Looking for the perfect vegan Fall dinner? Make this Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash! This roasted acorn squash is loaded with a delicious stuffing made with apple, sautéed kale, sweet dried cranberries, and crunchy pecans!
If you love roasted acorn squash, you're going to love this stuffed acorn squash!
And if you've never tried acorn squash, then this is definitely the recipe you want to start with!!
You're going to love this vegan stuffed acorns squash if you:
- Love Fall themed food, such as roasted winter squash, apples, and vegan Thanksgiving stuffing with classic flavors such as sage and thyme
- Enjoy a combination of flavors of textures in every bite. The crushed pecans give the acorn squash stuffing a nice crunch, and the apple and dried cranberries add a subtle sweetness to the stuffing!
- Want a healthy, vegetable-loaded dinner that can be made gluten-free
- Want a recipe is good enough to be the main course for a vegan Thanksgiving, but is easy enough to make from scratch on any weeknight
By the way, if you want more holiday inspiration, check out my favorite vegan holiday recipes!
The stuffing for this recipe is seriously good enough to eat on its own. So if you like the idea of tender, sauteed kale combined with fresh apples, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and lots of aromatic onion, garlic, and herbs, then I recommend doubling the stuffing recipe and enjoying some of it on its own!
The stuffing can be made gluten-free by simply using gluten-free croutons or omitting the croutons.
Ready to get started??
Roasted acorn squash
Grab 2 acorn squashes. Cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the acorn squash with olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the acorn squash is fully cooked.
Vegan stuffing ingredients
You will need:
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ~5-6 stalks celery (about 1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 apple, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and torn into small ~1-2 inch pieces
- 1-1.5 cups croutons (use gluten-free croutons or skip for a gluten-free stuffing!)
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans (skip for nut-free stuffing)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (I used 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves for a classic Thanksgiving stuffing flavor)
- Salt and pepper
→ I recommend buying a bag of pre-washed chopped kale to save yourself some time! This is definitely a recipe where you need to tear the kale into small pieces so it cooks down to be able the same size as your chopped apples and croutons (if using)
→ This recipe makes just enough stuffing to stuff two acorn squashes (4 halves). If you're omitting any of the ingredients, increase the other ingredients by just a little bit
→ Chopped rosemary and chopped parsley would make an amazing addition to the fresh herbs mixture in this recipe!
Make the stuffing while the squash is roasting
I love this recipe because you can prep AND cook the stuffing while the squash is roasting, so those steps don't take any extra time!
Step 1: Start by sauteing the chopping onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. (Photo 1 below)
Step 2: Add the torn kale leaves, chopped apple, and fresh herbs. Cover with a lid and allow the kale to cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning, if needed. (Photo 2, 3 below)
Step 3: Add the chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and croutons, season with salt and pepper, and saute for another 1-2 minutes to allow everything to mix together. Taste the stuffing to make sure it is seasoned well enough before you stuff the acorn squash! (Photos 4 below)
Step 4: By this time the acorn squash should be fully cooked in the oven - double check by piercing it with a fork, the fork should go in easily. Carefully stuff each half of the acorn squash with the stuffing. Lower the temperature to 350F and place the stuffed acorn squash back into the oven for about 5 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
Tips about this recipe
→ Acorn squash skin can be eaten if it is cooked long enough to become tender. However, it's still not as tender as the acorn squash meat. I personally don't enjoy the skin.
→ If you plan on eating the skin, perhaps roast the acorn squash halves an extra five minutes to make sure the skin is tender. Keep in mind that acorn squash is typically coated in edible wax so they last a long time! (You might even see the wax layer crack a little as you cut into the squash). Use a good vegetable rinse product and scrub thoroughly to remove the wax if you plan on eating the skin.
→ Make sure your roasted acorn squash is fully cooked before you add the stuffing.
→ Don't roast the stuffed squash for too long - you don't want the stuffing to burn. 5 minutes at 350F is enough!
→ Pouring some vegan gravy over this stuffed acorn squash is fantastic!
Other vegan holiday and Fall recipes you will love:
- Vegan charcuterie board - the best way to kick off a holiday party!
- Vegan cheese ball
- Vegan steaks
- Vegan gravy
- Vegan mashed butternut squash with white beans - an amazing Fall side dish!
- Vegan tamales - this recipe is popular around Christmas!
- Vegan eggnog
- Vegan pumpkin cheesecake
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, sliced in half, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1.5 cups chopped celery, (from about 5-6 large celery stalks)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- salt and pepper , to taste (about ½ teaspoon each)
- 1 cup croutons, omit, or use gluten-free if needed
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, such as a combination of chopped sage and thyme
- Roasting pan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the inside of the halved cleaned acorn squash with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on the roasting pan cut side up. Roast at 400F for 30 minutes, or until the acorn squash is fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Saute the chopped onion, minced garlic, and sliced celery over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the torn kale, chopped apple, fresh herbs, and stir. Cover and allow the kale to cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the croutons, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans and stir. Taste the mixture to make sure it's seasoned well enough!
- Lower the oven temperature to 350F. Carefully transfer the vegan stuffing mixture into each half of the butternut squash. Roast for 5-8 minutes, or until everything is heated through. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.
- Make sure the acorn squash is fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork before adding the stuffing
- Read the blog post for tips on whether to eat the skin
- The stuffing recipe is AMAZING on its own, feel free to double it and enjoy it without the acorn squash too!
- This recipe makes enough stuffing for 2 halved acorn squash. If skipping croutons or any other major ingredient, increase the amounts of the other ingredients by a little bit so you have enough stuffing