This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is a perfect fall dinner to satisfy vegetarians and the meat eaters at the table. Roasted acorn squash is stuffed with a cornbread stuffing with poblano peppers, red peppers, apples and sage.
Make this for a weeknight dinner or save it for a dinner party. It also is a fabulous Thanksgiving main dish option.Jump to Recipe
Stuffed squash recipes are some of the best ways to celebrate the fall harvest. Once you scrape out the seeds and pulp, their cavities are perfect for holding a wide variety of stuffings. And there are so many stuffings to choose from to make roasted squash perfect for vegans, vegetarians or meat eaters.
This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is my meat-loving husband's favorite vegetarian dinner. But we also make this stuffed delicata squash recipe regularly, and I love to make this stuffed butternut squash for dinner parties, with quinoa, apples and figs.
And because I love to stuff veggies, I also love these stuffed artichokes with couscous simmered in orange juice and broth, with raisins and dried apricots. And these stuffed peppers with a jambalaya rice and beans filling are a great vegetarian dinner option for Mardi gras.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Roasted acorn squash is so easy to make. You can use your oven or air fryer.
- It's a showpiece entree for a holiday dinner and easy weeknight dinner.
- Parts can be made ahead, such as the cornbread and roasting the peppers.
- It's satisfying and filling with all the flavors.
- Serves as a one-dish meal.
🧅 Ingredients + Notes
- Poblano pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Acorn squash
- Red pepper jam - fig jam works well too
- Yellow onion
- Apple - I use either fuji or honey crisp apples. Granny smith will be too tart.
- Dried sage
- Cornbread - make your own or purchase ready made at your market.
- Unsalted butter
- Spices - smoked paprika and cayenne
- Fresh parsley
- Roasted pumpkin seeds - you can buy these at most markets, or make your own spiced pepitas.
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📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Roast the peppers. Roast both the poblano and red bell pepper until charred, peel and coarsely chop.
Prep the acorn squash. Slice off the top stem, and slice the acorn squash in half from top (at the stem end) to bottom. Scrape out the seeds and pulp.
Roast. Roast the acorn squash in the oven or your air fryer, if you have one.
Make the stuffing. Sauté the onions, apple and dried sage. Add the roasted peppers, butter and spices. Coarsely cut the cornbread and toss in with the parsley.
Stuff. Stuff the acorn squash halves, and finish with a flurry of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds).
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- Make the cornbread and roasted pumpkin seeds ahead of time.
- Nix the poblano pepper and use 2 roasted red bell peppers in jars that you can purchase at your market. The poblano pepper adds a little heat to the dish.
- Make the stuffing ahead of time, and reheat while the acorn squash roasts.
- Use the air fryer to roast the acorn squash instead of the oven.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
Slicing the acorn squash. Acorn squash is denser than delicata squash, and it may be difficult to slice off the stems and to slice them in half. Popping the acorn squash, whole, into the microwave oven for 4 - 5 minutes softens them enough to easily cut through them.
Removing the pulp. Any spoon works well for scooping out the seeds and pulp, but grapefruit spoons with their jagged edges makes it even easier.
Separating the seeds from the pulp. If you want to save the seeds for roasting, the easiest way to separate them from the pulp is to put the pulp and seeds in a bowl of water. Finger the seeds from the strands of pulp.
🥬 Make it Vegan
Use vegan butter and vegan cornbread.
🍽 Side Dish Ideas
Air Fryer Potatoes are a great side for so many main dishes, and are a favorite in our house. If you don't have an air fryer, just roast in a 400˚F oven until tender.
Freshly baked bread is always a hit. If you're interested in making a yeasted bread, these Parmesan and Garlic Rolls are irresistible, as is this Aglio e Olio Pizza Bread. Or make this Cheesy Beer Bread with Quinoa, Millet and Jalapeño Peppers.
Some apple chutney on the side is a great addition!
📇 More Stuffed Squash Recipes
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Vegetarian Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle and you'll also get my 5 SECRETS TO FUSS-FREE VEGETARIAN DINNERS.
Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash (Recipe)
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 2 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon red pepper jam or fig jam
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ small yellow onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 1 apple cored and diced (Fuji, Honey crisp, or Braeburn)
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt or just a pinch of sea salt
- 3 cups lightly crumbled cornbread,
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped parsley
- 2 - 3 tablespoons pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
- Apple chutney on the side
- Roast the peppers. Roast both the poblano and red bell pepper until charred under the broiler. Place in a container for 10 minutes, and then peel and coarsely chop.Lower oven temperature to 400˚F.
- Prep the acorn squash. Slice off the top stems of both acorn squash, and shave a sliver off the bottoms to allow them to stand upright on their own. Slice in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, and reserve for other uses or discard.Mix 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the jam, and baste the rims and hollow of the squash.
- Roast. Set in a baking pan, and roast until tender - about 45-55 minutes, depending on their size.
- Make the stuffing. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion, apple, sage and salt. Sauté until the onion and apple pieces soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped peppers, butter, smoked paprika, cayenne, and salt. Once the butter is melted, coarsely cut the cornbread and add in with the parsley.Toss to coat, cook for 5 minutes on the stove.
- Stuff. Stuff the acorn squash halves, and finish with a flurry of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds). Serve immediately.