Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash makes a delightful dinner meal everyone will love. Chewy farro cooked with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach fills up oven-roasted acorn squash halves for a tasty main course that’s perfect for casual dinners or special occasions.
I can't help but get excited when I see the beautiful Autumn colors at the market. Usually, the seasonal squash is on display, even before you walk in the doors. And if you're like me, you can't resist buying a little bit of each.
Even if it's just for a decorative Fall touch on your kitchen counter! But, have no fear if you don't know how to cook winter squash. I'm coming to the rescue with this easy recipe!
You can stuff acorn squash with almost any combination of ingredients, and it will taste amazing. The majority of the time, I use whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand, or I look in my pantry and come up with some concoction to stuff in the squash.
💚 Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
- A hearty vegetarian dish that will please all types of eaters.
- A great way to use fall and winter produce.
- Packed with lots of healthy, wholesome ingredients
Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is made with ingredients you can easily find in many grocery stores these days.
- Acorn squash: This winter squash, perfect for roasting rather than pureeing, brings a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that perfectly complements the farro mixture.
- Olive oil: A healthy oil option for this method of cooking.
- Thyme leaves: Fresh thyme is my top choice for this recipe.
- Aromatics: This stuffed acorn squash recipe uses garlic cloves and onion to layer in flavor.
- Farro grain: An ancient grain that’s a type of wheat, called emmer wheat. It’s chewy, nutty, and makes a nice change to brown rice. If you can’t find it in your grocery store, check a health food store or you can also purchase it online.
- Baby Bella mushrooms: These are small to medium-sized brown mushrooms. Sometimes they go by the name cremini mushrooms. They have a more robust flavor than white button mushrooms.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Adds an intense taste of tomatoes and chewiness to the vegetarian stuffing mixture.
- Fresh spinach leaves: For the stuffing mixture but you can also use chopped swiss chard or even kale.
- Seasoning: Dried Italian seasoning blend and fresh basil leaves are added to the vegetable and farro stuffing.
- Vegetable broth: Used to cook the vegetables and add moisture to the stuffing mixture.
✅ How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash Vegetarian
Here’s an overview of what goes into making this recipe. Detailed instructions are provided in the recipe card further down the page.
- Carefully cut the squash in half, from the stem down.
- Scoop and scrape out seeds with a spoon.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle the tops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
👩🏻🍳 CHEF TIP: If you are struggling too much, roast the squash for about 15 minutes and then slice them in half.
- Place a thyme leaf and garlic clove in each and flip each half over shifting the thyme and garlic under each halved squash. Roast the squash at 375° for 45-50 minutes.
- In a small pot, cook the farro in salted water for 25 minutes. When it’s ready, strain any excess water and set aside.
- Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 15 minutes. After soaking, strain well and chop into small size pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion for five minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, cooking until lightly browned.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach leaves, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Add the vegetable broth, enough to make it moist but not soupy. Heat until hot. Then add fresh basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the cooked farro and mix to combine.
- Fill in each roasted squash half with the farro stuffing. Place in the oven to heat for an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve vegetarian stuffed acorn squash topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese (or an alternative).
🍽️ How to Serve
Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is filling enough for a main dish but can also be used as a side dish for meals today!
- Serve it with a fennel and apple salad or a vegan Caesar salad for a tasty dinner meal!
- It is wonderful paired with soups such as this potato leek soup or a parsnip and cauliflower soup.
🌿 Seasonal Recipe Variations
- Add a protein: If you’re looking to make this a bit heartier, add some cooked chickpeas or lentils to the farro stuffing.
- Spring and summer: Swap the acorn squash for zucchini or eggplant.
- Can’t find farro? Use wheatberries, barley, or even brown rice.
❄️ How to Store
- Make ahead: Make the stuffing up to three days in advance if saving time is important. The squash is best roasted the day you plan to serve, but it’s mostly hands-off. Heat the farro in a skillet for a few minutes before stuffing it in the acorn squash.
- Leftovers: Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing any leftover stuffed squash, but you can freeze the farro stuffing. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container, and it will keep for up to three months.
- Reheat: Place the stuffed squash in a baking pan with a tiny bit of water and cover with a lid. Cook in a 350° oven for about 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Eliminate using disposable food storage and equip your kitchen with eco-friendly containers. You will find they come in handy especially with make-ahead ingredients similar to the stuffing in this recipe. Check out TMF's tips for purchasing eco-friendly food storage container.
🔪 Helpful Kitchen Tools & Gadgets
- Baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper for healthy, non-stick cooking.
- Skillet. Non-stick is recommended to minimize the amount of oil needed to sauté the vegetables.
- Cutting board and knife. A thicker blade knife is best for cutting winter squash. Use a cutting board with non-slip grips.
- Metal spoon. A large metal spoon makes scooping seeds quick, but a soup spoon works just as well.
- Wooden spoon. Always handy to have around for a sauté.
♻️️ Zero-Waste Tips
Have leftover farro? Serve it as a side dish or add it to a salad or grain bowl.
Please do not throw the seeds away! They are totally edible! They make a super delicious & healthy snack. Just rinse the seeds off, season & bake. Click on this recipe by The Spruce Eats for tips & spice variations.
🌎 Is Farro Sustainable?
Grains are the most important source of food on our planet, providing much of the caloric needs of cultures around the world. Grains also happen to be among the least intensive foods to produce making them environmentally sustainable. Not only is Farro, a sustainable grain - it is healthy and budget-friendly also!
Explore the world of other “ancient” and “heirloom” whole grains, including wheat varieties such as einkorn, emmer/farro, freekeh, Kamut, and spelt. Don't forget to add the more common grains such as barley, oats, rye, sorghum, and teff to your diet as well.
As climate change makes weather patterns more extreme and unpredictable, our food supply will require eating more of a variety of these grains that are adapted to diverse climates.
More Fall Dinner Recipes
If you made this recipe, please leave a star 🌟 rating on the recipe card right below! You can also drop a review in the comment section. Your feedback is appreciated! And don’t forget to tag @themindfulfork so we can see your creations.
Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 4 fresh thyme leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup farro grain
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large onion chopped
- 5 baby bella mushrooms or cremini, sliced and diced small
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves or chopped swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- fresh basil
- ½ - ¾ cup vegetable broth
- Carefully cut squash in half, from the stem down. Scoop & scrape out seeds with a spoon. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Place a thyme leaf and garlic clove in each. Flip over, shifting the thyme and garlic under each halved squash. Roast squash at 375° for 45-50 minutes.
- In a small pot, cook 1 cup farro in 4 cups salted water for 25 minutes. Strain & set aside when done.
- Soak sun-dried tomatoes in 2 cups hot water for 15 minutes. Strain sun-dried tomatoes. Slice thin and chop into small size pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan. Sauté onion for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until lightly browned.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach leaves and Italian seasoning. Pour in vegetable broth, enough to make moist but not soupy. Heat thru, add fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add mixture to cooked farro.
- Fill in each roasted squash with farro stuffing. Place in oven to heat an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Serve on individual plates and top with fresh basil & parmesan cheese (or alternative).
- Eat with a spoon, digging into squash with each scoop. Yum!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been republished with new content.