Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash is a hearty and healthy vegetarian meal that’s perfect for fall and winter! Sweet roasted acorn squash compliments the Southwest spices in the black bean and rice filling. This easy dinner is not only delicious the day you make it, but the leftovers hold up well for several days!
Looking for another way to stuff acorn squash? Try this lentil, wild rice and cranberry stuffed squash!
Why you’ll love it
Hearty vegetarian dinner – Vegetarian dinners often have a reputation for not being filling. That’s not the case with this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash. Between the squash, rice, and black beans, you won’t be left looking for a second dinner.
Make ahead and meal prep – Both the squash and the filling can be prepared ahead of time and then reheated in the oven or microwave. It’s also a meal that holds up well for several days, making a great option if you meal prep.
Fiber – If you’re looking for a meal to help you meet your daily fiber quota, this stuffed squash is sure to help you get there.
How to pick and store acorn squash
When selecting an acorn squash at the grocery store, look for one that feels heavy for it’s size. The skin should be dull and smooth rather than shiny. Shiny means that it was picked before it was fully mature. If the skin has some areas that are orange that’s good, but if there’s a lot of orange that usually indicates that it’s overripe.
Winter squash is best kept in a cool, dark, dry area. It can keep for several weeks when stored properly. After a couple weeks it will start to dry out. Once the squash has been roasted it will keep for 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Acorn squash – This variety of squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that pairs well with the spicy, savory, earthy flavors in the filling.
- Green onions – Not as pungent with onion flavor as yellow onions and they double as a garnish in this recipe.
- Rice – brown or white rice can be used.
- Black beans – Add protein and fiber to the filling.
- Fire roasted tomatoes – I love the added smoky flavor that fire roasted tomatoes add, but if you can’t find them regular roasted tomatoes can be used.
- Corn – Frozen corn works great, no need to defrost it. If you can find fire roasted frozen corn that’s another way to add additional flavor to the filling.
- Chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, oregano – This dried spice combination is one that I use in almost all of my Southwest inspired recipes. It’s earthy, with a hint of heat depending on what kind of chili powder you use.
- Cheese – I recommend using cheddar or Colby Jack cheese.
How to make vegetarian stuffed acorn squash
Roast the squash – Cut the ends off of the squash so they sit flat on the baking sheet while they roast. Cut the squash in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side up on the baking sheet and drizzle the insides with olive oil.
Sprinkle the flesh with salt, pepper, and chili powder and then place them in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until they’re tender.
Make the filling – In a skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil. When it’s hot add in the green onion and sauté for a 2-3 minutes. Add in all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese and cook until heated through. Keep the filling warm while the squash continues to roast.
Stuff the squash – Once the squash is tender, remove it from the oven and fill them evenly with the rice mixture. You may have extra depending on how full you stuff them. Top with the shredded cheese and place them back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro and extra green onions then eat!
Substitutions and variations
- Make them vegan. If you want this to be a vegan recipe, simply omit the cheese or use your favorite dairy-free “cheese” shreds.
- Replace the black beans with pinto beans.
- Rice can be substituted with quinoa or any whole grain. If you want to lower the carbs, use cauliflower rice.
- Acorn squash can be replaced with other similar varieties such as carnival or buttercup squash.
- If you don’t want to use fire roasted tomatoes, replace them with a cup of salsa.
Storage and Reheating
Make ahead – The squash can be roasted and the filling can be made a couple days in advance. I like to keep them separate and then stuff the squash and bake it the day I plan to eat it.
Storage – The stuffed acorn squash will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Reheating – To reheat the stuffed squash, preheat the oven to 350° F. and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the stuffed squash on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave if you’re in a hurry.
More vegetarian dinner recipes
- Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean and Rice Skillet
- Lentil Sweet Potato Chili
- Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad
- Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa
Did you make this Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup cooked white or brown rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack or cheddar cheese
- Cilantro and extra sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400° F. And line a baking sheet with foil to save time on cleaning.
- Cut off the ends of the acorn squash so they sit flat and then cut the squash in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and arrange them cut side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the squash for 45 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is roasting make the filling. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add in the green onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients (except the cheese) and cook until heated through. Taste for seasoning.
- Remove the squash from the oven and fill them with the rice mixture. Top with the shredded cheese and place them back into the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with extra green onions and cilantro and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 504mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 13gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.
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