Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because I get to see family, eat until my heart’s content, and then lay around like a slug watching football until it’s time to go to bed. But being a vegan means I always have to bring my own food! Every year I tell myself I’m going to make something different, and every year I come back to this same recipe! I LOVE this dish for Thanksgiving. It is not only delicious, but it’s also a show stopper! Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” And I get enough compliments on this dish to last me until Valentine’s Day!
The basmati mixed with the sweet cranberries and spicy vegan sausage is simply delicious! If you don’t want to use the Field Roast Farms sausage, you can use Crimini mushrooms instead. The vegan goat cheese is super simple to make, and I usually double the batch. I use half the cheese for this recipe (I also use it in my Mushroom Wellington recipe). And I use the other half of the cheese rolled in herbs as my holiday appetizer. You will need to make the cheese a day in advance. But if you don’t want to make your cheese, Miyoko Schinner makes a Classic Chive Double Cream Cheese that is divine and you could easily substitute.
Usually, I avoid using vegan “meats” from the grocery store. Typically they are highly processed and contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce. But this Field Roast Farms sausage is made 100% from fresh fruit and vegetables! Crafted from apples, Yukon gold potatoes, onions, garlic, sage, and ginger, it is the perfect “meat” for my vegan meal! If you wish to avoid the sausage, you can easily use diced crimini mushrooms instead! Do be aware this sausage is not gluten free.
For the roasted acorn squash:
- 2 large acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- Pinch of thyme
For the filling:
- 1 tablespoons olive oil (can use vegetable stock, if oil free)
- 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple & Sage Sausage links, cases removed and diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 1/2 cup prepared rice (I used white basmati)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 cup herbed vegan goat cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan (I use Follow Your Heart)
- Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Wash and dry squash. Slice squash in half from tip to stem and scoop out seeds.
- Place the squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pinch of thyme. Roast flesh side down until almost done, about 25-30 minutes. Remove squash from oven and set aside.
- While squash is cooking heat medium size skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or stock, if oil free) to pan. Once the oil begins to shimmer add diced onion, sausage, and dried cranberries. Add 1 tsp each thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley. Sauté until onions are translucent and sausage has browned about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add prepared rice. Stir until rice is warmed through.
- Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the vegan goat cheese. Season with salt and black pepper.
- When done, remove squash from oven and reduce heat to 350°.
- Divide mixture between squash halves. Top each squash with vegan parmesan cheese and return to oven. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm.
The sausage mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.