Saturday, November 23, 2019

Acorn Squash w/ Chicken and Cranberry Stuffing

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am SO ready. Some time off work and a holiday completely centered around family and food? Yes, please.
While the turkey is traditionally the allstar of this all day eating fest, the side dishes have always been the thing I most look forward to (besides the pie of course). While I love the more traditional dishes, I wanted to switch it up a little with my veggies and this recipe is perfect because it's almost like a veggie, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all at once - BOOM!

This side is also great for smaller gatherings or a weekday dinner. The savory rice with a pop of sweetness from the cranberries and crunch of the walnuts make each bite especially delicious. Feel free to omit the meat entirely or

Acorn Squash w/ Chicken and Cranberry Stuffing

makes two stuffed squashes


2 acorn squash, top cup off and seeds discarded
1 box of wild rice (I used Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice)
1 cup chicken stock (to cook the rice along with the remaining amount of water)
1/3 to 1/2 cup dried craisins (I really like craisins so I added a lot)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (can also use pecans)
Two cooked chicken breasts (or quorn chicken if you're a vegetarian OR you could omit the meat entirely)
1/2 an onion, chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, diced fine
1 TBS butter
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of shredded Parmesan for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
To prepare the squash, use a sharp chef’s knife to slice through the top portion. Cut a little off the other end of the squash so it will stand up when you eventually flip it over. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside, and discard those pieces.

2. Place the squash cut side up on the parchment-lined pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the squash, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Rub the oil into the cut sides of the squash, then turn them over so the cut sides are against the pan. Cook until squash is tender (around 25-30 min).

3. While the squash is baking, prepare the rice according to the written directions (remember to add the chicken stock with the remaining 3/4 cup water). Once rice is finished, transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Using the rice pan, add butter, onions, and celery. Cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add salt, pepper, and herbs. Add to rice along with chopped nuts, craisins, and chicken (if using). Mix thoroughly.

5. Carefully take the squash out of the oven and flip over so they resemble a bowl. Evenly distribute rice mixture between the halves then top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10 min.

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