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November 16, 2010

Vegan MoFo #13: Twice Baked Acorn Squash

I am starting to notice a recurring ingredient in my Vegan MoFo posts: winter squash. There has been kabocha, delicata, pumpkin, and butternut squash, now it is time for some acorn squash!

Admittedly, the flavor and texture of acorn squash is my least favorite of all winter squashes. The most popular way to prepare this squash is to stuff it with sweet or savory fillings, but for me the stuffing never seems to flavor (read: cover up) the squash enough. I had all but given up on this popular winter squash, and then I found a method for twice baked acorn squash. Baked first, then the flesh is scooped out and mashed up with the stuffing, before being packed back into the skin and baked once more.

This method worked perfectly and took away all of my reasons that I normally dislike acorn squash. I pureed the squash flesh which eliminated any stringy bits that usually gross me out, and into the food processor went some additional flavoring to spice up the bland taste that normally bores me. If you are without a food processor, never fear, you can easily mash up the squash by hand.

I encourage you to try out this method with your favorite squash stuffing. For me, that was wild rice, cremini mushrooms, leeks, and peas -- a real savory squash treat!

Twice Baked Acorn Squash
(inspired by Hangry Pants)
Serves 2

1 large acorn squash, sliced in half top to bottom, seeds removed
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
2 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tbsp dried)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Prepare rice according to package directions. While the rice is simmering, prepare the squash. Preheat oven to 400. Place squash halves face down in casserole dish in 1/2" of water. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the flesh is very tender. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. (May do both a day ahead). Lower heat to 350.

Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Stir in peas when the mushrooms are nearly done, just long enough to thaw them. Stir in rice and remove from heat.

Scoop out squash flesh leaving about 1/4" in the skin to hold the structure, reserve skins. Puree flesh in food processor or mash by hand, along with non-dairy milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, paprika, and salt, until smooth.

Pour squash mixture into the pan with the rice mixture, and add parsley. Stir to coat. Stuff the squash skins with mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until hot. Serve and enjoy!


  1. How awesome you found a way to enjoy this squash!

  2. That looks really, really tasty! And, let's face it, if Vegan MoFo is always in November we'll always have squash posts...unless we move to another part of the world (hmmm, note to self, tropical island for the month of November next year???) Grin.

  3. I'm not really a big acorn squash fan either. It's kabocha or buttercup all the way for me. I do love the idea of a twice baked squash though! good stuff.

  4. Mmm I love all things twice baked. This looks like a great way to use all the extra squash coming my way lately!

  5. Yum! I love how creamy that stuffing looks.

    I love how everyone has their favorite squashes...I actually really like acorn!

  6. Looks good!! Love all the yummy fillings!

  7. You know, now that you mention it i've never had acorn squash before. I always pass it over for one that's easier to peel. They are quite pretty though. I love your method of twice baking it! I wonder if my husband will like squash more if I do that for him.

    I just had a thought!!! These twice baked squahes would make beautiful side dishes for thanksgiving!

  8. Thanks for twice baked squash concept. I had not thought of that before.


  9. Mmm...tasty! I have a whole kabocha on top of my fridge that I have no idea what to do with.

  10. That looks good. Have you tried the adzuki bean and acorn squash soup from Veganomicon? I tried it for the first time last week and really I can't believe why I waited this long. It is amazing. The only thing is that you have to cube 2 squashes when they are raw, and it is totally exhausting. I'd recommend just baking it, and the hell with the cubes!

  11. I am a huge fan of acorn squash when stuffed and baked. I will have to try this one.

  12. Ooo I love the idea of scooping out the flesh and mixing it into the filling!


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