This Parmesan Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash is a creamy and hearty vegetarian fall side dish that pairs very well with baked chicken or Thanksgiving turkey
This was the first time I ever made risotto (the instructions on the arborio rice package really came through!) While I was stirring for 25 minutes, I thought “this is the last time I’ll ever make risotto.” But when we finished eating all of it, I quickly though “I’ll be making risotto again and again and again.” I used it to make Stuffed Acorn Squash, and it was one of my favorite fall dishes!
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
So the risotto part was the time-consuming part but the acorn squash is the easiest.
- Cut the acorn squash in half
- Remove the seeds using a spoon
- Drizzle the acorn squash with olive oil, brown sugar, salt/pepper
- Roast in the oven until they’re fork tender and caramelized
At that point, you can literally just grab a spoon and dig in as is. And hey, that’s totally acceptable! It’s a simple roasted acorn squash recipe. But today, we’re making stuffed acorn squash. So continue reading please 🙂
While that’s roasting in the oven, it’s time for the grueling risotto process I was talking about. But honestly, you need to just set up whatever Netflix show you’re binge watching on your computer or TV or ipad, get a stool and commit to stirring on and off for 25 minutes. It’s worth it, I promise you.
And for me, I found there’s something so oddly satisfying about lazily pouring and stirring, pouring and stirring as the arborio rice slowly gets creamier and thicker. We’re pretty much making rice magic over here!
When it’s all done, it’s time for stuffed acorn squash.
- Scoop the parmesan risotto into the little crevice formed from removing the seeds.
- Garnish with some fresh basil and crushed red pepper
- Serve the “rice magic” with your favorite protein or as a complete meal on its own
And just like that, you’ve instantly changed the course of your dinner outlook!
I cut each half in half to demonstrate my excellent progress in portion control. But I didn’t skimp out on the protein. I sauteed some chicken breast to go along with this. It pairs so wonderfully with so many proteins or even just a big salad.
For more squash recipes:
- Roasted Delicata Squash
- Butternut Squash Noodles
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Butternut Squash Pomegranate Salad
If you make this healthy-ish feelgood Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Risotto Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash halved through the stem and seeded
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Basil for garnish, if desired
- Crushed red pepper for garnish, if desired
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper . Set the acorn squash halves cut-side up in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until they are fork-tender and the edges look roasted and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and onions, and saute for about 2 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat with butter for 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until all the liquid is absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup. I found it best to add 1/2 cup of broth every 4 minutes until all the broth is done and the rice becomes creamy.
- Then, add the Parmesan cheese, stir to incorporate, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. You may add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of broth if you feel that the mixture is too dry at this point.
- Once you reach the desired consistency, stuff the roasted squash halves with the Parmesan risotto. Then, garnish with the basil and crushed red pepper, if you desire. Serve as a side course with protein of choice.