Stuffed Acorn Squash: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dish

As the air turns crisp and leaves don their vibrant autumn hues, our thoughts naturally turn to the most anticipated feast of the year—Thanksgiving. While this holiday often revolves around a star-studded turkey, it’s essential to remember that not all Thanksgiving traditions need to include meat. For those who follow a vegetarian lifestyle or simply want to savor a plant-based centerpiece, we have a delightful solution: Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Picture this: Roasted acorn squash halves, tender and caramelized, cradle a savory, flavorful stuffing that’s both hearty and visually appealing. This vegetarian main dish embodies the essence of autumn on a plate. With quinoa, sautéed vegetables, dried cranberries, and pecans coming together in a harmonious medley of textures and tastes, each bite is a celebration of seasonal abundance.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the creation of this stunning Stuffed Acorn Squash, perfect for those seeking a vegetarian Thanksgiving alternative or an impressive side dish. Whether you’re hosting a diverse group of eaters or simply want to add a little extra flair to your holiday spread, this recipe is sure to steal the spotlight.

So, let’s embark on a culinary journey that marries the warmth of Thanksgiving traditions with the richness of plant-based cuisine. Get ready to delight your taste buds and celebrate the season with a Stuffed Acorn Squash that’s as satisfying as it is stunning.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Main Dish

Stuffed Acorn Squash: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dish

Thanksgiving vegetarian entree idea:


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 small celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or sage for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare the Acorn Squash:
    • Wash the acorn squash, cut them in half horizontally, and remove the seeds and stringy bits. If the squash halves don’t sit flat, you can slice a thin piece from the bottom to create a stable base.
  3. Roast the Squash:
    • Brush the cut sides of the squash halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    • Place the squash halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
    • Roast in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. The time may vary depending on the size of your squash.
  4. Prepare the Quinoa:
    • While the squash is roasting, rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water.
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
    • Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and has absorbed the liquid. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Prepare the Filling:
    • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
    • Stir in the minced garlic, diced carrot, diced celery, and diced bell peppers.
    • Sauté for another 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
    • Add the cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, dried thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
    • Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Assemble and Stuff the Squash:
    • Turn the roasted squash halves over, so they are cut-side up.
    • Fill each squash half with the quinoa and vegetable mixture, pressing it down slightly.
    • Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until everything is heated through, and the tops begin to brown.
  7. Serve:
    • Garnish with fresh parsley or sage if desired.
    • Serve your stuffed acorn squash halves as a delicious and visually appealing vegetarian main dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Enjoy your savory and hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Main Dish

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