The best vegan side or main dish for Thanksgiving this year that both vegans and meat-eaters will love! A rustic dish that’s as delicious as it is colorful.
This is a dish that can be served as a Thanksgiving side dish or as a main course. It’s rustic, hearty, and delicious. Everyone has at least one guest that might not be thrilled with turkey.
The Most Popular Thanksgiving side dishes
The most popular Thanksgiving side dishes are often made with butter, cream, and chicken broth. I like to make a few side dishes that are vegan, just in case. We all make several side dishes at Thanksgiving, but most of my favorites have butter, lots of butter. Mashed potatoes, loads of butter, and heavy cream is there any other way to make them? Even my favorite crispy sweet potato roast has butter, quite a bit actually. Then there’s the stuffing, yep, more butter and chicken broth. Popovers, butter.
A few Side Dishes we love without Butter!
Green beans with caramelized shallots and cranberry sauce are about the only thing on the table free of butter. I use this Roasted Brussels Sprout recipe.
Acorn Squash is a winter squash recognizable by its dark green color on the outside with one splotch of orange on the side or top.Print
Wild Rice Stuffed Acron Squash
This is an excellent vegan side dish for Thanksgiving, but we love it for dinner anytime!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: vegan
- 2 acorn squash
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- one medium onion or two large shallots, chopped
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (divided)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, plus a few extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, plus a little extra for garnish
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped, plus a little extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves chopped
- Preheat oven to 400º
- Cut squash in half length-wise and scoop out the flesh. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
- Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and the apple cider vinegar and brush on the flesh side of the squash, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper generously.
- Turn over and brush on the skin side with the cider-olive oil-maple syrup mixture and salt and pepper the skin side as well. Bake flesh side down for 30-40 or until fork tender. Try a couple of spots to check.
- While the squash is in the oven, heat a little oil in a medium pan and saute the chopped onions or shallots until soft and turning golden.
- Add the rice and stir until the rice, and the spices are toasted golden brown, about a minute. Then add the 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until most of the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes and rice is tender. Remove from the heat.
- Add the dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, sage, and parsley and toss with a fork to combine with the rice. (Remember to save a little fresh parsley, cranberries, and walnuts for the garnish).
- Stuff the scooped out squash halves with the filling. Place on a platter and add the garnish and drizzle the leftover olive oil-maple syrup on top. Serve immediately or hold off on adding the garnish and re-heat when ready to serve, adding the garnish and sage leaves to the platter for serving.
Keywords: vegan, thanksgiving, side dish, rice dish, main course, meatless meal
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
What I love about wild rice stuffed acorn squash is that it’s a substantial serving. Acorn squash is quite large and since I want this to be the main dish for vegan guests, I did not try and find small ones. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. The recipe below makes four large halves, To add protein for a main course, you could add roasted garbanzo beans.
It’s a beautiful dish that is rustic and colorful. I arranged them on a large platter with fresh sage from the garden. Sage is one of the ingredients and since it’s quite hardy, it survives in the garden until the first hard frost. A little topping of chopped walnuts and dried cranberries add a bit of brightness to the finished dish.
Ingredients for Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
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