This vegan stuffed acorn squash works well as a Thanksgiving main dish but it can be enjoyed anytime for a healthy, filling plant-based meal. This recipe is gluten-free and oil-free.

4 vegan stuffed acorn squash on a grey plate.

How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

The great thing about stuffed squash is it looks a little fancy but it’s super easy to make. Before you prepare the squash, start cooking some brown rice if you don’t have any cooked brown rice on hand.

1. Bake the acorn squash.

To prepare the acorn squash for this recipe, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, cut the squash half from the stem to the bottom tip then scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

Two acorn squash halves with the spoon scooping out the seeds.
Acorn squash cut in half with the seeds scooped out.

Next, sprinkle each half with a little salt and pepper and bake the squash cut side down on a baking try until you can easily pierce it with a fork. This should take about 30-40 minutes.

Half of a roasted acorn squash sprinkled with salt and pepper on a baking tray.

2. Make the stuffing.

When the squash has about 20 minutes left, you can start making the stuffing. The stuffing is made with:

  • veggies – you’ll need onion, garlic and celery
  • apple
  • herbs – I used sage, thyme and rosemary
  • cranberries and pecans
  • brown rice

Start by cooking the onion, garlic and celery, then add the herbs, then the apple. Once the apple is starting to soften, stir in the pecans, cranberries and cooked brown rice, cook for few more minutes, season with salt and pepper and that’s it!

When the squash is ready, fill each half with stuffing serve right away.

Celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a black skillet.
Apple, celery, onion and garlic in a skillet with herbs.
Apple, celery, onion and garlic in a skillet with herbs.
Rice, pecans, cranberries, apple and celery in a skillet.
Rice, pecans, cranberries, apple and celery in a skillet.
Two halves of roasted acorn squash stuffed with rice, cranberries, pecans, apple and celery.

This is a very filling meal, packed with loads of nutrition. Healthy carbohydrates, protein and essential fatty acids are all in there, along with a bunch of vitamins and minerals sure to make your body happy.

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and has no added sugar if you use unsweetened dried cranberries.

Recipe Variations

  • You can use any whole grain in place of brown rice. White rice, farro, quinoa or freekeh all work well.
  • Raisins or chopped dates are fine if you don’t have cranberries.
  • Chickpeas make a nice addition, just mix them in with the rice, pecans and cranberries.
  • Walnuts or slivered almonds work in place of pecans.
  • Use pumpkin seeds instead of pecans to make this recipe nut-free.
Roasted acorn squash stuffed with rice, cranberries, pecans, apple and celery.

Loving this stuffed squash? You might like these squash recipes too:

Looking for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes? Try my chickpea loaf, homemade cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, mushroom gravy or garlic mashed cauliflower.

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A brown rice, celery and cranberry stuffed acorn squash on a small white plate.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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This delicious, vegan stuffed acorn squash features apple, cranberries, pecans and brown rice mixed with savory thyme and sage. Perfect for Thanksgiving, or anytime for a healthy, filling, plant-based meal.


  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half from stem to tip, seeds removed
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 tsp each thyme, rosemary and sage
  • 1 small to medium-sized apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut each squash in half from the stem to the bottom tip and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Sprinkle each half with salt and pepper and place cut side down on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until you can easily pierce with a fork.
  4. When the squash has about 15 minutes left, add the celery, garlic and onion to a skillet with a few tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes until softened.
  5. Add the apple and herbs, mix and cook for 4-5 more minutes. If the pan starts to get dry, add a few more splashes of water.
  6. Add the cooked brown rice, cranberries and pecans and cook for 4-5 more minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Once the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and fill each half with the stuffing.
  8. Serve right away topped with chopped fresh parsley. Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 336
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 64 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 5 g

This recipe was originally published October 29, 2013. It was updated September 2019 with new photos, improved instructions and a revised recipe.