Vegan & Vegetarian

Kidney Bean, Root Vegetable and Barley Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash

This easy, comforting and delicious vegan dish is the perfect meal for a cold day. Made with kidney beans, root vegetables, barley, cumin and chile powder, this hearty chili-stuffed acorn squash is sure to please everyone! Not only is it tasty, but it’s also nutritious and surprisingly quick and easy to make.

Ingredients used:

  • 0.5 cup - Dried kidney beans - rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 7 cups - Water - divided
  • 4 cups - Tiny pearled barley
  • 3 16 ounce - Acorn squash - or larger (20-oz)
  • 1 teaspoon - Olive oil
  • 0.5 cup - Diced onions
  • 0.5 cup - Diced carrot
  • 0.33 cup - Diced daikon or celeriac or salsify
  • 0.33 cup - Diced taro or rutabaga or parsnip
  • 0.33 cup - Diced butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp - Ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp - Pure red chile powder
  • 2 cups - Canned tomatoes - drained and diced
  • 1.5 cups - Low-sodium broth
  • 0.5 cup - Sliced scallions
  • 0.5 teaspoon - Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp - Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 - - Scallions (optional) - for garnish

Recipe steps:

  • Place the beans in a saucepan with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the beans and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate saucepan, cook the barley with the remaining 3 cups of water over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Drain the barley and add to the bowl with the beans. Toss together.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place in an oven-proof baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/4 inch up the sides of the squash and cover with aluminum foil. Par-bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and scoop out the seeds and a little of the flesh, leaving about a 1-inch thickness of flesh in the squash. Set aside and reduce the oven temperature to 375F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions, carrots, daikon, taro and butternut squash. Sweat over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, chile powder and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Add the broth, scallions, and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the cilantro. Thoroughly stir the vegetable mixture into the bean and barley mixture.
  • Spoon the filling into the par-baked acorn squash and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  • Remove from the oven and place each squash on a serving plate. Angle the squash a little so the filling flows out onto the plate. Place the scallions upright on one side of the squash to garnish, and serve immediately.

This chili-stuffed acorn squash is a hearty, comforting meal that is sure to hit the spot. It is easy to make and is filled with nutritious ingredients. Serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a green salad for a complete, balanced meal that is sure to satisfy everyone in the family.