Hi friends! I hope you all had a "spooktacular" Halloween! Now that we've all gotten our fill of candies and chocolate, can we talk Thanksgiving? It's by far my favorite holiday (obviously). And this week's Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash is not only incredibly delicious and satisfying, it makes a stunning presentation for your holiday table. But don't be intimidated by the looks of it. This recipe is easy enough to whip up and enjoy any day of the year!
What You'll Need to Make Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash + Substitutes
- Acorn Squash- I love these adorable squashes because their shape is so much fun to work with and they're perfect for stuffing. Slightly sweet and delicious too!
- Shallots- add oniony goodness and depth.
- Vegan Sausage or Ground "Meat" Crumbles- I use Lightlife Smart Ground Crumbles. The first time I tried using them in a recipe I was skeptical. But, I was so surprised at how much I liked the flavor and texture. Made from soy protein, these crumbles contain zero cholesterol are low in fat and super high in protein (⅓ cup contains 10gms)! But feel free to substitute regular crumbled sausage here if you're not into vegan meat substitutes. Or, leave out meat entirely.
- Whole Wheat Couscous- The texture and size of this flavorful nutty grain was the best match for this filling. Brown rice or quinoa would also work in this recipe.
- Kale- Adding some greens is not only healthy but adds an additional layer of texture and flavor. A great substitute would be spinach or even arugula.
- Cranberries- Chewy cranberries provide a touch of tart sweetness that brighten up the filling so well. You could also use raisins.
- Walnuts- Crunchy crushed walnuts provide an earthy nutty flavor that compliments the "meat" crumbles really well. If you have a nut allergy, it's perfectly fine to make this nut free.
How To Make Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash + Tips
You'll be surprised how easy this meal is to make. A sharp knife will be helpful in cutting through the tough skin of the squash (but please be super careful). Side note: One really awesome trick I learned a long time ago is to place a damp paper towel under your cutting board to prevent it from sliding while you cut. It works every time!
Here is the step by step process:
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Cut and season the squash. With a sharp knife, carefully slice off the top part of the squash about 2 inches from the top, making sure to cut through evenly. Scoop out the seeds and discard. I also bake the tops and save them for another recipe. Be sure to slice off the pointy part on the bottom of the squash, so that it lays flat on the baking sheet.
- Roast. Place squash cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until soft about 25-40 minutes depending on size.
- Make the filling. Prepare the couscous ahead of time so it's ready to go. Couscous takes no time at all to cook. You'll then sauté "meat" then veggies and add the cooked couscous, cranberries and walnuts to the pan to combine at the very end.
- Stuff. Scoop the filling into the cooked squash and season to taste.
Things To Love About This Recipe
The aroma of the cooking acorn squash makes the entire house smell like fall! The creaminess of the squash combined with the tiny bits of couscous, chewiness of the cranberries and walnuts and the heartiness of the vegan meat make it hard to believe you're eating something healthy.
This recipe is super versatile. You can totally make substitutions as I stated above.
You can also make ahead of time and reheat (recommend consuming within 24-48 hrs).
It's hearty yet healthy and contains loads of protein, potassium, iron, fiber and is low in saturated fat.
But what I love most is how pretty these stuffed squashes look on a dish especially for a holiday gathering or dinner party!
This post was not sponsored. All opinions are my own.
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 4 acorn squash stems and tops removed (see above notes)
- 1.5 cups cooked whole wheat couscous
- 1 shallot
- 2 cups kale
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup walnuts crushed
- 4 oz vegan meat crumbles I used Lightlife brand (see link above)
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling squash
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drizzle the squash with olive oil, then season with salt and place cut side up on the baking sheet.
- Roast squash for about 25-40 minutes until tender when pierced with fork then set aside to cool slightly.
- While squash is roasting, prepare the filling by heating olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.
- On medium heat, sauté vegan meat crumbles (as directed by package instructions) then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
- To the same pan, add a bit more olive oil and sauté the shallot until translucent.
- Add in the kale and season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook 1-2 minutes until wilted and softened.
- Lower the heat and add back the meat crumbles then the walnuts, cranberries, couscous and stir to combine.
- Scoop filling into individual squash bowls and serve.