Healthy vegan stuffed acorn squash with lentils, wild rice, mushrooms, cranberries and walnuts. These stuffed acorn squash make for a protein-packed entree or side dish. A delicious plant-based addition to a holiday meal.
For the Squash:
2-3 acorn squash
2 teaspoons avocado oil
Salt and pepper to salt
For the Lentil & Wild Rice Stuffing:
1/2 cup dry wild rice blend, (see notes)
1/2 cup dry brown or lentils, (see notes)
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup dried cranberries (can sub raisins or golden raisins)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Cook the rice and lentils. If using dried lentils and dry wild rice, place 3 cups of water in a medium pot. Add the rice and lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover and let cook for 35 minutes. Starin any excess water and fluff with a fork. If using pre-cooked rice and lentils, skip this step. Simply drain and rinse and lentils and follow the package instructions to heat the rice.
Prepare the Squash: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Lightly coat with avocado oil and season with salt. Place cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the squash is pierced easily with a fork.
Make the Stuffing: Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute until browned; 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic, tamari and spices; cook for one more minute. Stir in the cooked wild rice and lentils, spinach, nuts and dried cranberries. Stir to wilt the spinach and warm the rice and lentils. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the Squash. Once the squash is finished roasting, remove the acorn squash halves from the oven and fill each with the wild rice mixture. You may have some leftover rice and lentil mixture depending on how many squash you cook. Serve immediately.
How to Store. Leftover roasted squash and wild rice can be stored separately or stored fully prepared in airtight containers for up to 5 days. To reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warmed.
Time-saving tip: Use pre-cooked lentils and wild rice to save you a step. You can find frozen brown rice or Ancient Grain Mix as well as steamed or canned lentils at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Heat the rice according to the package instructions and drain and rinse the lentils before using.
Make ahead instructions: You can make the squash and lentil & wild rice stuffing a day ahead of time. Once ready to serve, simply assemble and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warm.