Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts & Hickory-Baked Tofu Recipe

Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice Walnuts and Hickory-baked Tofu

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts & Hickory-Baked Tofu Recipe
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 25 minutes | Servings: 8


Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice Walnuts and Hickory-baked Tofu
Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice Walnuts and Hickory-baked Tofu

This delightful recipe for Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Hickory-baked Tofu is a celebration of autumn flavors and textures. Perfect for a cozy dinner or a festive holiday table, this dish combines the sweetness of roasted acorn squash with the nuttiness of wild rice and the smoky savoriness of hickory-baked tofu. It's a vegetarian dish that's hearty enough to satisfy everyone, including meat-lovers, and is packed with nutrients and flavors.


The tradition of stuffing vegetables dates back centuries and spans many cultures, with each adding its unique twist. This particular recipe is a modern take that combines elements of American cuisine with vegetarian sensibilities. Acorn squash has been a fall and winter staple in North America since before colonial times, appreciated for its sweet flesh and storage longevity. Wild rice, a native grain to North America, and the use of hickory-smoked tofu add layers of depth and a nod to the continent's indigenous culinary traditions.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cut each squash in half crosswise.
  3. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings.
  4. If necessary, trim the top and bottom of the squash so it sits level, and place cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. If the squash is too hard to trim the top and bottom, do it after the squash is cooked.
  6. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
  7. Cut 2 tbsp of butter into 8 pieces and dot each squash half with the butter.
  8. Cover the pan with foil and bake until the squash is just moist and tender, about 45 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the rice, broth, 0.25 tsp of salt, and 2 cups of water.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  11. Reduce the heat to simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
  12. If there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, drain the rice.
  13. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  14. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  15. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 5 minutes longer.
  16. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and sauté for 1 more minute.
  17. Remove from the heat.
  18. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, tofu, nuts, and cranberries.
  19. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and other seasonings if needed.
  20. Mound the rice evenly into each squash half.
  21. Cut the remaining 2 tbsp of butter into 8 pieces and dot the squash halves with the butter.
  22. Cover the pan with foil and bake until the rice mixture is heated through, about 20 minutes.
  23. Make ahead: You can make the entire dish ahead of time. Wrap each stuffed squash in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  24. To reheat, uncover and microwave for about 5 minutes, or bake uncovered at 350°F (177°C) for about 20 minutes.
  25. Optional seasoning: If you like a curried or cumin flavor, season the rice to taste with curry powder or ground cumin, and add only 1 tbsp of sage and 1 tbsp of thyme.


  • For a vegan version, substitute the butter with a plant-based alternative. You can also experiment with different nuts like pecans or almonds, and dried fruits such as apricots or figs, to vary the flavor profile. Adding grains like quinoa or farro in place of or alongside the wild rice can introduce new textures.


  1. ↑ You can also stuff your favorite squash, such as delicata, sweet dumpling or buttercup. If you have stuffing left over, heat and serve as a side dish or use it in stuffed bell peppers.
  2. ↑ To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure even cooking, select acorn squash that are uniform in size. When preparing the squash, be careful to cut them in half evenly to create a stable base for the stuffing. For the wild rice, ensure it's thoroughly rinsed before cooking to remove any debris. To enhance the flavors, toast the walnuts before adding them to the mix, and consider using high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar for a drizzle before serving for an extra zing.

Serving Suggestions

Serve each stuffed acorn squash half on a plate, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or sage for an extra touch of color and flavor. A side of green salad dressed with a vinaigrette complements the richness of the dish, making for a balanced meal.

Cooking Techniques

Roasting the acorn squash brings out its natural sweetness and softens its flesh, making it the perfect vessel for the savory stuffing. Simmering the wild rice with a combination of broth and water infuses it with flavor while maintaining its chewy texture. Sautéing the vegetables before combining them with the rice and tofu allows each component to develop its taste fully.

Ingredient Substitutions

If hickory-baked tofu is unavailable, any smoked or flavored tofu can be used as a substitute. In the absence of wild rice, a wild rice blend or even brown rice can be used, though the flavor profile will slightly change. Maple syrup or honey can be drizzled over the squash for those who prefer a sweeter finish, in place of or in addition to the spices.

