Stuffed Acorn Squash is the perfect side or main dish for your Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations! Made with oven-roasted acorn squash – it gets perfectly caramelized around the edges – and filled with wild rice, sweet honeycrisp apples, chopped celery, ground lamb or sausage, and dried cranberries. Top the whole thing off with fresh herbs and parmesan for a dish that’s as beautiful as it is delicious!
Thanks to our friends at the American Lamb Board for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.
I cannot believe it’s only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving! We’re having our Friendsgiving a week early, so it’s really only 2 weeks until the Thanksgiving festivities begin. I’m definitely making this for our Friendsgiving – it’s a great option for sooo many reasons!
- It can act as a main dish – it’s filled with so many delicious things and it has a protein source so it can be a main dish, which is perfect for Friendsgiving when you might not be having a traditional main like a Turkey
- It can also be a side! Versatility is the name of the game here – these can be cut into halves or quarters to feed a large crowd and make an amazing side dish!
- These can be prepped ahead of time and assembled + baked the day of your meal. Make ahead = less stress and that means more time to think about eating all the Thanksgiving foods and to actually eat all the Thanksgiving foods!
- It’s GLUTEN FREE and can easily be made DAIRY FREE by omitting the parmesan at the end. Perfect for your guests who may have dietary restrictions!
- The whole recipe is just plain EASY! Observe.
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash:
First, slice your squash in half and rub with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them for 30 minutes!
While they’re roasting, cook your meat, rice, and your onion/celery/spice mixture. Stir in some honeycrisp apples and dried cranberries, and that’s your filling!
Fill the squash with the mixture, bake for 5 more minutes, and top with parmesan cheese, if desired. These are AMAZINGLY delicious and they come together SOO fast, without too much work! Which means more time for you to sit back, relax, sip some wine (or apple juice, if you’re basically a child like me) and wait for your guests to arrive!
Because relaxation is what we all need more of around the holidays. And, good food. We always need more good food – so make these! It’s all the flavors of Thanksgiving + fall wrapped up in one delicious package.
Happy Friendsgiving + Happy Thanksgiving! Are you hosting or attending a Friendsgiving this year?
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Best Ever Stuffed Acorn Squash
For the Acorn Squash
- 4 large acorn squash
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- salt + pepper
For the Filling
- 1 cup wild rice (measured while uncooked)
- 1 lb ground lamb Or pork sausage
- salt + pepper
- 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 medium honeycrisp apples, diced I don't bother peeling them
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries I used sweetened ones
- 1 cup parmesan, for topping
- Prep: Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roast Acorn Squash: Slice the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds, leaving a hollow cavity in the middle of each half. Rub with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes.
- Make the Filling: Cook ground lamb, with a dash of salt and pepper, in a nonstick skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until done and browned through. Set aside. Wipe out the dutch oven, if using. Add 2 TBSP olive oil or butter, and add the diced onion and sautee over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the sage and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the celery is crisp tender. Add the apples, cranberries, and cooked rice and stir to combine. Add the meat last. Taste, and add more seasoning as desired.
- Assemble + Finish Baking: Spoon the mixture into the hollowed out space in each of the squash halves, filling all the way full. Place the squash back on the baking sheet (right side up), sprinkle with parmesan (if using) and bake for 5-7 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Serve + Store: Enjoy immediately! Serve as a main dish as is, or slice each in half to be used as a side.
- Make Ahead Tips: Store leftovers, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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