Cozy dishes are something we look forward to every year. Stuffed squash is always on the list – usually in the form of cheesy and creamy. This year we decided to change it up and do something a bit lighter!
This recipe packs a bunch of fall flavors into one dish – earthy carrots, onions, wild rice and kale, cozy roasted chestnuts, balanced by sweetness of dried fruit and a touch of decadence with bits of bacon. The best part is that you can make the filling and squash ahead of time, and bake them together as you’re ready.
I made them here for two, but you could of course cut up a few more squash for a larger quantity (the recipe makes extra filling!).
4 cups cooked wild rice
4-5 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon each dried rosemary, sage, or herbes de provence
1 cup roasted chestnuts, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2-3 pieces bacon, diced (optional)
1/2 cup chicken broth
Few handfuls of kale, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 acorn squash
1. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Brush with a little olive oil, then place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes or until just soft. Remove and set aside once cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan large pot or deep pan. Once cooked, remove and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to let cool.
3. In the same pan, sautee onion with herbs and a bit of salt and pepper (if not using bacon, use a little olive oil). When onions are soft, add in the diced carrots and cook until carrots are just softened. Add in the cooked wild rice, chestnuts, cranberries, cooked bacon (if using).
4. Add in the broth and kale and continue to stir until kale is wilted. If the mixture is dry, add a little more broth (you want a little bit of sauce but not too liquid-y).
5. Stuff the partially cooked squash with the wild rice filling. You’ll have quite a bit extra, but you can serve it with the squash, or use in other dishes (it’s great on salads). Bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until squash is at desired softness.