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Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash is an easy, healthy dinner. This time of the year, we are all looking for hearty, filling meals that are also good for us. This healthy stuffed squash recipe uses quinoa and spinach, which means it is also gluten-free. Another option is stuffed acorn squash with sausage for the meat-eaters in the family.

acorn squash on white platter

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vegetarian stuffed acorn squash

Stuffed acorn squash is one of my favorite fall dinners.  It’s delicious and filling without leaving me feeling like I’m the one who is stuffed instead of the squash. This is comfort food that doesn’t weigh you down. It’s hearty without being heavy.

close up photo of vegetarian stuffed acorn squash

This is a very flexible recipe.  You can substitute almost anything, you can add ground turkey, ground beef or sausage if you like.  If you are vegan, leave the sprinkling of cheese off and this recipe is perfect for a vegan diet.

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa

How do you cook stuffed acorn squash?

The first step in this process is to roast the squash. You’ll need a chef knife to get through the squash, a small knife will not do the trick here.  I cut the very top of the squash off first and then stand it up and slice down through it.

Personally, I find this the easiest method for getting through the squash cleanly and quickly.  One of the best tips I have ever received about cutting round or oval fruits and vegetables was this – Give yourself a flat surface so it can’t roll around on you.  It is much safer.

Has this ever happened to you?  Let’s say it’s a squash… you try to cut into it and the thing just starts rolling around and you nearly cut your finger off. I speak from experience.

This is why you cut a piece off to give yourself a flat surface. It can’t roll, which means all your fingers will stay attached. Once it’s sliced in half, we just scoop out the seeds, season it and send it to the sauna.

stuffed acorn squash half on plate

What can I use instead of quinoa?

If quinoa isn’t your favorite, but you would like to make this stuffed squash, you can swap out rice. You could also use wheat berries or farro in place of the quinoa.

I made a sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe that uses wild rice and sausage as the filling. The recipe is fantastic and it’s always a hit.

acorn squash on large white platter

One of the things that I really like about this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe is the flexibility.  We all have a smattering of leftovers in the fridge. Instead of letting them go to waste, incorporate that leftover rice or that container of uneaten veggies.

This is the perfect way to use up those little bits.  It bulks up your filling and you didn’t have to cook anything extra, which is a bonus. We call this “tidying up” around here.  I don’t waste much.

Whenever we have leftover veggies, grains or even chicken – I try to turn it into something so I don’t waste food.  I’m watching my pennies and I’d prefer not to watch them go into the garbage.

vegetarian stuffed quinoa on white plate

Thanksgiving recipe

This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash would also make a great addition to your holiday table.  If you are hosting dinner and you have vegetarian guests coming to your thanksgiving table, this is a delicious option you could offer.

I love serving roast acorn squash at Thanksgiving (the sides are my favorite part). I’m not a huge fan of turkey, so I always fill up on dressing/stuffing, vegetables and mashed potatoes. That being said, I do like a turkey sandwich the next day with lots of mayo!

What do I need to make this quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe?

To make this acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, you’ll need a few things:

  • Sheet pan – the most used item in my kitchen
  • 8 inch Chef’s knife – This knife is a STEAL at this price. These are the kitchen knives that we have for community use.
  • White rectangular serving platter – this is a GREAT platter for parties, holidays, cheese boards, etc.  The built in “handles” are a lifesaver when picking it up and setting it down.
  • Quinoa – Most markets carry it now, but if yours isn’t one of them, I’ve got your back.

don’t forget to pin it!

Vegetarian stuffed acorn squash on white platter

Do you have a Pook’s Pantry board on Pinterest? It’s a great timesaver when you are looking for that recipe you saved, like this one!
Yield: 6 people

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

close up photo of vegetarian stuffed acorn squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 acorn squash, halved and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the filling:

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup spinach, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, optional
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter , or olive oil (vegan)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, omit if vegan
  • 1 tsp salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Sprinkle cut acorn squash with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast cut side down for 40 minutes at 375°F

Make the filling

  1. While the squash is roasting, heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tbsp butter (or oil).  Add the diced onion and cook until translucent (about 8 minutes). 
  2. Combine cooked quinoa, cooked spinach, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, vegetable broth, cooked onions and 1 tsp salt to a large bowl.  Toss to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
  3. When squash is easily pierced with a knife, remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  4. Carefully turn over and stuff each with an equal amount of quinoa filling.

Roast the STUFFED squash

  1. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, if using.  Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Notes

If your acorn squash is on the large size, you may need 3 cups of quinoa to fill each.

If they are small, 2 cups should be enough.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 473Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1422mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

Did you make this recipe?

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what can I serve with this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash?

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