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Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and Sage

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and Sage | A Couple Cooks

Since the internet and magazines are already flooded with instructions for the perfect turkey, our tradition each November is to create a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish. Every gathering of family and friends has a variety of diets, so we know many of you are looking for something meatless, or just something different after countless years of turkey. We also try to focus on healthy ingredients with tons of flavor, to combat the traditional heavy, calorie-laden feast.

This year, we had a heck of a time coming up with the Thanksgiving entree. We’d been resisting stuffed squash, since that’s been our Thanksgiving entree every year (see below). However, stuffed squash is also a perfect Thanksgiving main dish: it’s homey, autumnal, and so, so good for you. So we did it again: we made stuffed squash. Because if the rest of the country eats turkey every year, why not have a tradition of stuffed squash?

A few differences this year: we used delicata squash, our favorite, instead of acorn.  It’s a yellow oblong squash that’s become widely available in the past few years, and its sweet taste is delightful. For the stuffing, we combined a modest amount of brown butter with sage and wild rice, along with some vegetables and sharp cheddar cheese. This one was a winner, in our book.

This weekend, we tested out the recipes you’ll see this week on friends Hayley, Lindsey, and their husbands. It was such fun to enjoy them together with friends, and it made us especially thankful: for inspirational friends, good company, laughter, and the joy of sharing a meal together. May your Thanksgiving be full of people who give you joy!

Thanksgiving Planning

Below are our Thanksgiving menus from this year (spoiler alert!), as well as the past two years. Also, check out our Thanksgiving Pinboard!

And don’t forget our *new gift shop* for Thanksgiving cooking tools and holiday gift ideas!

Thanksgiving 2014
Pomegranate Cider Spritzer
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and Sage
Garlic and Chive Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pecans
Massaged Kale Salad with Apple and Pomegranate
Poached Pears with Pecan Granola and Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving 2013
Apple, Walnut, and Savoy Cabbage Salad
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pistachio Stuffing
Mini Bourbon Apple Pies

Thanksgiving 2012
Roasted Root Vegetables
Grape and Walnut Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
Whole Grain Classic Stuffing
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Apple Pomegranate Galette

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and Sage
Serves: 6 to 8
What You Need
  • 1 ½ cups wild rice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 6 delicata squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried chili powder
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 10 leaves sage
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
What To Do
  1. In a medium pot, combine 1 ½ cups wild rice, 3 ½ cups water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 to 50 minutes until tender. Let sit for 10 minutes before draining any extra liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash the squash, then cut each in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Rub each squash lightly with olive oil on both sides (about ½ tablespoon per squash), then lightly sprinkle with a pinch each of ground fennel, oregano, and chili powder, and kosher salt.
  3. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork.
  4. Mince the shallot and 3 cloves garlic. Cut 2 carrots into ¼-inch pieces. Remove the stems from the kale and chop it into thin strips. Thinly slice the sage.
  5. Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it becomes brown, a few minutes. Once browned, lower the heat to medium and immediately add carrot, shallot and garlic; sauté until the carrot is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and kale and sasautéute 2 more minutes. Add the rice and ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Remove from heat and spoon the rice mixture into the wells in the squash. Top with roasted pepitas.


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  • Reply
    kristie {birch and wild}
    November 9, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I love stuffed squash. I have never made a version like this, but it looks like it would be a good hit at Christmas dinner. Thank you!

  • Reply
    dani | theloveofvanilla
    November 10, 2014 at 4:03 am

    oooo I love all types of stuffed vegetables… mmm yum.

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    November 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Oh WOW, this looks fantastic! We had Canadian Thanksgiving back in October but I don’t need to wait for a holiday.. I’m making this on the weekend!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I love this so much! Such a fun way to stuff squash!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    November 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I love that you do a whole Thanksgiving menu for all of us. Thank you!! This stuffed delicata looks delicious and I like that you keep your meal plan rich and satisfying without being depressingly heavy!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    November 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I never get tired of squash and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. This stuffed squash is beautiful and a perfect Thanksgiving meatless main course!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
    November 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Holy yum! I love that you stuffed the delicata squash…I see it in salads all the time, but haven’t seen many that are stuffed! Your whole Thanksgiving meal sounds crazy good :)

  • Reply
    November 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    this looks gorgeous! wild rice is so nutty and flavourful and it think the texture difference between it and the roasted delicata would be so delicious.

  • Reply
    Cara's Healthy Cravings
    November 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I love everything about this! It looks beautiful and I am certain it will taste phenomenal. I have pinned it so I don’t forget to make it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I really love the sound of this – the flavours you’ve used in the stuffing sound so delicious with a perfect balance between good for you and that little bit celebratory.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
    November 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    The browned butter and sage sound like perfect companions to sweet squash. This will find a home on our table very soon.

  • Reply
    Ally @ Om Nom Ally
    November 14, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Delicata is my favourite too, it’s the only pumpkin I grow every year :)
    I would be very happy being served this meal over the holidays, it looks so homey and nourishing. Looks like a total winner to me!

  • Reply
    Sonali- The Foodie Physician
    November 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    This is such a perfect vegetarian main dish!! I just included it in my Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup :)

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! Delicious, wholesome, and perfectly autumnal. Thanks for another great recipe, guys!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting us know :-)

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