe:
- acorn squash – this squash is perfect for individual size portions
- vegan butter – this is great for richness to the dish
- maple syrup – just a hint of sweetness makes the dish even better
- sweet onion, celery, carrots, and garlic – these are our aromatics for the dish and the perfect combination
- baby bella mushrooms and chickpeas – these are our protein sources and
- thyme, rosemary, and sage – our herbs for the dish. We are using fresh because the flavor is so much better
- dried seasoned stuffing mix – adding stuffing here adds a savory and umami flavor while making the dish filling
- pecans – nuts add a crunch and because they are toasted a more in depth
- granny smith apple – It’s tart and sweet and also adds some crunch
- dried cranberries – just a little bit more sweetness but it really adds a different texture
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- acorn squash – other types of squash or even baked potatoes or portobello caps could be used
- vegan butter – for the brushing mixture, use non-dairy milk, and for the skillet, use more vegetable stock
- maple syrup – other sweeteners like agave or date syrup could be swapped
- baby bella mushrooms – can omit
- chickpeas – try a white bean like cannellini beans
- thyme, rosemary, and sage – you can use other herbs. Dried herbs can also be swapped for fresh if needed
- dried seasoned stuffing mix – try using quinoa or rice instead – see FAQs below for changes if doing this
- pecans – omit if needed or use another nuts like walnuts or silvered almonds
- granny smith apple – another tart apple can be used
- dried cranberries – try another dried fruit like dried cherries
Frequently Asked Questions for Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash:
Yes. You can make the entire dish the day before or you could just make the stuffing mixture up to 2 days ahead and then proceed with the remaining parts of the recipe when ready. We don’t recommend prepping more than that in advance or the mixture may be too mushy.
Yes. We need to consider the vegan butter, pecans, and dried stuffing (or bread croutons).
For the pecans, you can just omit them or replace them with something like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
For the vegan butter, use a soy free option like Flora or Earth Balance soy free.
Finally for the dried stuffing – if you can find a vegan and gluten free variety, then use that. Otherwise, you could swap it for something like cooked rice or quinoa. If doing this, you can reduce the amount of vegetable stock to just 2-4 tbsp. Add 2 and stir. Add an additional 2 if needed to not appear dry.
You can completely omit them. Alternatively, you could add more chickpeas or you can replace with something like cooked lentils, tofu, walnut meat, tempeh, cauliflower and more!
Absolutely! Acorn squash are great because of their individual/personal size. However, you could do this spaghetti squash, zucchini, butternut squash or even small pumpkins.
If you don’t want to do squash, try pouring the stuffing mixture over potatoes instead, or even portobello caps!
Most people prefer not to eat the skin on acorn squash; however, it is edible. If you cook it long enough in the oven where the inside squash is super tender, the skin for also be soft enough to eat. So, truly, it’s a personal preference.
What other vegan squash recipes could I make?
If you love squash or still just not sure and want even more ideas, here’s a few great ones for you!
If you just want to learn more about them, check out our how to roast an acorn squash guide!
- Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Zucchini Boats
- Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegan Butternut Squash Nuggets
Lastly, if you favorite squash is pumpkin, don’t worry! We got you covered! Check out our 20+ Vegan Pumpkin Recipes!
Pin this vegan stuffed acorn squash for later!
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Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved from stem to bottom and deseeded
- 5 tbsp vegan butter, divided
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 4 oz baby bella mushrooms, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
- 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp sage, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/4 cup dried seasoned stuffing mix (or bread croutons)
- 1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
- 1 medium granny smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a small piece off the skin side of the squash so it will sit flat on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, melt 1 tbsp vegan butter. Stir in maple syrup. Brush evenly over the flesh side of the squash.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt remaining vegan butter. Once melted, add in onions, celery and carrots. Saute for 4-6 minutes or until onions have softened.
- Add mushrooms, garlic, and chickpeas. Stir together and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add in stock, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. stir well. Cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add dried stuffing mixture and stir together well, making sure all the pieces are coated in the stock. Add in toasted pecans, apples and cranberries. Stir together.
- Fill mixture inside each of the squash. You can heap them, but do not overfill them. Depending on the size of your squash, you may have some mixture left over.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove foil and cook and additional 15 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Serve warmed.