Make Ahead Tips

The stuffed acorn squash can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered. To serve, simply reheat in the oven until warmed through. The wild rice mixture can also be made ahead and refrigerated, ready to be stuffed into freshly roasted squash for a quicker assembly.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, serve the stuffed squash on a bed of arugula or mixed greens, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds for a pop of color and texture.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs beautifully with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling, which can complement the richness of the squash and the nuttiness of the wild rice. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling apple cider offers a festive and refreshing choice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover stuffed acorn squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, place in a 350°F (177°C) oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. The dish can also be microwaved, though the oven method better preserves the texture.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of this acorn squash dish contains approximately 350 calories, making it a nutrient-dense option that can fit into a balanced diet while providing a satisfying and hearty meal.


This dish is a good source of complex carbohydrates, primarily from the wild rice and acorn squash. One serving provides approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, offering sustained energy without the blood sugar spikes associated with simple sugars. The fiber content from the rice and squash also aids in digestion and satiety.


The healthy fats in this recipe come from olive oil, walnuts, and the natural content in tofu, contributing to approximately 15 grams of fat per serving. These are primarily unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. The walnuts also provide a dose of omega-3 fatty acids, important for brain health.


Each serving of this stuffed acorn squash dish provides about 12 grams of protein, coming from the wild rice, tofu, and walnuts. This combination offers a complete protein profile, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

Vitamins and minerals

This recipe is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A from the squash, vitamin C from the parsley, and various B vitamins from the wild rice. It's also a good source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron, contributing to overall health and well-being.


This recipe contains nuts (walnuts) and soy (tofu), which are common allergens. It's also prepared with butter, making it unsuitable for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance unless a dairy-free butter substitute is used.


Overall, this Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Hickory-baked Tofu is a well-rounded dish that offers a good balance of macronutrients, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's a hearty, flavorful, and nutritious option suitable for a main course.


This Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Hickory-baked Tofu recipe is a testament to the beauty of combining simple, wholesome ingredients into a dish that's both nourishing and satisfying. It's a versatile recipe that can be adapted to suit various dietary needs and preferences, making it a perfect addition to any meal, whether it's a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.

How did I get this recipe?

I distinctly remember the first time I saw this recipe. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Martha at her cozy cabin in the woods. Martha was a master in the kitchen, and her meals always left me speechless with their delicious flavors and creative combinations.

On this particular day, Martha had decided to make a special dish for lunch – Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Hickory-baked Tofu. As I watched her work her magic in the kitchen, I couldn't help but be amazed by the way she effortlessly combined ingredients and flavors to create a masterpiece.

I asked Martha where she had learned to make such a unique dish, and she told me that she had picked up the recipe during a trip to the Pacific Northwest many years ago. She had met an elderly Native American woman who had shared her family's traditional recipe for stuffed squash, and Martha had put her own twist on it over the years.

I was intrigued and captivated by the story behind the recipe, and I knew that I had to learn how to make it myself. Martha graciously agreed to teach me, and we spent the rest of the day cooking together, laughing, and sharing stories.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, the aroma of the hickory-baked tofu filled the air, mingling with the nutty scent of the wild rice and the sweetness of the acorn squash. Each bite was a symphony of flavors and textures, and I knew that this dish would become a staple in my own kitchen.

After my visit with Martha, I returned home and set to work recreating the recipe. I gathered all the ingredients – acorn squash, wild rice, walnuts, tofu, hickory seasoning, and a few secret spices that Martha had shared with me.

I carefully prepared the squash, cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. I cooked the wild rice until it was tender and fluffy, adding in chopped walnuts for crunch and flavor. I marinated the tofu in hickory seasoning and baked it until it was golden and crispy.

Finally, I stuffed the squash with the wild rice mixture and topped it with slices of the hickory-baked tofu. As I watched the dish come together, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. This was more than just a recipe – it was a piece of Martha's legacy, passed down to me with love and care.

I invited my family over for dinner that evening, eager to share my newfound culinary creation with them. As they sat down at the table and took their first bites, I held my breath, waiting for their reactions.

To my delight, they all raved about the dish, praising its bold flavors and comforting textures. My grandchildren even asked for seconds, something that rarely happened with new recipes.

As we sat around the table, enjoying our meal and each other's company, I couldn't help but think back to my time with Martha in the woods. I was grateful for her friendship, her wisdom, and her willingness to share her knowledge with me.

In the years that followed, I continued to make Martha's recipe for Acorn Squash stuffed with Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Hickory-baked Tofu. It became a signature dish in my kitchen, a symbol of friendship, tradition, and the joy of sharing good food with loved ones.

And every time I prepare that dish, I think of Martha and the beautiful memories we shared in her cozy cabin in the woods. Her spirit lives on in every bite, reminding me of the power of food to bring people together, create lasting connections, and nourish both body and soul.


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