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A large, roasted kabocha squash centerpiece, in a casserole dish, stuffed with a rice/tempeh mixture, on a dark background.

Stuffed Kabocha Squash Centerpiece

If you need a show piece for your holiday table, I have got you covered! I worked with Earthbound Farm to put together this gorgeous and delicious Stuffed Kabocha Squash Centerpiece that’s great for any special fall occasion.
Course Dinner, Entree, Holiday
Cuisine Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, nut-free option, soy-free option, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Jackie Sobon of Vegan Yack Attack


  • Casserole Dish


Roasted Squash

  • 1 large squash roughly 5 pounds (2268 g)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 carrot washed well and chopped
  • 1 parsnip peeled and chopped
  • 1 large stick celery chopped
  • 8 ounces (225 g) tempeh*
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) short-grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) vegan chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 gala apple cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cups (125 g) loosely packed Earthbound Farm Spring Mix, divided
  • 1/2 cup (52 g) chopped walnuts*, plus more for salad
  • 1/4 cup (27 g) dried cranberries
  • Your favorite salad dressing


  • For the squash, preheat oven to 400F, and have ready a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Slice the top 1-inch (or so) off of the squash, to create a lid, then scoop out the insides and discard them. Or, clean and save the seeds for roasting or planting. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, then rub it on all cut surfaces of the squash.
  • Pierce squash and lid with a fork, several times, then place them in the casserole dish. Add a 1/4-inch layer of water to the dish, then place in the oven to roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  • While the squash is roasting, warm 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, carrot, parsnip, and celery to the pot, stirring to coat veggies in oil. Using your hands, crumble the tempeh into the pot, then sauté mixture for 3 minutes.
  • Next, add rice, toasting with mixture for 2 minutes, then add broth, apple, poultry seasoning, and pepper, stirring to combine. Cover with lid, bring the mixture to a boil, then adjust heat to low-medium and simmer, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and liquid absorbed. Turn heat off and stir 2 cups (50 g) Earthbound Farm Spring Mix and walnuts into the stuffing, then season with salt, to taste.
  • Once the squash is roasted through, fill it with the rice stuffing, cover with “lid,” then cool on a rack for 15 minutes before surrounding the base of the squash with the remaining greens, extra walnuts, and dried cranberries. Serve while warm, with salad dressing on the side.


Note: Substitute the tempeh with a 15 ounce-can of white beans, drained and rinsed, for a soy-free option. Substitute the walnuts with pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.