December 1, 2016

Healthy Holiday Recipes – Maple Glazed Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice and Cranberry Pecans

shutterstock-acorn-squash-stuffedWhen it’s cold outside, warm up your insides with hearty and healthy dishes like Maple Glazed Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice and Cranberry Pecans.


  • 4 lb Acorn squash, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp Pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil, canola blend
  • 1½ cup Long grain wild rice, dry
  • 2/3 cup Pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup Diced onions
  • 1 cup Celery, fresh, ¼-inch diced
  • 1½ tsp Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme, fresh, minced
  • ½ cup Cranberries, dried
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar


Use small-to-medium acorn squash, about 1½ pounds each. Wash and cut them in half. Scoop out the seeds and place on a pan with the cut side up. Brush olive oil and maple syrup onto each half. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast in a preheated 350 F-degree oven until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Place wild rice in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil, then simmer and cook until 1/3 of the rice opens, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place pecans on a pan and toast in a 300 F-degree oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a hot pan and sauté onions, celery and garlic until tender. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl; add the remaining ingredients: fresh thyme, dried cranberries, salt, black pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, as well as the cooked wild rice and toasted pecans. Mix to incorporate. Stuff into cooked acorn squash (each will hold about ½ cup of stuffing). Return to oven to heat through just prior to service.

  • Winter squashes like acorn and butternut are considered starchy vegetables. They are a healthy carbohydrate choice and are high in fiber and vitamin A.
  • Pecans are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids, which can help protect heart health.