When the holidays roll around, I often find myself looking for interesting options for friends and family who have dietary restrictions and cannot partake in the ubiquitous turkey with stuffing. It has been a fun culinary exercise, and I feel I have developed this stuffed acorn squash recipe with black beans, lentils and brown rice that compliments a Thanksgiving and/or holiday table with a beauty on par with that celebrated holiday fowl. I’m really excited to share this recipe with you. The roasted, stuffed acorn squash topped with black beans, lentils and brown rice make a delicious holiday-worthy main dish or complementary side dish. I have made it very easy by using canned beans and pre-cooked lentils and rice so that you can whip this dish up in less than 2 hours. This recipe is simple enough to put together on a relaxed weeknight, too. So, pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a fun, healthy, autumn-inspired meal! xoM
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Black Beans, Lentils and Brown Rice
- 6 acorn squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained
- 1 cup pre-cooked lentils, like Melissa's
- 1 1/2 cup pre-cooked or frozen brown rice
- 1 cup white or cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 cup vegan cheese of choice (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado, sliced for topping (optional)
To Roast the Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Acorn squash can be difficult to cut. Be sure to have a sharp knife. I chose to place the whole acorn squash on a bake sheet and to roast it for 10 minutes, or until squash skin softened enough to easily cut the tops off. I then scooped out the seeds, brushed 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the tops and interior of the squash with a pastry brush like this, and seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper. I then placed it back into the oven to roast for 20 more minutes, or until the inside was fork tender.Alternatively, you can slice off the stem end and base end of the squash. Stand it up on one of those cut ends and chop it in half, from top to bottom. This provides a solid base that won't slip and slide around on your cutting board. You will have 12 halves from the 6 squash, and therefore you will have 12 servings instead of 6. Note that the squash will be cut differently from the photo I have posted. Once having cut the acorn squash, brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the inside is fork tender.
To Make the Bean, Lentil, and Brown Rice Filling
- While the squash is roasting, in a large bowl, combine the beans, lentils, and brown rice.
- In a sauté pan, heat up the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and red bell pepper, and sauté for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and there is no more liquid. Remove from the heat and add the mushroom mixture to the bean mixture.
- Season the bean stuffing mixture with cilantro, chipotle in adobo, cumin, ancho chili powder, lime, salt and pepper. As an option, you can add cheese or vegan cheese.
- Remove the squash from the oven and adjust the temperature to 350. Fill the acorn squash with the bean mixture and place back in the oven until the filling is warm throughout, about 15-20 minutes. Top with sliced avocado, salsa or additional cheese.
Looking for more recipe ideas for your holiday tabl? My Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is another great vegan dish for those winter days at home.