Our tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe is one of the most comforting fall or winter recipes. It is creamy and satisfying, with a sweet and savory quinoa filling.
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
Making this recipe is actually really, really easy. Follow our step-by-step instructions on the recipe card for the perfect stuffed acorn squash every time.
Ingredients for Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Acorn Squash: a squash that ripens in the fall and has a rich, nutty flavor.
- Maple Syrup: This natural sweetener is the perfect complement to the squash.
- Salt and Cinnamon: Used to coat the acorn squash and bring out it's natural flavor.
- Quinoa: Before you begin, make sure you have cooked quinoa or cook a batch. Read more information about How to cook quinoa if needed. The quinoa mixture can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Shallot: This form of onion has a unique flavor that pairs perfectly with the vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe
- Dried Cranberries: The dried fruit adds a touch of sweetness to the filling mixture.
- Chopped Raw Pecans: If you do not have pecans, you can use raw walnuts or raw almonds.
- Salt and Pepper: You can use this sparingly or to taste.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Basalmic vinegar adds a wonderful acidic contrast to the richness of the squash and the sweetness of the filling.
- Herbs de Provence: An herb blend of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano, which are all dried herbs from the Provence region of France.
- Shredded Cheese: Mozzarella, Cheddar, or Swiss will all work well. You may also use vegan cheese.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
It's really important to be safe when you cut any winter squash with thick skin. Make sure you have a properly sharpened knife as dull knives are more dangerous. We recommend you find a way to sharpen your knives semi-annually to keep them in great condition!
To cut your acorn squash, first cut off a ¼" slice of the top of the acorn squash where the stem is located. Make sure to hold it carefully and firmly on the opposite end. Turn the acorn squash onto the freshly cut side, creating a much more stable base. . Cut the acorn squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Your acorn squash is ready to go!
How to Cook Acorn Squash
To roast the acorn squash, you will cover it in the spices and herbs, and bake it cut side up for 45 minutes or until the acorn squash is tender. The time will vary depending on the size of the squash.
If you have a pressure cooker or instant pot you can also cook the squash halves on high pressure for fifteen to twenty minutes with a half cup of water in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Once the squash has been cooked, you are ready to make stuffed acorn squash.
Step-By-Step Instructions for the Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
Make sure to print out our recipe card for exact details.
- You will need to begin with cooked quinoa, so start with that.
- While the quinoa is cooking, cut the acorn squash in half and cover it in the maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon.
- Bake this for 45 minutes until it is soft.
- While the acorn squash is baking, sautée the shallots until translucent and pecans and cranberries for a few minutes of toasting.
- Add the cooked quinoa salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove the acorn squash from the oven and stuff it with the quinoa mixture.
- Each squash half can hold about a half cup of the filling.
- Top this with cheese and return the squash to the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Tips for Stuffed Acorn Squash
- If you don't want. to make your own filling, buy a preseasoned package or quinoa, rice, or couscous. Cook it following package instructions. Stuff the roasted acorn squash halves, top with cheese, and done!
- If you'd like to add protein to this dish, you can add your bean of choice of veggie sausage to the quinoa mixture.
- The stuffing for the acorn squash and stuffing can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time. Before serving, top with cheese and bake. Acorn Squash halves can be roasted 1-2 days ahead of time.
How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Acorn Squash
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for 3-4 days and reheated in the microwave. When the squash starts to separate, smell, or look "off" it should be discarded. Leftovers can also be frozen for up to two months in an airtight container.
Do I have to wash acorn squash?
Because the acorn squash halves are baked in the skin, you should wash the outside of the skin but the inside flesh does not need to be washed.
How long will stuffed acorn squash keep?
Follow our instructions above for saving leftover acorn squash and it will last for at least two or three days.
I forgot to roast my squash and I'm out of time. What can I do to save dinner?
First, peel and cube the acorn squash into fine cubes. Sautée this in a hot skillet with butter, the cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt until fork tender. Once the squash is in the skillet, follow the recipe instructions to prepare the filling. Once both are ready, mix them together in a baking dish and bake it all in the oven with cheese for fifteen to twenty minutes. You will have a very similar tasting dish in less time. It won't look as pretty, but it will still taste good! I highly recommend next time, you roast the squash halves ahead of time so you get that beautiful acorn stuffed squash look. It's worth it!
Dishes that Go Well with Acorn Squash
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
- Tabouli Salad (Tabbouleh)- Authentic Recipe
- Chickpea Salad with Avocado Pearls
- Arugula Salad with Delicata Squash and Tempeh Bacon
- Fennel Salad with Persimons and Pomegranates
If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help us tremendously if you left us a star rating in the comments below or on the recipe card. Do you have any questions about the recipe? Do you need a swap for any of the ingredients? We are here to help, just leave us a question in the comments below.Print
Our tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe is one of the most comforting fall or winter recipes I know. It is creamy and satisfying, with a sweet and savory quinoa filling.
- 3 acorn squash
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups cooked quinoa - Check this post on how to cook quinoa
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped raw pecans
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp herbes de provence
- ½ cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss, etc). You may also use vegan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Make sure you have cooked quinoa or cook a batch. How to cook quinoa.
- Cut off ¼" slice of the top of the acorn squash where the stem is located. Turn the acorn squash onto the freshly cut side, creating a stable base. Cut the acorn squash in half length-wise. Check out the images on the post if you need guidance.
- Scoop seeds out and rub each half evenly with maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon. Bake cut side up for 45 minutes or until the acorn squash is tender. The time will depend on the size of the squash.
- While the acorn squash is baking heat olive oil in a large skillet, add shallot, and cook 3-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add pecans, cranberries and cook for 3 minutes, just to lightly toast the pecans.
- Add cooked quinoa salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, and balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Fill each acorn squash half with a heaping half a cup of quinoa filling.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on each acorn squash half and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Making Ahead Instructions: Quinoa stuffing can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time. Before serving, top with cheese and bake. Acorn Squash halves can be roasted 1-2 days ahead of time
- Freezing instructions: the quinoa mixture can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You can also add any bean of choice to the quinoa
- Would you like a shortcut? Buy a preseasoned package of quinoa, rice, or couscous. Cook it following package instructions. Stuff the roasted acorn squash halves, top with cheese, and done!
- Another Shortcut: peel and cut the acorn squash into small thin slices, sautee with some olive oil, the cinamon, salt, and maple syrup until tender. Mix with quinoa. Place on a baking dish top with cheese and bake until cheese is melted.
This post was originally published on November 30, 2014, and the recipe and images have been updated.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 acorn squash half
- Calories: 292
- Sugar: 15.2
- Sodium: 468
- Fat: 13.9
- Saturated Fat: 3.1
- Unsaturated Fat: 9.9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 38.5
- Fiber: 4.5
- Protein: 6.7
- Cholesterol: 10.9
Keywords: vegan, gluten-free, kosher, holiday, thanksgiving
The Story Behind This Recipe
Great minds think alike. That's for sure. That might explain how two of my favorite people on this earth came up with an almost identical idea.
My friend Megan, (more like my non-biological sister actually), is one of our biggest supporters and has almost become our unofficial recipe tester AND taster. She's also a vegetarian so our topics of conversation often involve food in some way.
One day during one of our playdates, she explained how one night she made this couscous and chickpea stuffed acorn squash that the kids devoured. I remember thinking to myself "Hmm, that sounds like a great idea, I have to share it with Vicky and maybe we could do something similar to post on the blog"
But she beat me to it.