Is this stuffed acorn squash pretty or what? I’m really excited to share this recipe with you. Roasted acorn squash halves topped with herbed quinoa make a delicious holiday-worthy main dish. It’s the perfect option if you’re serving vegetarian and gluten-free eaters.
This recipe is simple enough to put together on a relaxed weeknight, too. Pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s make some stuffed squash!
This recipe requires a few steps, but none of them are difficult. You can make the quinoa mixture while the squash is in the oven. Then, stuff the squash and bake until the quinoa turns golden and develops delicious little crispy bits on top.
The filling steals the show in this recipe. It features cranberry-studded quinoa and two kinds of cheese, one creamy and one melty. Chopped parsley and green onion offer lots of irresistible fresh flavor, and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) contribute some savory crunch.
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
I treat my acorn squash the same as I do spaghetti squash—rubbed lightly with olive oil and baked cut-side down so the edges develop some delicious caramelization. Acorn squash bakes up even faster, in as little as 35 minutes.
Then, I stuffed the squash with a modified version of my stuffed sweet potatoes in Love Real Food (page 144). This time, I stirred dried cranberries into the hot quinoa to give them a chance to plump up. I also added some Parmesan for structure and extra flavor, and baked the squash again after stuffing it.
I love how the herbed quinoa mixture turns golden in the oven and develops an almost panko-like, crisp texture on top. It’s so good and contrasts beautifully with the tender squash beneath.
Watch How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chickpeas are Optional
I purposefully omitted the chickpeas from the original stuffing recipe. As written, you should have exactly enough filling to stuff four medium squash halves.
If you’re using particularly large acorn squash or wanting to up the protein content of this meal, you can stir one can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) into the quinoa mixture as described in the recipe notes.
You can easily make this recipe dairy free or vegan—check the recipe notes for suggestions!
My favorite green salad would be the perfect complement to this stuffed squash. It features fresh apple, which pairs beautifully with acorn squash, and a few of the same ingredients—toasted pepitas, dried cranberries and goat cheese. If you make both recipes at once, you’ll use up one standard four-ounce package of goat cheese.
Another beautiful salad option would be my pomegranate and pear green salad with ginger dressing.
Looking for more holiday-worthy vegetarian main dishes and sides? Check out my Thanksgiving recipe roundup for more ideas.
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I hope it’s a big hit at your dinner table.