Cranberry Goat Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash.
This stuffed acorn squash is sponsored by ALDI! This stuffed acorn squash is hearty, beautiful and satisfying. It can be a stunning side dish on your Thanksgiving table or the main dish of a meatless Thanksgiving spread! It’s packed with rice, vegetables, cranberries, pepitas and goat cheese!
It’s time! Thanksgiving recipes are HERE!
Welcome to How Sweet Eats 2021 Thanksgiving Week!! Oh, this is my most FAVORITE time of the entire year and I am so excited to share this week’s recipes with you. Eddie is STILL talking about them. They are THAT good!
And I have even more exciting news – this year, I’ve partnered with ALDI to bring you this delicious stuffed acorn squash. The rest of the recipes I share this week will all be able to be made using ingredients from your local ALDI! Yes, that means you only need to go to one store to get your Thanksgiving shopping done.
ALDI is your one stop shop for the holiday. From the turkey to apps and snacks, all the ingredients you need for side dishes and of course, dessert, they have everything you need! And guess what?! This year, you can get EVERYTHING you need for a traditional Thanksgiving meal at ALDI for less than $30*.
ALDI is stocked with the essentials for every Thanksgiving celebration – whether you started a new tradition after the craziness of last year, or you’re going back to your usual Thanksgiving routine. The prices are incredibly affordable every single day and their selection of seasonal products is top-notch.
In addition to this stuffed acorn squash, here’s a peek at what you can look forward to for this Thanksgiving week:
- French Onion Mashed Potatoes
- Maple Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Chipotle Creamed Corn
- Smoked Cheddar Biscuits
We’re bringing this all together with the Citrus Butter and Sage Turkey I shared with ALDI last year. Add in my pumpkin dream cake, my honeycrisp harvest salad and some whole berry cranberry sauce from ALDI – and you’ve got your most perfect Thanksgiving menu.
For years, I’ve talked about how my family loves a super traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And I do too. I get it. It’s such a comforting nostalgic meal and heck, we only eat it once every year. What I love about this menu is that it’s very close to being traditional – with just a few modern spins. The caramelized onion mashed potatoes may be the best thing to come out of my kitchen, and the chipotle creamed corn?
OH MY WORD.
Stay tuned as you’ll receive those recipes in a few days. For now, let’s get to this dreamboat: the stuffed acorn squash!
This squash is an absolutely showstopper. Yes, the filling is delicious, and we will get to that in a second. But the presentation is really what takes things over the top. If you’re someone who loves Thanksgiving side dishes (me!) and you plan on skipping the turkey, or you’re creating a vegetarian meal, this stuffed acorn squash could also be your main dish. It’s so beautiful, incredibly satisfying and of course, delicious.
Let’s go over our stuffed acorn squash ingredients:
- Acorn squash, of course! I love to serve mine standing up, but you can also slice these in half and serve them stuffed as boats. There is no wrong way to serve them. Acorn squash has a mild buttery and somewhat nutty flavor. The key here is salt and pepper. Don’t skimp on the seasoning!
- Grains. You can go with rice or even quinoa here. I love using the Earthly Grains Long Grain and Wild Rice from ALDI. It has incredible flavor, especially if you cook it in the Simple Nature Organic Vegetable Broth.
- Mushrooms. These add a meaty texture and great flavor. I also add in some diced sweet onion and garlic too
- Greens. I use the Simply Nature Organic Chopped Kale. It’s already chopped, which is a HUGE plus. It’s so easy to use. The kale brings more texture to the filling.
- Dried fruit. This adds a hint of sweetness. I love using Southern Grove Dried Cherries or Cranberries. In fact, I often use a mixture of both. You could also use dates here too.
- Goat cheese. For some creaminess and tang. I grab the Emporium Selection Goat Cheese from ALDI and crumble it into the filling.
- Nuts or seeds for crunch! I like to use the Southern Grove Pepitas, but you could also use the walnuts or pistachios.
I roast the squash first so it’s tender and flavorful. Then I make the filling, which really only takes a few minutes once the rice is cooked. It’s so easy, yet so flavorful.
Another bonus here is that you can even prep most of this ahead of time. I am ALL about the prep for Thanksgiving. I’ve already shared my Thanksgiving kitchen essentials with you and at the end of this week, I’ll share my timeline of how I make the meal come together. I utilize the days leading up to the holiday so I’m not scrambling on Thursday. When it comes to this recipe, you can pre-roast the squash and make the filling the day before. Bring it all together, warm it in the oven and serve!
I can’t even express what a beautiful addition this stuffed squash brings to the table. It’s so festive and gorgeous.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Cranberry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 6 acorn squash
- olive oil for drizzling
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked Earthly Grains Long Grain and Wild Rice
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cups Simply Nature Organic Chopped Kale
- ⅓ cup Southern Grove Dried Cherries or Cranberries
- ⅓ cup Southern Grove Pumpkin Seeds or Walnuts
- 4 ounces Emporium Selection Goat Cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro or curly parsley
- Note: this same recipe can also serve 12, if you choose to slice the squash down the center and serve these as “boats.” Remove the seeds, roast for roughly the same amount of time, add the filling inside the squash boat and bake.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roast the squash first. This can be done ahead of time. If I roast it the night before, I simply store it in a baking dish covered with foil in my fridge! To make the standing squash like in my photos, slice the bottom tip off so the squash can stand. Slice the top stem off. Use a knife or serrated spoon to scrape out the seeds in the center. Brush the insides and outsides with olive oil. Season all over with salt and pepper (especially the insides). Turn upside down on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender.
- While the squash roasts, make the filling. Cook your rice as you traditionally would - you need 2 cups of cooked rice.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions and the garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and juicy. Stir in the kale. Let it cook down - it will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice to the skillet with another big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together. Stir in the dried fruit and the nuts or pepitas. At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture to stuff later, or use it now. If you use it now, stir in the crumbled goat cheese. If you serve it later, stir in the goat cheese right before filling the squash.
- Fill the inside of the squash with the filling. Place all the stuffed squash on a baking sheet. Stick the sheet back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to warm everything together.
- Remove the squash and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro, pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Serve immediately!
(* Based on the items and quantities included in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey, for dinner for up to 10 with a 12lb Butterball turkey and additional miscellaneous items (e.g. coffee, butter, flour, sugar, eggs) not included in the survey. Available in-store and online. Tax and online fees not included.)