Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Israeli Couscous, apples, dried cranberries, pistachios, raisins and drizzled with maple tahini sauce. This is a great vegetarian/vegan meal to serve your guests for Thanksgiving!

cut acorn squash stuffed with israeli couscous and garnished with fresh herbs

Thanksgiving is only a few days away! Have you guys already planned your menu?

I have some fantastic vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes on my blog and I did a round-up last year too. Don’t forget to check that out for some inspiration.

So before it’s Thanksgiving day, I wanted to share one main Thanksgiving vegetarian main dish with you guys. I know there are tons of vegetarian options when it comes to sides and appetizers but it’s the mains where people mostly struggle.

I shared this Whole Roasted Cauliflower Tikka last year which would make a beautiful vegetarian center piece. And today’s recipe is another favorite!

These roasted Acorn Squash are stuffed with Israeli Couscous and topped with a delicious maple tahini sauce!

You guys this is so flavorful and so good! I am sure your vegan and vegetarian guests will love these.

Okay before I talk about the recipe, I have a question. Why are all these squash and pumpkins so tough to peel and chop? I seriously can’t deal with them. I do always roast them first so that it’s easier for me to peel off the skin.

But even cutting off the stems and cutting them in half feels like quite a task. Anyone has any tips/ideas for this? I would love to know.

And now let’s first talk about the stuffing, because that forms the base of the recipe.

israeli couscous salad in a wooden salad bowl

This Israeli Couscous

✓ has apples, dried cranberries, pistachios, golden raisins (so festive!)

✓ fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley

✓ spiced with curry powder

You can eat this couscous as such because it’s really good. But to make it Thanksgiving worthy, I stuffed it inside a roasted acorn squash.

Doesn’t it look pretty?

I will be honest, I am not the biggest acorn squash fan around. My favorite is actually the butternut squash and no wonder I have so many recipe using the butternut squash on the blog and this is the first one with acorn!

But now after this recipe, I have made it a point to share more acorn squash recipe with you guys. They deserve more! Don’t they?

maple tahini dressing drizzled with a spoon over stuffed acorn squash

While the stuffed acorn squash with Israeli couscous is great on it’s own, I drizzled it with a maple tahini sauce which made it so much better. I highly recommend not skipping the final drizzle on top.

This dressing/sauce is super easy to make. Just combine tahini, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and  pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Then add some water to thin it out.

I kept the sauce thick here and added only around 1 to 2 tablespoons water. If you want a thinner sauce for your salad, add 3 to 4 tablespoons water. This actually makes a great dressing for just about any salad.

These Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash

✓ makes a great vegetarian or vegan main dish for Thanksgiving or any holiday

✓ is easy to put together and packed with flavors!

✓ a delicious meal which even the meat eaters would enjoy

✓ the stuffing can be made in advance so that on the day of the dinner, you only have to roast the squash

✓ the flavors are festive and there’s a lot of texture/flavors going on with the sweet raisins, tart cranberries, curry powder, crunchy pistachios and apples!

Start off by roasting the squash and while it’s getting done, prepare everything else. Once the acorn squash is roasted, simply fill them up, drizzle with the sauce and serve.

three halves of stuffed acorn squash on a black round board

You may also add some pomegranate arils on top to make it look even more festive!

 

Method

1- Trim the ends and then cut each acorn squash into half. I cut them lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and then brush each half with olive oil.

2- Sprinkle salt and pepper on each half and bake the squash at 400 F degrees for around 40 to 45 minutes.

3- While squash is in the oven, make the filling. Heat 1.5 teaspoons olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until softened.

4- Then add the Israeli couscous and cook for another 1 minute.

vegan stuffed acorn squash with israeli couscous recipe step by step pictures

5- Stir in 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir.

6- Add water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower to heat to low-medium, cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

7- After 10 minutes, remove pan from heat and let it sit (covered) for 3 to 4 minutes. Then remove the lid/plate and fluff the couscous with a fork. If the pearls are clumping together, you may add a teaspoon of olive oil at this point.

8- Transfer the prepared Israeli couscous to a large bowl and then add chopped apples, cranberries, raisins and pistachios to it.

vegan stuffed acorn squash with israeli couscous recipe step by step pictures

9- Squeeze in lemon juice and also add the black pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste).

10- Add in the chopped cilantro, parsley and toss to combine everything. The stuffing is now ready.

11- To make the maple tahini dressing, mix everything- tahini, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water together until smooth.

I keep this thicker than what I would usually do for salads. So I added only 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to thin it out.

12- Take the acorn squash halves out of the oven once done and fill each half with the prepared Israeli couscous.

vegan stuffed acorn squash with israeli couscous recipe step by step pictures

Drizzle each half with the maple tahini sauce and serve these stuffed acorn squash as a main vegetarian/vegan dish for your Thanksgiving dinner!

stuffed acorn squash with a spoon and another half of the squash in the background

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Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Israeli Couscous, apples, dried cranberries, raisins and pistachios. Drizzled with a maple tahini sauce, these make a great vegan/vegetarian dish for the holidays!

cut acorn squash stuffed with israeli couscous and garnished with fresh herbs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword stuffed acorn squash
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 halves
Calories: 296 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 3 small acorn squash, around 600-700 grams each

Israeli Couscous

  • 1.5 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped, around 40 grams
  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous, 142 grams
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided, or to taste
  • 1.5 cups water , or vegetable broth
  • 2 medium apples, chopped, around 180 grams
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 large lemon, juice of. or 2 small lemons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Maple Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin out the sauce

Instructions

Roast The Squash

  1. Trim the ends and then cut each acorn squash into half. I cut them lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and then brush each half with olive oil.


  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each half and bake the squash at 400 F degrees for around 40 to 45 minutes.


Israeli Couscous Filling

  1. While the squash is in the oven, make the filling. Heat 1.5 teaspoons olive oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until softened.


  2. Then add the Israeli couscous and cook for another 1 minute.

  3. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir.


  4. Add water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower to heat to low-medium, cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.


  5. After 10 minutes, remove pan from heat and let it sit (covered) for 3 to 4 minutes. Then remove the lid/plate and fluff the couscous with a fork. If the pearls are clumping together, you may add a teaspoon of olive oil at this point.


  6. Transfer the prepared Israeli couscous to a large bowl and then add chopped apples, cranberries, raisins and pistachios to it.

  7. Squeeze in lemon juice and also add the black pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste).


  8. Add in the chopped cilantro, parsley and toss to combine everything. The stuffing is now ready.


Maple Tahini Sauce

  1. To make the maple tahini dressing, mix everything- tahini, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water together until smooth.

    I keep this thicker than what I would usually do for salads. So I added only 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to thin it out.


Serve The Stuffed Acorn Squash

  1. Take the acorn squash halves out of the oven once done and fill each half with the prepared Israeli couscous.

  2. Drizzle each half with the maple tahini sauce and serve these stuffed acorn squash as a main vegetarian/vegan dish for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Nutrition Facts
Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash
Amount Per Serving
Calories 296 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 303mg 13%
Potassium 278mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 49g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 18g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 3.5%
Vitamin C 8.8%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 7.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Israeli Couscous, apples, dried cranberries, raisins and pistachios. Drizzled with a maple tahini sauce, these make a great vegan/vegetarian dish for the holidays! #vegan #holidays #vegetarian #acornsquash

2 thoughts on “Israeli Couscous Stuffed Acorn Squash

  1. Manali, how gorgeous do these stuffed acorn look.. My husband will go all gaga over these.. He loves the couscous and everything that you have added in it. SIMPLY AMAZING!!

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