Starting to plan your Thanksgiving menu? Don’t eat meat or have someone joining you who is vegetarian? Or maybe you’re just looking for a unique side dish. Our Roasted Acorn Squash with Apricot Walnut Stuffing is the perfect solution. Holiday meals don’t need to be swimming in canned soup and layers of cheese in order to be tasty and festive. This veggie forward dish is nutritious and delicious and will also please family and friends with unique dietary needs and desires. Try this recipe from my own vegetarian kitchen. It’s special enough for your Thanksgiving dinner table, yet so yummy you won’t even miss the meat!
Roasted Acorn Squash with Apricot Walnut Stuffing
What You Need:
2 acorn squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup butter or ghee (or your favorite oil)
1 package (12 oz.) meatless sausage (Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage or Earth Grown Meatless Sausage), chopped into crumbles
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. First, wash the squash and cut it in half. Then scoop out the seeds. Set them aside to use later. Place each squash half on a baking sheet cut side up and brush with olive oil and ½ of the maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until fork soft and lightly browned. In a colander wash the seeds and fish out the flesh.
Dry the seeds off and spread them out on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and heavily salt it. Place in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes or until toasty. While the squash and seeds are cooking, melt the butter in a skillet and add the walnuts and apricots and the remaining maple syrup. Cook over medium heat a few minutes until lightly browned and caramelized. Remove from skillet.
Use the same skillet and remaining butter and cook vegetarian sausage crumbles until toasty. Then mix nuts and apricots back in along with chopped rosemary. Stir to combine. When the squash are fully cooked, spoon the sausage/nut mixture into the squash, filling each up. Serve over brown or wild rice or quinoa and sprinkle with toasted squash seeds. Add a sprig of rosemary to the top to add a pretty garnish.