Home Healthy Eating Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cranberry 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 previous favorites like this one from again in 2017.

To me, Thanksgiving is about pairing your Grandmother’s traditional recipes with new recipes that assist you create your personal traditions. Since coming into Tony’s household, I’ve launched each my home made naturally sweetened cranberry sauce and wholesome candy potato casserole to the desk and now annually we’re positive to not miss it.

This unimaginable 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 school. In case 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 a beautiful introductory squash. It’s tender and stuffed with smoooooooth flava. Mainly the Beyonce of all squash…in my view anyway.

Immediately’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 inventive 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

The way to reduce acorn squash

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

  1. Minimize off the top 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 top that you just simply reduce off. This gives a steady base so that you can make a reduce with out slicing your fingers or hand. Make a vertical reduce down the center of the acorn squash.
  3. Lastly, scoop out the seeds. Now you’ve efficiently reduce your acorn squash in half!

Every little thing you’ll must make this quinoa stuffed acorn squash

We’re packing every acorn squash half with stunning, 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! In case you haven’t tried making any such squash earlier than be ready to fall in love.
  • Coconut oil: you’ll want somewhat coconut oil for each the squash and the quinoa to offer them the correct amount of moisture and fats.
  • Brown sugar: we’re sweetening the acorn squash halves with brown sugar! You can too use coconut sugar.
  • Orange juice: oh yeah, we’re stirring freshly squeezed OJ proper into the quinoa and into the sauce for a beautiful 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 chunk.
  • For the sauce: as a result of sauce = life, we’re drizzling the squash halves with a beautiful sauce constituted of goat cheese, orange juice and zest, and somewhat salt and pepper. It’s SO GOOD.
  • To garnish: take the stuffed acorn squash to the subsequent degree 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 simple methods to make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash your personal:

  • Select your grain. Not into quinoa? I feel 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! In case you like a tangy sauce, go for goat cheese, and should you like saltier flavors, use feta cheese.

How do you make stuffed acorn squash?

  1. Prep the squash. Begin by slicing your acorn squash in line with 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. Prepare 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. Learn 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 all the elements collectively till it’s creamy.
  5. High & devour. Drizzle the sauce everywhere in the prime of the roasted squash, and garnish with thyme leaves and a drizzle of honey (or sizzling honey) should you’d like. Season with further salt and pepper to style and luxuriate 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 here 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 complete recipe.
  • Prepare 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. If you’re able to take pleasure in, merely warmth it up within the oven and prime with the sauce and garnishes!
  • Lastly, in the future forward of time you may make the complete 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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In case you make this cranberry pecan quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe, please price it under and go away a remark. You can too 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

Prepare dinner Time 1 hour

Complete Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves4 servings

Stunning stuffed acorn squash with orange-infused quinoa, candy dried cranberries, pecans, and a easy goat cheese or feta sauce. The proper vegetarian facet dish or most important to serve at Thanksgiving, or anytime you are on the lookout for a singular, scrumptious meatless meal!


  • For the acorn squash:
  • 2 medium acorn squash, reduce 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 Contemporary 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 arms to rub into the flesh of the squash, even on the highest (however not on the pores and skin). Sprinkle every squash half with somewhat 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 may make the quinoa. Add quinoa and water to a big pot and place over medium excessive warmth. Carry to a boil, then cowl, cut 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 completed roasting, flip squash over and evenly stuff every squash with quinoa. High the filling with pecans. Bake for a further 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 easy and creamy. Drizzle evenly over every squash half. Garnish with contemporary thyme leaves, a drizzle of honey (or sizzling honey) and additional salt and pepper. Serves 4, 1 squash half every.

Recipe Notes

If you wish to save time, you may 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 complete submit 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 submit was initially printed on November 9, 2017, republished on October twenty eighth, 2019, and republished on November eighth, 2023.



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