Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash

4.89 from 9 votes
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Mediterranean stuffed acorn squash is easy, delicious and a showstopper. This vegetarian version is customizable to your liking!

Overhead shot of stuffed acorn squash.


 

This stuffed acorn squash recipe is a favorite of our family. With warm Mediterranean spices, every bite of this dish is just perfect. If you love squash recipes in fall as much as we do, try my roasted acorn squash, roasted butternut squash soup and honey lemon roasted butternut squash.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Showstopper: This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash would be the showstopper at any table. It’s the perfect holiday main dish that’s so delicious.
  • Easy: You can make the filling ahead of time and assemble when ready to bake. It might look like you’ve spent hours to make this dish, but it’s actually very simple to put together.
  • Customizable: You can easily customize this stuffed acorn squash to your liking and add or leave out the ingredients depending on what you have on hand.

Ingredients To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

To make this recipe you need acorn squash, olive oil, onion, garlic, pepper, rice, walnuts, herbs and spices.
  • Acorn squash: You need half a squash for each person. Make sure the squash is completely clean and it doesn’t have any soft spots. It’s best if all the squashes are the similar in size so they roast evenly.
  • Olive oil: You need a bit of olive oil to cook the filling.
  • Vegetables: Use onion, garlic and peppers as the base for this Mediterranean flavored filling.
  • Tomato paste: A little bit of tomato paste would give both flavor and color to the filling.
  • Pomegranate molasses: To add tanginess and a subtle sweetness to the filling. You can make homemade pomegranate molasses or use store-bought.
  • Rice: Any cooked rice including basmati or jasmine would work.
  • Spices: A combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika and sumac would add a lot of flavor.
  • Lemon: To add some brightness and balance the flavors.
  • Walnuts: Add walnuts for crunch and taste.

How To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roast the acorn squash. make the filling, stuff and bake.
  1. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds using a spoon. Brush with olive oil and roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by sauteing onion, garlic and peppers in olive oil.
  3. Add in the tomato paste and pomegranate molasses and stir to combine.
  4. Add the rice and spices. Mix and add the walnuts, parsley and lemon juice.
  5. Spoon the filling into the roasted acorn squash halves.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and serve warm.

Variation

Here are a few suggestions on how to jazz up this stuffed acorn squash recipe:

  • Add meat: You can add ground meat, chicken or sausage to the filling for more protein. If doing so, cook the meat with the onion and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Use other vegetables: You can add peas, chickpeas, cabbage or mushrooms to the filling.
  • Add cheese: A bit of feta or mozzarella makes these stuffed squashed even more delicious.
  • Spice it up: You can use other spice mixes such as ras el hanout or seven spice.

Serving Suggestions

Serve vegetarian stuffed acorn squash with Persian mast-o-khiar (yogurt and cucumbers), Torshi (Persian style pickles) or tahini sauce.

You can also serve this dish with creamy cucumber salad, fattoush salad, beet salad or Mediterranean salad.

Front shot of roasted acorn squash filled with spiced rice.

Storing The Leftovers

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the stuffed acorn squash in a baking pan and cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does acorn squash need to be peeled before cooking?

There is no need to peel acorn squash for this recipe. The skin actually works as a barrier to keep the squash together.

How do you cut acorn squash to stuff?

Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the squash in half. Make sure the squash is on a sturdy board and is not rolling around.

Half of squash with filling.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a 5-star🌟 rating below. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter to get a free e-Cookbook!

Mediterranean stuffed acorn squash
4.89 from 9 votes

Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash

Mediterranean stuffed acorn squash is easy, delicious and a showstopper. This vegetarian version is customizable to your liking!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 3 tbsp olive oil , extra virgin
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon , juice of

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the acorn squash halves on the baking sheet and brush lightly with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes until they are fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the tomato paste and pomegranate molasses. Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the cooked rice followed by the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, sumac and salt. Mix and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in the walnuts, parsley and lemon juice. Stir and turn the heat off.
  • Set the oven to 375 degrees F. Spoon the filling into the roasted acorn squash. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Video

Notes

  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To reheat, place the leftovers in a baking pan covered with aluminum foil. Reheat at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes. 
  • You can use leftover basmati, jasmine or brown rice for this recipe. 
  • Jazz up this recipe by adding some feta cheese or mozzarella at the very end. 

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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51 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So much yummy goodness right here! This is perfect for holiday dinner and all winter, really! Thanks for making it easy to make such an impressive dish!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious recipe. I love making stuffed acorn squash, so I was eager to make it in a new way. I LOVE the flavors in this one!

  3. 5 stars
    What amazing Mediterranean flavors in these fantastic stuffed squash. I can’t wait to make them for my family.

  4. These look beautiful and I bet they taste delicious. Thanks for sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom and have a great week

  5. I had no idea Iran produced most of the saffron in the world. I love learning fun food facts like that plus a delicious recipe like this is a big bonus.

    1. Thank you Christie for visiting! Yes, Iran is the land of saffron 😀 I will post more recipes and fact about Iran hopefully you will like them 🙂