Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Squash season is in full swing and we love experimenting with different varieties and adding them to our weekly rotation. This Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash is perfect all Fall long when you are craving something sweet and savory.

I love when different squash is in season. They are so versatile and can be enjoyed cooked as is, stuffed with various fillings, or baked inside casseroles. I love making stuffed squash especially when I feel like I haven’t been eating the best. Turn acorn squash into an edible bowl with this nutrient-packed recipe that’s vegetarian-friendly and perfect for when you’re craving a comforting meal. The filling can be prepped ahead of time for easy assembly.

Nutrition Tip: Quinoa has been eaten for thousands of years. Though some people think of it as a grain, it’s really a seed. Unlike most plant foods, it’s also a complete protein.

This particular stuffed acorn squash recipe is loaded with Fall flavors. Pears, maple syrup, persimmons, and gouda chees pairs together to create a mouthwatering dish that our whole family enjoyed. I actually made these for my lunch for the week, but you could make a salad to serve for a complete dinner for the family.

How to make stuffed acorn squash

Key Ingredients for this Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

What we love about Acorn Squash

If you have had acorn squash, you know that it has wonderful flavor! It is a great combo of both sweet and savory so can be used in various recipes. Acorn squash is rich in many anti-oxidants that can help protect against heart disease, certain cancers, and arthritis. It is also loaded with Vitamin A which is great for your vision health. Now that is just a few of the awesome benefits of eating acorn squash. So next time you are at the market or store, grab an acorn squash and give it a try!

How to prepare Acorn Squash

Cutting and preparing acorn squash can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but with a few simple tips, you’ll be a pro in no time. First, make sure you have a sharp, sturdy knife and a stable cutting board. Wash the squash thoroughly and dry it with a clean towel. Then, place the squash on the cutting board and slice it in half from stem to bottom. If the stem is too tough to cut through, you can microwave the whole squash for a minute or two to soften it slightly. Once halved, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center of each half. If the squash is difficult to hold steady, you can cut a small slice off the bottom to create a flat surface. Your acorn squash is now ready to stuff and bake!

For more on Acorn Squash, check out our Produce Tips Page

how to prepare acorn squash

How to make this Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

First wash and prep the acorn squash. Brush the insides with 1 tsp. olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Then place on a baking sheet and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft.

While the squash is baking, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Then add in the celery, pear, persimmon, and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Next add the cooked quinoa, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a sauce pan and stir for about 2-3 minutes.

Scoop the mixture into the baked acorn squash halves. Top with the gouda cheese and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Enjoy hot!

Make sure to PIN IT!

the best quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Ingredient Substitutions for Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you can’t find some of the ingredients listed in the Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe, don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutions you can make. Persimmon, for example, can be replaced with other sweet fruits like apples, pears, or even dried apricots. If you don’t have celery on hand, you can use diced carrots or bell peppers for a similar crunch. Gouda cheese can be swapped for other melty cheeses like cheddar, fontina, or havarti. And if you’re not a fan of quinoa, you can use other cooked grains like rice, barley, or farro. Feel free to get creative and use what you have in your kitchen – the basic combination of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors will still shine through.

Storing and Reheating Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash makes excellent leftovers, so don’t worry if you have extra servings. To store, let the squash cool to room temperature, then wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also scoop out the filling and store it in an airtight container. Leftover squash and filling will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, unwrap the squash and place it in a baking dish, cut-side up. If the filling seems dry, you can add a splash of water or broth to the dish. Cover with foil and bake in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave, covered, in 1-2 minute intervals until warm.

Other Uses for Quinoa Stuffing

The quinoa stuffing mixture used in this recipe is so flavorful and versatile, you’ll want to make extra just to have on hand! Here are a few other ways to use it:

– Stuffed Bell Peppers: Cut the tops off bell peppers, remove the seeds, and fill with the quinoa mixture. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.

– Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Remove the stems from large portobello mushrooms and fill the caps with the quinoa mixture. Bake until the mushrooms are softened and the filling is warm.

– Quinoa Salad: Toss leftover quinoa filling with mixed greens, chopped nuts, and a simple vinaigrette for a hearty and healthy salad.

– Breakfast Scramble: Mix leftover quinoa filling with scrambled eggs and extra vegetables for a protein-packed breakfast.

With these ideas in mind, you’ll never let leftover quinoa stuffing go to waste!

Commonly Asked Questions About our Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Q: What ingredients are in Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash?

A: The main ingredients in Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash are acorn squash, celery, pear, persimmon, onion, quinoa, gouda cheese, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

Q: How do you make Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash?

A: To make Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, cut the squash in half and bake until soft. While the squash bakes, sauté celery, pear, persimmon, and onion, then mix with cooked quinoa, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Scoop the mixture into the baked squash halves, top with gouda cheese, and bake until the cheese melts.

Q: Is Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash healthy?

A: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Acorn squash is rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, while quinoa provides protein and additional fiber. The fruits and vegetables in the stuffing also offer vitamins and minerals.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Grace Vilches
Squash season is in full swing and we love experimenting with different varieties and adding them to our weekly rotation. Turn acorn squash into an edible bowl with this nutrient-packed recipe that’s vegetarian-friendly and perfect for when you’re craving a comforting meal. Prep the filling ahead of time for easy assembly.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree & Main Dishes
Servings 4
Calories 426 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 pear peeled, diced
  • 1 persimmon diced (if available)
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Brush with 1 tsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes, or until soft.
  • While squash is baking, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add celery, pear, persimmon and onion cook 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  • Add cooked quinoa, maple syrup and lemon juice to sauce pan and stir 2-3 minutes.
  • Scoop mixture into baked acorn squash halves. Top with cheese and bake additional 7-10 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 14gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 261mgPotassium: 1193mgFiber: 8gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 983IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 324mgIron: 4mg
Keyword acorn squash, butternut squash, fall, healthy, quinoa, stuffed squash
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Kale Salad

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

Spiralized Butternut Squash and Spinach Frittata