HomeHealthy FoodCranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving is getting shut and I’ve had a lot enjoyable sharing some model new, festive recipes, plus outdated favorites like this one from again in 2017.

To me, Thanksgiving is about pairing your Grandmother’s traditional recipes with new recipes that make it easier to create your individual traditions. Since coming into Tony’s household, I’ve launched each my do-it-yourself naturally sweetened cranberry sauce and wholesome candy potato casserole to the desk and now annually we’re certain to not miss it.

This unbelievable cranberry pecan quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe particularly is impressed by my love affair with acorn squash. I’ve been obsessive about it since my mother and I began cooking it throughout faculty. Should you’ve by no means had acorn squash earlier than, then get excited as a result of it may be each savory and candy and an exquisite introductory squash. It’s tender and filled with smoooooooth flava. Principally the Beyonce of all squash…in my view anyway.

Right now’s recipe was one which I made up on a whim 6 years in the past and it turned out to be one of the vital artistic meals I’ve made in a while. I’m tremendous excited so that you can attempt it!

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stuffed acorn squash on a baking sheet

Easy methods to minimize acorn squash

To chop your acorn squash, you’ll want a pointy chef’s knife and a sturdy reducing board. To chop your acorn squash in half:

  1. Minimize off the tip of the acorn squash with the stem on it. You actually don’t want to chop a lot off, however in all probability 1/4 inch.
  2. Stand your acorn squash vertically on the tip that you simply simply minimize off. This offers a secure base so that you can make a minimize with out reducing your fingers or hand. Make a vertical minimize down the center of the acorn squash.
  3. Lastly, scoop out the seeds. Now you’ve efficiently minimize your acorn squash in half!

Every part you’ll must make this quinoa stuffed acorn squash

We’re packing every acorn squash half with lovely, candy and savory flavors from orange-infused quinoa, toasted pecans, cranberries, goat cheese, and extra. Right here’s what you’ll want:

  • Acorn squash: the one and solely! Should you haven’t tried making such a squash earlier than be ready to fall in love.
  • Coconut oil: you’ll want a bit of coconut oil for each the squash and the quinoa to offer them the correct quantity of moisture and fats.
  • Brown sugar: we’re sweetening the acorn squash halves with brown sugar! You may as well use coconut sugar.
  • Orange juice: oh yeah, we’re stirring freshly squeezed OJ proper into the quinoa and into the sauce for a stunning citrus-infused taste.
  • Spices: you’ll want some cinnamon and salt for the squash, plus floor turmeric, salt, and pepper for the quinoa.
  • Toppings: I LOVE the additional taste and texture that dried cranberries and toasted pecans add to each chew.
  • For the sauce: as a result of sauce = life, we’re drizzling the squash halves with a stunning sauce constructed from goat cheese, orange juice and zest, and a bit of salt and pepper. It’s SO GOOD.
  • To garnish: take the stuffed acorn squash to the subsequent stage with contemporary thyme and a drizzle of honey (or sizzling honey!)

quinoa stuffed acorn squash on a baking sheet

Customise your stuffed acorn squash

I’ve a number of straightforward methods to make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash your individual:

  • Select your grain. Not into quinoa? I believe pearl couscous can be scrumptious in right here!
  • Go nut free. You possibly can simply swap the coconut oil for butter and easily omit the pecans.
  • Decide your cheese. I’ve tried this recipe with each goat cheese and feta crumbles they usually’re each scrumptious! Should you like a tangy sauce, go for goat cheese, and when you like saltier flavors, use feta cheese.

How do you make stuffed acorn squash?

  1. Prep the squash. Begin by reducing your acorn squash based on the instructions above in order that they’re halved and seedless. Add coconut oil, brown sugar (or coconut sugar) and cinnamon to the flesh of the acorn squash and bake till tender.
  2. Cook dinner the quinoa. Whereas the acorn squash roasts to candy perfection, you’ll prepare dinner your quinoa and infuse it with orange juice and spices. Discover ways to prepare dinner excellent quinoa right here! Then stir within the cranberries.
  3. Stuff the squash. Add the quinoa to your acorn squash halves, prime with pecans, and bake once more for a couple of minutes.
  4. Make the sauce. Whereas the squash bakes once more, make the goat cheese or feta crumble by mixing the entire components collectively till it’s creamy.
  5. High & devour. Drizzle the sauce all around the prime of the roasted squash, and garnish with thyme leaves and a drizzle of honey (or sizzling honey) when you’d like. Season with additional salt and pepper to style and revel in!

