I am all about trying, loving and often times enhancing recipes based on my personal taste.  This recipe is courtesy of Half Baked Harvest, but I am not a real chipotle fan, so I left out the chipotle and the heavy cinnamon from the original recipe and turned up the brown sugar on the acorn squash.  I also truly layered the flavors – never forgetting the salt – and this dish was absolutely fabulous.  I made mine gluten free by using the GF bread crumbs you can by at most any grocery.  This dish might even make my Thanksgiving table this season.


Wild Rice and Havarti-Stuffed Acorn Squash


For Squash:

2 medium acorn squash, halved through the stem and seeded

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


For Wild Rice:

1 cup uncooked wild rice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cups fresh spinach

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


For Brown Butter Bread Crumbs:

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 cup panko bread crumbs (gluten free is fine)

2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, finely chopped

1 cup shredded Havarti cheese

Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for topping


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush the cut sides of the squash with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh is fork-tender. Remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and brush the liquid from the baking dish around the flesh of the squash, coating the squash well and trying to use all the liquid.


Meanwhile, make the rice. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepot over high heat. Add the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Add the olive oil and spinach and toss to combine. Cover the pot again and allow the spinach to wilt, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the dill, pistachios and cranberries. Season with salt and pepper.


While the squash and rice cook, make the bread crumbs. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook until it is browned and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk the butter for about 30 seconds more. Stir in the bread crumbs and pistachios.


Stuff the roasted squash halves with wild rice and top with Havarti. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the squash is crisp. Remove from the oven and top with bread crumbs and fresh parsley before serving.


Courtesy of the Half-Baked Harvest Cookbook