Wild rice stuffed acorn squash with cranberries, pecans, and pancetta recipe

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When the leaves turn colors and the weather turns cool, this sweet and savory stuffed squash hits the spot. Pancetta is a cured but unsmoked Italian bacon that usually comes in thin, round spiraled slices. If you can’t find it, you can certainly use smoky American bacon. You will likely not get any complaints.

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes


  • 31½-pound acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage
  • 2 cups cooked brown and/or wild rice
  • ⅔ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add ½-inch water to the bottom of a large roasting pan. Arrange the squash halves, cut sides down, in the roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn squash halves cut sides up. Brush cut sides of squash with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes more or just until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook and stir pancetta over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta from skillet. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add onion to drippings in skillet; cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add spinach, sage, and the crisped pancetta. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in the cooked rice, pecans, and cranberries. Mix well.
  4. Divide rice mixture among squash halves, filling each cavity with about ⅔ cup rice mixture. Drizzle with remaining melted butter. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes more or until heated through.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Nutritional Value Per Serving
462 kcal
Calories from Fat:
207 kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
23 g
Trans Fat
0.0 g
27 mg
391 mg
63 g
Dietary Fiber
7 g
9 g
* Above mentioned %DVs (Percent Daily Values) are based on 2,000 calorie food intake.

DVs (Daily values) may be vary depending upon individuals daily calorie needs. Above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide for approximation. They are not allfoodchef.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average weight of 194 lbs. and ages of 19 to 50 years.

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