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This Cheesy Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash makes the perfect appetizer or side dish for Thanksgiving. The sweetness of the acorn squash pairs perfectly with the nutty, savory cheese, rice and bacon.
Ingredients for Cheesy Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Ralston Family Farms™ Golden Rice, 24 oz.
- 2 acorn squash
- Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Half-and-half (Can also use cream or milk)
- Gruyère cheese, shredded
- Cooked, crumbled bacon
How to make the best baked acorn squash
Step by step instructions on how to make oven-baked acorn squash in recipe card below.
Start by cooking the Ralston Family Farms Golden Rice. It’s easy! Add the measured rice and water to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
Remove the rice from the heat and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes and you’ll have the fluffiest, most delicious rice.
Cut each acorn squash in half . You may need to slice off a small section of the bottom to ensure it will lay flat in the baking dish. Scoop out all the seeds and fibers from the center.
Next, start layering the ingredients.
- Baste the inside of the acorn squash with Dijon mustard and sprinkle with garlic.
- Spoon in the cooked Ralston Family Farms Golden rice.
- Add half of the cheese.
- Pour in half-and-half, cream or milk.
- Add remainder of the cheese.
- Sprinkle on crumbled bacon.
Now it’s time to bake the stuffed acorn squash and since it needs to be covered tightly with foil, you’ll want to use a baking dish with higher sides to help keep the foil from touching and sticking to the cheese.
Bake with foil on for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. The squash will be fork-tender and all the cheesy rice goodness will blend together.
Use tongs to carefully pick up and transfer the squash to your serving platter.
All that’s left to do is provide forks and dig in.
Every bite should have some tender squash and cheesy rice filling in it.
Cheesy rice stuffed acorn squash can be served as appetizers or entrees — your choice!
Stuffed acorn squash recipe variations and tips
Can I use another kind of cheese?
If you prefer, you could use Mozzarella or Swiss but they’re not quite as flavorful and melty-perfect as Gruyere.
Can I use instant rice or traditional rice?
Technically yes, but I promise you that using sustainably grown, milled and packaged Ralston Farms Golden Rice will make for a much creamier, more tender grain and an overall better taste experience. I really like the golden-nutty texture. Plus, it’s Non-GMO and has a shorter cooking time than traditional rice, making it as convenient as it is healthy. It’s great for quick after-work or school night meals.
Where can I find Ralston Farms Golden Rice?
Publix! They have the Golden Rice, Red Rice, Natures Blend Rice, Jasmine Rice and Basmati Rice varieties.
Publix Limited Time offer BOGO: Buy one Ralston Family Farms Rice product and get one free from 10/29 through 11/6. Products: RFF Red Rice (16 oz) RFF Purple Rice (16 oz) RFF Golden Rice (24 oz) RFF Natures Blend Rice (24 oz) RFF Jasmine Rice (24 oz) RFF Basmati Rice (24 oz)
Can I add other ingredients?
Of course! Use sausage or ground beef in place of bacon, add diced zucchini, baste with olive oil instead of Dijon mustard and season with Herbes de Provence… the possibilities are endless.
One of my favorite recipe variations uses Thanksgiving leftovers. Add a bit of chopped turkey, stuffing and cranberries to the cheesy rice mixture for a memorable after-Thanksgiving meal.
Ralston Family Farms Golden Rice is absolutely perfect for fall recipes and even though Thanksgiving is still a month away, it’s never too early to make your recipe plans with Ralston Family Farms rice so take advantage of the following limited-time BOGO offer at Publix. (See my Thanksgiving recipe variation above.)
Buy one Ralston Family Farms Rice product and get one free from 10/29 through 11/6. Products: RFF Red Rice (16 oz) RFF Purple Rice (16 oz) RFF Golden Rice (24 oz) RFF Natures Blend Rice (24 oz) RFF Jasmine Rice (24 oz) RFF Basmati Rice (24 oz)
Cheesy Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash
- ½ cup Ralston Family Farms Golden Rice
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced fine
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups Gruyere cheese shredded
- 1 cup half-and-half (may substitute cream or milk)
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare Ralston Family Farms Golden Rice according to package directions using 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water.
- Meanwhile, eat cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the inside fibers and seeds. You may need to cut the pointed bottom of the squash so that it can lay flat in the baking dish. Baste each of the four halves with the dijon mustard then sprinkle the garlic bits evenly into each half.
- Start layering the ingredients for each half starting with about 2 heaping tablespoons rice, 2 heaping tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup half-and-half, 2 more heaping tablespoons cheese and 1 strip crumbled bacon. (There may be some filling ingredients left depending on the size of your acorn squash.)
- Place the acorn halves carefully into a baking dish with high sides so that you can cover the pan with foil tightly (leaving the foil tented so it doesn't stick to the cheese). Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes. Enjoy!