The holidays are approaching quickly and we are working on sharing as many healthy recipes as possible! This acorn squash would be a great Thanksgiving side dish or simply enjoy for dinner on a cold fall day. It brings out the best flavors of the season: fresh cranberries, pecans, and acorn squash. If you're making this for Thanksgiving, there are a few steps you can do the night before to save time. I would make the stuffing the day before and only bake the squash on Thanksgiving day. After the squash is cooked, add the stuffing and toss it back in the oven to reheat. This will save time as well as dishes!
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes | Serves: 4
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 slices of bacon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
- Bring chicken stock, bay leaf, celery salt, sage, thyme, mustard, and rice to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, turn the heat to low and cover. Let cook for 40-45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Continue with the next steps while the rice cooks.
- Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds; discard. Lightly coat the squash in EVOO and place in a baking dish. Put in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is golden and a fork easily inserts into the flesh of the squash (not through the skin side).
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet. Once the bacon is browned, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to absorb excess grease. Save the grease in the skillet for the next step.
- Add mushrooms and garlic to the greased skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes then add the cranberries and pecans. Cook for an additional 5- 8 minutes until the cranberries have popped and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat.
- At this point the rice and squash should be cooked. Remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Mix the ingredients from the skillet into the rice to make the stuffing for the squash. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the squash from the oven and scoop the stuffing into the squash cavities until full. You should be able to get 3 large serving spoonfuls of stuffing into each 1/2 of squash. As you can see in the photo below, the rice is sticky and packs together nicely.
- Sprinkle dried parsley flakes or fresh parsley over the top and serve immediately. Enjoy!