Looking for a new dish that will impress your guests this Thanksgiving? Try these cranberry rice stuffed acorn squash wedges. This dish, courtesy of Splenda, packs a delicious mix of savory and sweet flavors—without loads of added sugar—making it a great appetizer or side. The best part? It doesn’t require a lot of work day of. The recipe serves eight people and takes less than an hour to make (20 minutes prep time; 30 minutes cook time). Just dust off your oven and prepare to wow everyone with this tasty treat. Plus, cranberries have so many health benefits you’ll feel thankful for.
2 acorn squashes (1 ½ to 2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (~ 6 ounces)
½ cup toasted chopped pecans
2 medium shallots, finely chopped (~ ½ cup)
1 tablespoonchopped sage, plus more for garnish
¾ cup uncooked basmati wild rice mix
1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Cut acorn squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds*. Cut each squash in half again. You should have 8 wedges.
Place the squash wedges cut-side up on one baking sheet and lightly brush the insides and edges with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle wedges with 1 tablespoon SPLENDA®Brown Sugar Blend and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast in oven until tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons SPLENDA®Brown Sugar Blend. Toss mixture with cranberries and spread on the second baking sheet. Roast in oven 10 minutes until the cranberries have started to soften and burst.
While the cranberries are in the oven, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chopped sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add rice and broth to saucepan and raise heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, stir once, then cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes (or according to package directions). Transfer rice to a bowl and let cool about 5 minutes.
Toss rice with roasted cranberries, pecans, remaining salt, and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Place roasted squash wedges on a serving platter and carefully spoon the cranberry rice into the center of each squash wedge. Sprinkle with additional chopped sage, if desired, and serve.
Microwave squash for 2 to 3 minutes to soften before cutting.
Squash seeds can be tossed with olive oil and roasted.