Recipe: Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash

I can’t believe that it’s the middle of November and I haven’t waxed poetic about fall yet.  I haven’t even extolled the beauty of Portland this time of year or praised the glorious weather we’ve been having, because we absolutely have been having the most glorious season.

Filled Squash Half on plate with broccolini

We’re known for our rain and gray skies, of course, but they’ve been few and far between the last couple of months.  It’s been perfect.  Perfect for running and strolling.  Perfect for sightseeing and adventuring.  Perfect for autumnal baking and for hard apple ciders enjoyed while firing up the oven for a good meal.

As cheesy as it may sound, I frequently find myself being struck by the beauty of the nature that lies right outside my door.  Very often these last few weeks, I have been out on a seemingly ordinary run only to turn a street corner or look up from making sure I don’t trip over fallen branches and I have felt taken aback by just how gorgeous it all is.  And, let me tell you, there’s nothing like a breathtaking view to rejuvenate tired legs.

Whole Squash

I know that it’s common for many people to think of spring as a season of rejuvenation and hope, but I think differently.  For me, it’s that magical time between mid-September and December, when cooler temperatures refresh me and warm foods nourish me.  It is this time of year when I feel the most in touch with my own sense of optimism, accomplishment, hope, and gratitude.  I hope this dish conveys even a bit of that to you.

Stuffed squash recipes abound, but what makes this one a bit different for me is its straightforward savory nature.  Rather than playing up the sweetness of the squash with fruit or similar ingredients, I’ve countered it with a bit of spice and bundles of warm, comforting flavors.  It is a meal best enjoyed with a view of the leaves and the laughter of others.  A crackling fire and a bottle of wine wouldn’t hurt, either.


Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash Filled Squash Halves

Serves 4

A Move Eat Create Original Recipe


  • 2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1 cup uncooked brown wild rice mix
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tblspn olive oil + extra for brushing squash
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 medium leek, white part only, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • ½ cup diced parsnips (or other root vegetable)
  • ½ tspn each salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  • 1 tspn each dried oregano and basil
  • Cayenne pepper (optional for those that like a little bit of heat)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place squash (cut side down) on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray or oil and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Place rice in a small pot with the water.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer and continue cooking, covered and undisturbed, for approximately 30 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  When water is absorbed, turn off heat and let rice sit for 10-15 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork.
  3. Warm ½ tblspn olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add onion and leek.  Saute for 5-7 minutes, until they are translucent.
  4. Add garlic, bell peppers, parsnips, herbs, and spices to the pan.  Stir well and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, until all vegetables have softened.
  5. Turn off heat.  Stir cooked rice into the vegetable mixture and toss to combine well.  Taste for seasoning.
  6. After the squash halves have cooked for 30 minutes, flip them over on the baking sheet.  Brush the flesh lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, if using.  Spoon prepared rice and vegetable filling into the squash generously.  Return filled squash to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

43 comments on “Recipe: Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash

  1. Ani says:

    Absolutely love roasted squash!! This looks like a great stuffing!

  2. Laura says:

    So delicious! I love stuffing squash and wild rice makes is so rustic! Yum!

  3. This looks lovely. Now I’m hungry!

  4. rundoodlerun says:

    I made a decidedly less vegetarian version of this the other week – it’s amazing how underappreciated the acorn squash is! I will definitely have to try this version, it looks fantastic.

  5. Beautiful n gorgeous 🙂

  6. Sounds yummy – I love parsnips, too!

  7. DistrictSweats says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I made something similar to this tonight because of your post!

  8. DistrictSweats says:

    PS – Portland run date sometime?

  9. Joanne says:

    I find fall to be very rejuvenating as well! It’s by far my favorite season. Your stuffing sounds awesome! So many great veggies mixed in there!

  10. Cristina Bonetti says:

    Perfect Autumn Plate 🙂

  11. uberdish says:

    I love the look of this dish! As your previous reader says, a “perfect autumn plate”.

  12. […] Recipe: Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash ( […]

  13. marob23 says:

    I too am an autumn ( Fall ) lover, but can never get quite so excited by squash. I do some stuff with butternut squash but never convinced the effort is worth the reward.
    Back to inspirational landscapes – is that not the best thing about running – even Scotland’s damp grey skies seem beautiful when you are running beneath them catching a glimpse of gold and red. Nice post – and who knows I may attempt to stuff a squash one of these days. 🙂

    • Thank you! And, I can only imagine how beautiful Scotland must be to run in! It’s similar here in Portland with our famous gray skies, but that doesn’t mean things don’t still get beautiful! 🙂

  14. Stuffed acorn squash is one of those dishes that I’m always dying to make as soon as I even start to think about fall. It makes my day when I finally see acorn squash in the market. Can’t wait to give your version a try!

  15. This looks delicious. I love seasonal recipes, and I’ve been wanting to make some stuffed squash this fall!

  16. Maryanne says:

    Wow, that looks so good. I made squash a few days ago. You’ll love this recipe, it’s so simple and makes about 4 servings as a side dish: 2 granny smith apples (chopped up in many pieces); 20 oz. butternut squash; 1/2 cup apple cider (pick one that has cloves and other spices if possible); 1 tablespoon soy margarine. Place in microwave, covered 10 to 12 minutes … it’s so delicious, especially after sitting one or two days 🙂

  17. This acorn squash looks healthy and comforting!

  18. vdemetros says:

    This looks so good. I need a reminder to do something like this, and it’s so easy. Thanks! And thank you for stopping by my blog!

  19. Beautiful recipe!! I love acorn squash and this seems like a really great way to eat them! Also love you used brown rice – great superfood! 😉 Thanks for sharing! hugs, Sylvia

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