Courtesy of Rebecca Woodland

Preparation time: 45 minutes for stuffing + 45 minutes roasting time for stuffed squash

This beautiful entrée makes an ideal edible centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. Experiment with different varieties of winter squash/pumpkin. Kabocha, acorn, red kuri, sweet dumpling and turban work well. Roundish pumpkin-type squash (like kabocha) is best presented whole, while smaller squash with obvious segmented indentations (acorn and sweet dumpling) is best served cut in half and stuffed. To double this recipe, use and large pot or Dutch oven, as a rice cooker will not be big enough. Use only artisan sourdough (not what comes in plastic or cellophane). It makes a big difference.

For Stuffing:

Mushroom-Sage olive oil                            

1½ cups Lundberg’s Wild Rice Blend

4 celery stalks (with leaves), chopped          

2½ cups water

1 small onion, diced                                       

3-4 thick slices sourdough bread (up to ½ loaf), torn

4 crimini mushrooms, sliced                          

½ cup pomegranate arils (or more)

About ½ tsp. sea salt                                     

up to 1 cup walnuts, broken  

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced           

1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos + 1 cup water

more Mushroom Sage olive oil                  

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves OR ½ tsp. poultry seasoning


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole squash directly into the oven.
  2. Slice, dice, chop mushrooms, celery, onion, and garlic.
  3. Pour a little Mushroom-Sage olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pot) into the inner pot of a rice cooker (at least a 6-cup rice cooker). Turn it on.
  4. Put onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms into the heated rice cooker. Sprinkle with salt. Stir.
  5. Meanwhile, open the pomegranate. Remove arils. (You will need about half the arils.) Follow demonstration directions on how to do this.
  6. Stir rice cooker ingredients. When onion is translucent, carefully remove the inner pot from the rice cooker and pour contents into a bowl.
  7. Add rice to emptied rice cooker. Add water and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. Cook until all water is absorbed, and rice is tender but not mushy or sticky.
  8. When rice is fully cooked, scoop it all into the bowl with the onions, celery, etc. Add walnuts.
  9. Tear or cut sourdough bread into bite-size chunks. Add to bowl. Sprinkle generously with poultry seasoning. Toss.
  10. In a small jar with tight lid, combine Bragg Liquid Aminos with 1 cup water. Shake. Drizzle this solution over everything.
  11. Add pomegranate arils. Stir to combine. Drizzle with more Mushroom-Sage olive oil. Sprinkle with more poultry seasoning or fresh thyme leaves.
  12. Scoop stuffing into prepared squash. Return the stuffed squash to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until tender. Time depends on the size and density of the squash.
  13. Extra stuffing can be baked separately in a covered casserole for 15 minutes.

For Squash:

  1. When squash is baked enough for an ice pick to penetrate the flesh without force, remove the squash from the oven. (Use oven mitts.) Place squash in an oven-proof serving platter.
  2. For a round squash, slice the top (stem end) and remove this “cap” (like carving a jack-o-lantern). For smaller segmented varieties of squash (like acorn), slice the squash in half along the segmentation, stem to bottom end. Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff inside.
  3. Fill the cavity (where the seeds used to live) with the rice stuffing, slightly rounding the top. Cover with foil or a lid. Stick it back in the oven until squash is fully cooked, tender but not collapsed.
  4. To serve, scoop out some of the squash as you scoop out the stuffing.

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