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash on a baking sheet

Make it forward of time

Save time over the vacations and begin prepping the squash early! Listed below are a number of steps you are able to do forward of time:

  • Prep the squash by halving it and scooping the seeds out. Retailer the halves in an hermetic container within the fridge till you’re able to make the total recipe.
  • Cook dinner the quinoa, let it cool, and retailer it within the fridge.
  • Make the recipe up till you bake the squash for the second time (i.e. roast the squash, prepare dinner the quinoa, and stuff the squash halves). Then cowl the squash and retailer it within the fridge. Whenever you’re able to take pleasure in, merely warmth it up within the oven and prime with the sauce and garnishes!
  • Lastly, someday forward of time you can also make the total recipe minus the sauce and garnishes. Retailer the squash within the fridge, then as soon as able to serve, merely reheat it within the oven at 350 levels for 15-20 minutes or till heat. Then make the sauce, drizzle it on prime, and add the garnishes.

Extra Thanksgiving recipes you’ll love

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Should you make this cranberry pecan quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe, please price it under and go away a remark. You may as well snap a photograph and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram! xo.

Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

stuffed acorn squash on a baking sheet

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook dinner Time 1 hour

Whole Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves4 servings

Lovely stuffed acorn squash with orange-infused quinoa, candy dried cranberries, pecans, and a easy goat cheese or feta sauce. The right vegetarian facet dish or major to serve at Thanksgiving, or anytime you are in search of a singular, scrumptious meatless meal!


  • For the acorn squash:
  • 2 medium acorn squash, minimize in half and seeds eliminated
  • 4 teaspoons virgin melted coconut oil (or sub melted butter)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cinnamon, for sprinkling
  • For the quinoa:
  • ½ cup raw quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon floor turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup toasted pecan halves, chopped
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 ounces goat cheese or feta crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon contemporary squeezed orange or lemon juice, plus extra as wanted
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • For garnish:
  • 2 teaspoons Recent thyme leaves
  • Honey or sizzling honey


  • Preheat oven to 350 levels F. Line a big baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1/2 tablespoon brown or coconut sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to every squash half; use your fingers to rub into the flesh of the squash, even on the highest (however not on the pores and skin). Sprinkle every squash half with a bit of little bit of cinnamon. Place flesh facet down on baking sheet and roast within the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or till squash is simply fork tender.

  • Whereas the squash roasts, you can also make the quinoa. Add quinoa and water to a big pot and place over medium excessive warmth. Carry to a boil, then cowl, scale back warmth to low and prepare dinner for precisely quarter-hour. After quarter-hour, take away from warmth and fluff quinoa with a fork.

  • Subsequent stir in coconut oil, orange juice, turmeric and salt and stir to mix. Fold in dried cranberries. Style and add extra salt and pepper, if desired.

  • As soon as acorn squash is finished roasting, flip squash over and evenly stuff every squash with quinoa. High the filling with pecans. Bake for an extra 10 minutes.

  • Whereas the squash is baking once more, make the goat cheese or feta drizzle: Add feta or goat cheese crumbles, orange zest and orange juice to a blender and mix till clean and creamy. Drizzle evenly over every squash half. Garnish with contemporary thyme leaves, a drizzle of honey (or sizzling honey) and further salt and pepper. Serves 4, 1 squash half every.

Recipe Notes

If you wish to save time, you can also make the squash and quinoa a day forward of time. As soon as able to serve, merely reheat in oven at 350 levels for 15-20 minutes or till heat after which make the sauce and drizzle on prime.
See the total publish for extra suggestions, methods, and methods to customise this squash!


Serving: 1squash halfEnergy: 393calCarbohydrates: 58.7gProtein: 7.8gFats: 17gSaturated Fats: 7.4gFiber: 9.8gSugar: 17.5g

This publish was initially printed on November 9, 2017, republished on October twenty eighth, 2019, and republished on November eighth, 2023.

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