Baked Acorn Squash with Barley Pilaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
An easy and stunning recipe for the fall harvest table!
For the baked acorn squash
  • 2 large acorn squash
For the mushroom stock:
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • ¼ dried mushrooms (I used dried shiitake)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 quarts filtered water
For the mushroom gravy
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 quart mushroom stock
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
For the pilaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint brown button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley
  • 2-4 cups mushroom stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 1 sprig chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (for garnish)
For the acorn squash
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
  4. When done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to stuff.
For the mushroom stock
  1. In a large sauce pan heat the oil and add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and dried mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are slightly browned.
  2. Add the Thyme and filtered water and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Strain and discard the vegetables and herbs, saving the stock for later.
For the mushroom gravy
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute until just golden and then add the flour. Saute gently on low with the flour for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Whisk mixture well to remove any lumps.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking frequently. Sift in the potato starch a few minutes before the end of the cooking time to help the gravy thicken. Cook longer if you like a thicker gravy.
For the Barley Pilaf
  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the mushrooms onion and garlic. Saute until golden.
  2. Add the barley and 2 cups of the mushroom stock. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes. Gradually adding more stock as needed. When the barley is done it should be tender, but still has a natural chewiness! All the liquid should be cooked off. Avoid stirring the mixture too frequently during the cooking process.
  4. At the end of the cooking time, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chopped pecans and herbs.
To serve
  1. Stuff the barley mixture into the hot baked acorn squash. Top with gravy and pomegranate seeds.
Recipe by Plant Craft at