This Roasted Stuffed Squash filled with wild rice, mushrooms, walnuts and herbs, is a deliciously festive main dish. Perfect for a vegetarian Christmas dinner and it's gluten-free too. Really easy to make, it looks gorgeous and tastes amazing!
Harlequin squash is the perfect squash for stuffing and roasting. Once roasted its sweet flesh paired with nutty earthy wild rice and mushrooms is just delicious. The edges are caramelized adding to the flavour. The beautiful colour of this squash is just a bonus, they look so pretty on the pate especially topped with a tasty filling!
Perfect for a festive dinner, and great for feeding a crowd just two squash with sides will feed four people. With festive herbs like sage and rosemary, this even smells like Christmas when it's baking. The rice and mushrooms give it a lovely earthy taste, the nuts and seeds also give it a nice little crunch.
Ingredients for Stuffed Squash
- Harlequin Squash - this is my preferred squash for this recipe. It's perfectly sized and for a special occasion, the colours are beautiful. You can use acorn squash or even a short butternut squash instead if you prefer.
- Rice - I use a mix of wild and black rice, they are a tougher rice which is better for stuffing vegetables.
- Mushrooms - Chestnut mushrooms are perfect here, you could add in some wild mushroom too if you wish.
- Nuts and Seeds - Walnuts and pumpkin seeds add texture and crunch to the filling, pecan is a good sub for the walnuts if you prefer them.
- Feta - this adds a lovely creaminess to the dish, it is perfect against the earthy nutty filling and goes very well with the sweet squash.
- Herbs - To keep this dish festive I use fresh rosemary and sage. I have made this with thyme to which works really well.
How to Make Stuffed Squash
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then brush the inside of the squash with oil and roast.
- Cook up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and herbs. Cook the rice.
- Soak the dried cranberries until they plump up then add those to a large mixing bowl with the mushroom mixture and the chopped walnuts and rice. Mix well.
- Stuff the roasted squash with the filling, crumble the feta over the filling then bake.
Top Tips for Making the Best Stuffed Squash
- Pick squash that is roughly the same weight and size. This will ensure that they all cook at the same time. When buying squash look make sure they feel heavy when you lift them, the stem should be intact, firm and dry. Check for any soft spots in the squash and avoid them if they are soft. The skin should be cut and crack free.
- Use wild rice, that includes red or black rice which is best for stuffing vegetables. These are tougher varieties of rice that hold up against roasting and don't turn to mush.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the squash in half. Please be careful doing this, squash can be hard to cut in half. I tend to cut just under the woody stem as it's easier to cut there.
- Soak the dried cranberries in warm water, this will plump up the cranberries and make them nice and juicy.
What to Serve with Stuffed Squash
If I make this for Christmas dinner then I would serve it with all the trimmings including, roasted or mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and parsnips, and Brussell sprouts. If we have this for a weeknight dinner a good caesar salad is a great side dish to this.
Making Ahead and Storing
Due to the rice in the filling, it is best to make the filling fresh and serve straight away. You can roast the squash the day before if you wish, just be aware that it may take longer to cook when you add the filling as the squash will be cold. I don't recommend freezing this dish again due to the rice.
More Tasty Festive Recipes:
Did you make this Stuffed Squash recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
- 2 Harlequin Squash (630g each) cut in half lengthways, seeds scooped out
- 100 g wild & red rice dry raw weight
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon optional (gf,vg)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper divided
- half a red onion (90g) peeled then finely chopped
- 100 g chestnut mushrooms wiped cleaned then roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 or 5 sage leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 40 g walnut halves chopped
- 60 g feta
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C/392f.Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and any stringy flesh.Brush the insides of the halved squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper over the squash. Place them skin-side down on a baking tray and bake for 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft, test with a knife.
- While the squash is roasting make the filling. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, I add a level teaspoon of vegetable bouillon to the rice when cooking for extra flavour, but you can leave it out if you wish.
- While the rice is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper and the herbs, cook for 5 minutes. Set aside until the rice is cooked.
- Place the dried cranberries into a small bowl, cover with warm water and leave for about 20 minutes. Once plump, drain and roughly chop.
- Once the rice is cooked add it to a large mixing bowl along with the onion & mushroom mixture, the chopped walnuts, cranberries, half a teaspoon each of salt and black pepper and mix well.
- Spoon the filling mixture into the squash, pat it down with the back of the spoon and then add some more, it's ok for the filling to be heaped here.
- Crumble the feta over the mixture and bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Once cooked sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the squash and serve immediately.
- Squash - I use Harlequin squash for this recipe but acorn squash or a short butternut squash will work too.
- Rice - Wild rice is best for this recipe, I use a mix of wild and black rice, pre-mixed.
- Mushrooms - Chestnut/brown mushrooms are perfect in this. I have used a mix of brown and wild mushrooms which work well too.
- Storing/freezing - Due to the rice I do not recommend freezing or storing the filling or the stuffed squash. Rice that is not reheated properly can contain dangerous bacteria which can cause food poisoning, so please be very aware of this.
- Can I make this vegan? This is really easy to make vegan, simply omit the feta or substitute with your favourite vegan soft cheese. And use a vegan vegetable bouillon.
- Is this gluten-free? Yes, just use a gluten-free bouillon when cooking the rice or omit it altogether.
- Nutrition - Nutritional information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on a serving of one.
*This recipe was first published on October 14, 2016. It has now been updated with new photos, a step by step guide, expert tips and nutritional information.
This recipe worked great! Looking for something to do with a harlequin squash from our veg box, and this worked with what we had in. Didn't want to go shoppinf so subbed brown rice and barberries for wild rice and cranberries. But this was a great recipe, really adaptable and so tasty! Thank you!
Hi Claire, thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it 🙂
I love this beautiful and healthy recipe! So good!
Thanks Michelle, I'm so glad you liked it!
The presentation on this dish alone is making me swoon! Love all the gorgeous colors and how filling it is too. Well done!
That's so kind you Demeter, thank you 🙂
This stuffed squash recipe is stunning. It will make a perfect side or main dish for any holiday meal. I love all the vibrant colors this meal has too.
Thanks so much Kelly 🙂
Not only is this dish flavorful and delicious, it's so easy and I love the presentation! This is going to be a recipe in my menu rotation from now on!
Thank you so much Kim! I'm so glad you liked it x
This is like the perfect holiday treat! I'm loving all the flavors in this stuffed squash. Perfect for a holiday dinner with the girls 🙂
Thanks so much Danielle 🙂
Hana | Nirvana Cakery
I have quite a selection of squashes in my house too, they are just way too many varieties to try at this time of a year! Love the recipe!!! xx
Thanks Hana x I'm so glad I'm not the only one 😉
Michelle! This squash looks phenomenal and the images are just gorgeous.
Thank you so much Amanda for such lovely, kind words xxx
Squash is my favourite part of Autumn! Your blog is so beautiful and inspirational, I feel cosy just lookout at your recipes Cecilia Xx
Thank you so much Cecilia x : )