Splenda Sweet Swaps

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The side dish you never knew you needed.

Cranberry Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Wedges by Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN.

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes



Cooking spray

2 acorn squash (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)

2 medium shallots, finely chopped (~ ½ cup)

1 tablespoon chopped sage, plus more for garnish

¾ cup uncooked basmati wild rice mix

1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat with cooking spray.

2. Cut acorn squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds*. Cut each squash in half again. You should have 8 wedges.

3. 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® Sweetener and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast in oven until tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons SPLENDA® Sweetener. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Toss rice with roasted cranberries, pecans, remaining salt, and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

8. 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.


Nutrition Info Per Serving

Serves 8

Calories 200
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 210 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 3 g

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