Fresh, fall-inspired, and festive, Stuffed Squash is always a welcome side dish to any table!
This sweet butternut squash recipe is filled with wild rice, fresh apples, cranberries, and pecans all seasoned with savory spices. Serve this stuffed squash as a side dish with pork, beef or poultry!
Savory Stuffed Squash
- Baked, stuffed butternut squashes are like mini casseroles that are as pretty to look at as they are delicious!
- Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, stuffed squash is a guilt-free and energizing side.
- Add ground pork, sausage, or beef to turn it into a meal.
- Make ahead, reheat, and serve.
Ingredients and Variations
Any kind of squash can be filled with anything from grains, to other veggies, and even proteins. This basic recipe allows for so many ingredient alternatives so it’s brand new every time.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Butternut squash comes in all sizes. This recipe will fill 2 small squash (4 halves) or 1 larger squash.
Most winter squashes have mildly sweet, nutty flavors, so switch out the butternut squash for delicata or acorn squash.
RICE: Wild rice adds texture and flavor but you can use other grains. Ensure the wild rice blend you purchase has a spice or seasoning packet.
If your wild rice is plain without seasonings, be sure to cook in broth instead of water and to add some additional salt and extra seasonings.
FRUIT/VEGGIES Onions, celery, green apples, and pecans make for a fresh, sweet, and savory filling. Colorful cranberries add pops of festive color and tangy flavor!
SEASONING: The savory herbs and spices bring it all together. Here’s a couple of DIY herb blends that can be used in this recipe or for future recipes! Italian Seasoning, Homemade Poultry Seasoningor this bright Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning.
PRO TIP: Toast nuts in a dry pan until they are just fragrant. This intensifies their flavor and makes them extra crunchy!
Use leftover stuffing, stir in your leftover green bean casserole or even sliced mushrooms, or water chestnuts.
For a heartier, main dish meal add cooked meat. We love this dish with any kind of ground sausage (Italian or breakfast), ham, or crisy bacon. If you have fat from the sausage or bacon, use that to cook your veggies too!
How to Make Stuffed Butternut Squash
This tasty dish has such a pretty presentation and it’s super easy to assemble:
- Bake butternut halves, scoop out the cooked sqauash leaving a shell and chop.
- While squash is cooking, prepare rice with seasonings.
- Saute onion, apple, and celery.
- Add the cooked squash and the onion mixture to the rice.
- Fill the squash halves with the rice mixture and bake until heated through.
- Garnish with remaining pecans & parsley.
PRO PREP TIP: Butternut squash can be difficult to cut. Often the grocer will cut it in half for you if you ask. If you’re struggling to cut it, poke it with a fork all over and microwave 4-5 minutes. Cool a few minutes and it should be easier to cut.
What to Serve with Stuffed Squash
As a side dish, Apple Glazed Baked Ham is a winner that stuffed squash goes great with. Or try a Rosemary Balsamic Glazed Ham, or an even easier Glazed Ham Loaf. Serve with a simple green Tossed Salad and some Fluffy Dinner Rolls.
Storing Stuffed Squash
Keep leftover stuffed butternut squash in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat by wrapping portions in aluminum foil and heating in the oven.
Freeze chilled portions by tightly wrapping them in plastic wrap and then placing them in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Squash Side Dishes
- Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash – sweet & savory
- Roasted Delicata Squash – freezer friendly
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash – healthy & delicious
- Mashed Butternut Squash – perfect for the holidays
- Stuffed Acorn Squash – festive and flavorful
- Air Fryer Roasted Butternut Squash – only 5 ingredients
Did you make this Stuffed Butternut Squash? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash about 3 pounds, or 2 small squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 package wild rice mix 6 ounces, with seasoning packet + broth or water for cooking
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 small granny smith apple peeled and chopped
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup pecans chopped, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, divided
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
- Place the squash on a baking pan (cut side down) and bake 30-35 minutes or until tender. (Larger squash may need up to 50 minutes).
- While the squash is baking, prepare the rice according to package directions.
- In a separate skillet cook onion, celery, sage, and thyme in butter over medium-low heat until softened, do not brown.
- Add the diced apple and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender. Stir in the cranberries and remove from the heat. Combine the warm cooked rice with the onion mixture. Stir in the melted butter and half of the pecans and parsley.
- Flip the squash over and scoop the squash leaving a ¼" shell. Chop the squash and add it to the rice mixture.
- Scoop the filling into the cavity and bake an additional 15 minutes or heated through.
- Top finished squash with remaining pecans and parsley as garnish.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Would 90 second rice packets work? Like the Uncle Ben’s kind? I used that in your chicken, butternut squash, and wild rice casserole, and it still turned out really good!
That would absolutely work!
This was absolutely delicious! The house smells like Thanksgiving when sauteing the vegetables :)
I had no cranberries so omitted them, but I’m wondering if I can use Craisins instead of fresh cranberries?
Sure you can!
Looks and sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it. I may have missed it, but can you tell me when to add the 1/4 cup melted butter listed toward the end of the ingredients. Thanks!!
Hi Karen, the melted butter is added to the rice mixture in step 6. Enjoy!
A tasty dinner anytime of the year, but especially in the autumn.
I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe Mike!
Unbelievably delicious. I picked this recipe to be my introduction to a new vegetable (squash) at 67 years old, and I can’t believe how much I’ve missed. My farm market happily cut the squash in half lengthwise for me, and I added 3/4 pound of ground pork to your basic recipe, to make 2 complete meals that I actually had to stretch over a little into a side dish for a third meal. Hardly wait to make this again. Can’t wait to make this again.
I’m so glad you loved it Ellen, squash is one of our favorites too!
The absolute epitome of great recipes! Made this yesterday and my husband and myself agreed that this was a dish deserving of a gold medal. Soooo good!
So glad you and your husband loved this dish Sherry!