Smoky Tempeh Stuffed Acorn Squash

Smoky Tempeh Stuffed Acorn Squash - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
Photo by Emily Cooper

Being a vegetarian for nine years made Thanksgiving a little bit of a tease. Between the wafts of roasted turkey, boats of creamy gravy to slather on everything and the fact that most of the dishes were made with chicken stock or with bacon may have pushed me to bend the veggie rules a bit for this one food day of the year.

However, I did my best to make an entree worth sharing the table with the prized poultry.Smoky Tempeh Stuffed Acorn Squash -

Smoky Tempeh Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 2


  • 1 medium acorn squash, cut in half and deseeded
  • 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons water or tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped green onion, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray cut acorn squash with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
  4. While the squash is baking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Add oil and garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  6. Add finely chopped tempeh, and sauté 2 minutes.
  7. Add tomato paste, water, liquid smoke and soy sauce to combine. Remove from heat.
  8. Once squash is cooked, add half of tempeh mixture to each squash.
  9. Sprinkle with green onion and serve.

PRO Tips:

  • Use a sharp, sturdy knife to cut through the acorn squash. The skin is very tough and can be hard to cut through with a dull knife.
  • Be stingy with the liquid smoke. If you’re not used to using liquid smoke, a little goes a long way. Start with a very small amount and add a little more to your taste.
  • Serve this with a dollop of dairy-free (or dairy if non-vegan) plain Greek yogurt.


What if I don’t have liquid smoke?

You can substitute with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika or adobo sauce if you don’t have liquid smoke. You can adjust the amount added to your taste.

Do I have to use tempeh?

If you’re new to tempeh, it can be a little intimidating to use, but really it isn’t. If you don’t have any on hand, or want to use an alternative protein source, you can swap it out for a block of extra firm tofu, 1 ½  cups of cooked lentils, or even a pound of ground turkey if you want to make non-vegan.

How long does it keep in the refrigerator?

If the squash is filled with the tempeh, it can last in the fridge for 3 days. If you keep each separate, it tends to last a little longer (4-5 days). You can always cook the squash ahead of time and make the filling when ready to serve to cut back on prep time.

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Emily Cooper
Emily Cooper, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in central New Jersey. Read her blog, Sinful Nutrition, and connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

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