Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

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This vegan wild rice stuffed squash is healthy yet comforting, making it an excellent option for a hearty winter dinner. Made with wholesome ingredients like butternut squash and wild rice, It’s gluten-free and won’t weigh you down, but it’s incredibly flavorful and will please vegans and non-vegans alike.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins

For all my U.S.-based friends, Thanksgiving is almost here!! For everyone else, let the season of eating carbalicious comfort food continue!

And there is nothing more American than stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving until you slip into a food coma. With the average Thanksgiving table lined with dozens of heavy, rich foods, this should come as no surprise. And while I am a fan of veganizing traditional comfort foods and don’t shy away from using vegan butter, sugar, and flour in some of my recipes, I do believe in balance.

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

That’s why I created this Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash for Thanksgiving this year. While it’s delicious and comforting, it’s free of refined grains and light enough that it won’t weigh you down. That means you can easily save room for dessert without having to go fetch your stretchy pants. This stuffed squash recipe is hearty enough to serve as a main course, but it also works beautifully as a a side dish, and it’s flavorful and satisfying enough that it’ll win over both vegans and non-vegans.

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

First, let’s talk about the squash. I used both butternut squash and acorn squash because I slightly prefer the taste of butternut squash, but like the deeper cavity of the acorn squash. However, if you aren’t as picky as me, you can use just one of the two.

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

The hardest part of the squash is slicing it through (if you’re using butternut squash). If your butternut squash seems too tough to slice through, just give it a quick heat in the microwave for 2 minutes to make chopping easier. Then you’ll scoop out the seeds and drizzle the squash with olive oil and generously salt and pepper it and roast until tender and lightly browned. You don’t want to over-roast the squash until it’s so tender that it’s falling apart – while it will taste delicious, it will be too soft to hold up the filling.

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

For the filling, the main ingredient is wild rice, which you can easily cook on the stove or in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker while the squash is roasting. I use wild rice because I like how robust and hearty it is in comparison to white rice and even brown rice, making this dish a suitable option for a vegan main course.

However, wild rice, on its own, has a fairly distinct taste and needs a helping hand from other flavors to tone down its earthiness. To add some flavor harmony, I rely on aromatic garlic and shallots, fresh herbs, a citrus dressing, tart dried cranberries, buttery pine nuts, and sweet pomegranate seeds.

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
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Once you’ve popped the squash in the oven and started cooking the wild rice, use the remaining free time to prep the wild rice salad ingredients: sauté the shallots and garlic, chop the kale and herbs, toast the pine nuts, and make the citrus dressing.

When the rice is done cooking, simple drain off any remaining water and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Scoop the wild rice salad into the squash cavities and serve warm. I like to add a drizzle of good-quality tahini right before serving because, well, tahini makes everything taste better.

I hope you try out this easy, delicious, and healthy Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash this holiday!

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

5 from 1 vote
This vegan wild rice stuffed squash is healthy yet comforting, making it an excellent option for a hearty winter dinner. Made with wholesome ingredients like butternut squash and wild rice, It’s gluten-free and won’t weigh you down, but it’s incredibly flavorful and will please vegans and non-vegans alike.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: butternut squash, gluten-free, wild rice
Serving size: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 medium butternut squash 2 - 2.5 pounds, or ~1kg or 4 medium acorn squash (1.25 -1.5 pounds, or ~0.6kg)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup wild rice (6 ounces, ~170g)
  • 1.5 cups (355 mL) vegetable broth for Instant Pot method, OR 3 cups (710 mL) vegetable broth for stovetop method
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for roasting squash
  • 4 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (~270g) Tuscan/Lacinato kale, shredded
  • 1/2 cup (~70g) toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup (~15g) parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (~10g) basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (~30g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (~80g) pomegranate seeds
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (~64g) good-quality tahini

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (or 218°C).
  • Roast the squash: Slice each butternut squash or acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and gunk with a spoon. Place each squash half, cut side up, on a baking sheet and rub each with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Roast acorn squash halves for 45 minutes and butternut squash halves for 50-55 minutes or until the flesh is fork tender and lightly browned.
  • Rinse the wild rice well.
  • Wild Rice, Instant Pot Method: Add the wild rice and 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and select the Pressure Cook/Manual setting for 25 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release and drain off any remaining liquid.
  • Wild Rice, Stovetop Method: Place the wild rice and 3 cups of vegetable broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and cover. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until the kernels have burst open. Drain off any remaining liquid.
  • Make the wild rice salad: Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the shallots and cook until they are starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden.
  • Add the shredded kale and season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring for 1-2 minutes or until the kale is starting to soften.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Add the cooked and drained wild rice, along with the pine nuts, chopped parsley, chopped basil, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Toss well to combine and incorporate the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stuff each squash cavity with the wild rice salad. Drizzle each half with tahini. Serve with additional chopped parsley on top, if desired.
    1. NOTE: you can also scoop out flesh from the roasted butternut squash to create a more hollowed out boat. That way, you can add more of the wild rice filling into each boat.

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13 comments on Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

  1. Sonali Parekh

    I was delighted to open your email this morning with Thanksgiving recipes. I am finalizing my menu today and this one is going on the menu! I have a daughter-in-law who’s gluten-free and a niece who’s vegan, so this one will work for everyone. Thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Sonali! Thank you for your kind comment and so very happy to hear that this recipe will make it onto your Thanksgiving menu! It is definitely a great recipe that will please any kind of eater :)

  2. Aliza P.

    I don’t normally leave blog comments but the magical pour shot from Instagram brought me here. Now I am drooling and checking my fridge to see if I have these ingredients to make for Thanksgiving!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Aliza! Well thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I am so happy you might make this :)

  3. Ela

    Wonderful shots Nisha! I am sure this recipe would be amazing for Thanksgiving. :)Much love, Ela

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Ela,
      You are too kind! Thank you sweetie!

  4. Eloise S.

    My mother and I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was the star of the party! Everyone went for seconds, even our meat-eating family members. We’ll be making it again and again!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Eloise, thank you for letting me know! I’m so thrilled it was the star of the party and was enjoyed by both meat eaters and herbivores alike :)

  5. Laura

    I made this for my family, none of us are vegan but I am coeliac so always interested in tasty recipes with fresh ingredients that don’t contain gluten. Everyone – including my sausage roll loving Dad absolutely loved it. Tastes absolutely delicious and feels like a special treat to eat. Thank you for sharing! :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Laura! What a lovely comment to see. So very happy that you and your family enjoyed this recipe! I lol’d reading your "sausage roll loving Dad." Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know :)

  6. Maneesha

    This was AMAZING! Not only is it an absolutely beautiful dish visually, but it tastes so great! I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe for the future! loved it! thanks, Nisha!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi lovely Maneesha! Thank you so much for letting me know you loved it. I love the presentation on this one too. Glad you’ll be making it again :)

  7. This has become my favorite go-to dish for weekend dinners, especially when we have guests over. I make it at least twice a month. Sometimes I make just the rice filling on its own. Thank you so much!

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