Keep a few key ingredients like whole acorn squash, frozen ground turkey, wild rice and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs on hand, and you can whip up this impressive, fully-balanced main any day of the week. The recipe also calls for mushrooms, but you can use whatever veggie you have on hand (I’ve used spinach, kale, even cubed beets. Anything that’s not too watery when sauteed will work well). Vegetarian or vegan? Omit the turkey and replace with more veggies.
P.S. If you’re preparing a Thanksgiving feast for one or two guests this year, you can serve this as your main dish: It contains turkey and squash, and the wild rice, shallots and herbs impart a stuffing-like flavor. Get your hands on some gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie and your feast is complete!
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- 2 acorn squash, halved vertically with seeds and strings scooped out
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ cup cooked wild rice (you can prepare it yourself or buy it pre-cooked, but make sure it does not contain soy or other allergens)
- 1 cup button or shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp soy-free Earth Balance
- 1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (I like Ian's Gluten-Free Original Panko Breadcrumbs, which is one of the only options that does not contain eggs)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place squash halves, cut side up, on a parchment-lined or lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Spray or brush the squash flesh with ½ tbsp olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling and topping: Heat remaining 1 ½ tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.
- Add diced shallot and cook until translucent but not brown, approximately 4 minutes.
- Add ground turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking until it’s light brown, about 7 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and wild rice, stir to combine with other ingredients, then add thyme, sage, salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring often, for about another 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and turkey is nice and brown and cooked all the way through.
- Melt soy-free Earth Balance in a small saute pan over medium heat.
- Add gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and toss with butter, then allow to cook in pan for about 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring often to avoid burning.
- Remove squash from oven, stuff each one with about ¼ of the turkey mixture and top with toasted panko.