This year we started new Christmas traditions! My brother & sister-in-law just built a new house that is large enough to accommodate the whole family, so my parents & younger brother came up to join us this year for the holidays. What a relief to not have to drive to both sets of parents, like I usually do. Mom asked me to make a hearty veggie side dish to complement the traditional turkey, since she knew that I would probably not be having any turkey.
I decided to try to recreate a wild rice stuffed acorn squash recipe that I had invented last Thanksgiving, but had not written down the recipe. I encountered some issues at the grocery store because I wasn’t able to go shopping until the last minute and had slim pickings, so I had to get some green acorn squash which are much larger in addition to my smaller acorn squash.
This can be used as a side dish or as the main entree. We decided to cut our squash in half, so that they can be served as a side dish, 1 squash makes the perfect main entree.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 8 as a side dish, serves 4 as a main course
4 small acorn squash, approx 1 pound each
1 small onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked brown & wild rice mixture*
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
optional: dried cranberries for leftover rice
*you can use any wild rice blend, boxed without any seasonings
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut 1/2 inch off to of each squash & scoop of seeds, set aside in small colander. If necessary for the squash to sit upright, you can cut a small piece off the bottom as well. Place squash cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
- In a medium pot, cook rice according to the packaging.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, spray with olive oil then cook onion and celery until they soften. Add garlic for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Turn burner off & add cooked rice to pan. Add spinach, thyme, oregano, pine nuts, salt & pepper to taste.
- Remove squash from oven & carefully flip them over using tongs (or a spoon & a fork, whatever works!). Salt & pepper the inside of each squash. Spoon rice mixture into each squash. Brush or spray the edges of the squash that are exposed with olive oil, return to oven for 15 more minutes.
- If you are serving these as side dishes, slice them in half.
- optional: if you have left over rice, you can add a handful of dried cranberries to give it that hint of sweetness that the squash added.
Enjoy! Now, check out as earlier post to see what to do with those left over seeds… Toasted Acorn Squash Seeds