Acorn Squash Stuffed with Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on November 14, 2012

Here is a vegetarian recipe for thanksgiving that is both easy to make AND a show stopper! With this baked acorn squash stuffed with brown rice mushroom pilaf, you won’t even miss the turkey. And you can easily make this dish the day before and just warm it in the microwave – so it’s a stress free thanksgiving main dish!

If you are making this dish ahead of time. Keep the baked squash and the pilaf separate. Heat them separately in the microwave and then spoon the pilaf into the squash just before serving.

Keep in mind that different brown rices need different amounts of water. And they may also have different cooking times. The 1 cup water and 50 minute cooking time I’ve given you is a guideline. So check the package instructions on your brown rice.

Mushrooms will let out water, so its important to cook them on high heat. I find that crimins dont let out as much water and recommend you use criminis if you can.

I love halloumi cheese and will find an excuse to put it in anything! But this recipe is stellar even without it, so leave out the halloumi if you wish. But if you do use the halloumi, keep in mind it’s a salty cheese – so add less salt to the rice to compensate.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf

serves 2

Ingredients
For the squash
1 acorn squash
For the Pilaf
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
½ a cinnamon stick
2 cloves, optional
5  oz (about 2 cups) chopped mushrooms – either white button, crimini or portobello.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig of thyme
1/2 cup brown basmati or long grain brown rice
Salt
¼ scant cup cubed halloumi cheese, optional
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisin, optional

Method
Pre heat oven to 400f

  1. Cut the squash in half. Using a spoon, scrape out the membrane and seeds. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down, for about 30 minutes or till the squash is fork tender.
  2. When the squash is done, cut off the tips to that the squash sits up steadily.
  3. While squash is baking, work on the mushroom pilaf – heat butter in a large, deep skillet. Add cinnamon and cloves and let sizzle for 30 seconds.
  4. Toss in the mushrooms and cook undisturbed on medium-high heat, till the mushrooms brown.
  5. Then reduce heat to medium, add garlic, thyme, rice and salt. Stir for about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour 1 cups water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer till the rice is done, about 50 minutes.
  7. When the rice is cooked (but shouldn’t be mushy), turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. Fish out and discard the cinnamon stick and cloves.
  8. Stir in halloumi cubes if using.
  9. Spoon the pilaf into the squash cavities.
  10. Sprinkle with dried cranberries or raisins, if using.
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Comments

comments

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa November 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Scrumptious and so festive looking!

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Preena @ A Teaspoon of Turmeric November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Lovely post!! This looks so amazing and thank you for sharing. I found out about your blog from Indian Simmer…nice to get to know you!

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3 Candace Karu November 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Next week, 8 of my best vegetarian friends are coming for dinner. This is PERFECT for my party! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.

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4 Sapna November 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

This looks so amazing!

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5 Spandana November 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Beautiful. So very healthy.

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6 Kathleen Richardson November 15, 2012 at 7:15 am

Sala, we don’t see you too often, but it’s always a treat when we do. I have an acorn squash sitting on my counter waiting for a recipe to pop in my mind… and now I have it. Thank you, Sala!

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Kathleen Richardson Reply:

Me again, Sala. This was a wonderful, tasty, gorgeous dish. I loved it so much that I posted about it on my food blog and gave you full credit and four links! Thanks for a scrumptious supper.

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7 Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health November 15, 2012 at 9:25 am

these are the cutest acorn squash dish..loved the use of mushroom and brown rice. there are quick brown rice available in stores which i buy when I am in hurry so if you are pressed for time- can use those kind.

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8 Shema George November 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Great recipe Sala and I love the clicks. I love brown rice and this can really be a showstopper for thanksgiving like you said :) Happy Thanksgiving in advance and I hope you had a great Diwali

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9 vanamala November 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

very nice unique recipe..

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10 Jen @ Homemadeadventure November 20, 2012 at 8:04 am

My mom used to make a dish like this! Looks great! Are there any other cheeses you would recommend?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Cotija or Parmesan will be great.

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11 Azzi November 21, 2012 at 5:01 am

I really like the way you have presented the recipe and its description. You really deserve appreciation. Would be waiting for more unique recipe. Thanks!!!
Cheese food

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12 Sharmila November 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The photos are so pretty. Like you, I love halloumi cheese. I will find any excuse to eat it. Loving this recipe.

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13 Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore November 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m so happy you posted this recipe! Last week a farmer gave me (for free!) a gorgeous acorn squash at the farmer’s market, and I’ve been debating what to do with it since. I love the addition of the halloumi cheese, it seems like it would be the perfect textural counterpart to the squash & grains. I can’t wait to make this dish!

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14 Michelle@HappyHeart November 29, 2012 at 4:24 am

Yum! Nothing beats a stuffed squash and I love the filling idea. Incredibly tasty and so pretty :)

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15 preveena November 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

Hi Sala! Thats such a beautiful looking dish, i can just imagine how yumm it must be.

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16 This American Bite December 3, 2012 at 11:01 am

These look divine.

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17 Blessedmama December 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

That sounds so good, perfect for the holidays.

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18 Pepper Bowl December 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Sala, I have been watching your post and pictures, you are one of my inspirations to my bloggi. my MD has bought few squashes, I did not know the recipe which suits Indian taste buds…this is the exact recipe, What I am looking out for. Your squash is popping out off window…:)

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19 Marie December 10, 2012 at 6:39 am

I love squash and this stuffed one looks awesome! Will make it this week.

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20 Sunita December 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

Hi Sala,

I have been following your blog for sometime and I absolutly enjoy it. Have you some good recipes on momo variations?

Sunita

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21 Kate December 24, 2012 at 4:13 am

This looks wonderful! I might have to change my dinner plans to include this!

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22 Nik@ABrownTable December 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

These stuffed squashes look adorable and delicious. Love the idea!

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23 Joann December 29, 2012 at 5:44 am

This is so visually pleasing. I’ve made stuffed peppers a good amount, but I might try to mix it up now. So pretty.

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24 Jennifer January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

These look AMAZING! Totally LOVING your blog!!!!

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25 Lisa Stanton January 18, 2013 at 1:02 am

Hi Sala,

I’ve been watching your blog for a long time now and thought it was time I left a comment. Your recipes are truly inspiring and photography just gorgeous. This stuffed acorn squash dish looks so beautiful.

Thanks for sharing your recipes and lovely photography. Looking forward to more of your veggie goodness in 2013.

Lisa

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26 Vegetarian NZ January 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

These look amazing, I love that the bowl is totally ecofriendly too!

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27 Nat @ The Apple Diaries January 25, 2013 at 2:43 am

Hi Sala! I started following your blog last year and love all of your recipes. I’m a Vegetarian and your dishes definitely give me some much appreciated inspiration when I’m in the kitchen.

I’ve been waiting for a new post to come out. Will you be uploading any more delicious recipes in 2013?

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28 Jogalog January 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Your squash look so pretty. I love the addition of the halloumi in them.

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29 lee June 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

This was sooooo good… Never ate Acorn Squash a day in my life…surprisingly this was VERY good…awesome recipe love!

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30 Ragini July 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hi,
How do you get the brown rice so separated? I tried to prepare this dish but the rice is sticky. Can you suggest some ideas?

Thanks,
RK

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