Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed and Tart Cherry Quinoa PilafAcorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf.

Last Wedneseday, one week before All Hallows Eve, the kids and I had an adventure.

We drove out of the big city, and along the windy countryside roads, past orange trees, horse farms, and avocado orchards, until we arrived at one of my favorite haunts from childhood this time of year~Bates Nut Farm...

Bate's Nut Farm Pumpkin PatchApart from the time SiSi was 1 1/2 months old, {which I’m pretty sure she doesn’t remember}, I don’t think my kids had ever been to a real pumpkin patch, up until now.

The kids and I loaded two wheelbarrows full of bumpy pumpkins, white pumpkins, mini pumpkins,  jack-o-lanterns, cinderella pumpkins, and even some handsome tuban squash…

Turban SquashWe also included one of my favorites, sweet acorn squash…

Acorn SquashDrizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven for 30 minutes, acorn squash is delicious enough on it own, but stuff it with quinoa pilaf loaded with pumpkin seeds, toasted almonds, tart cherries, sauteed onions, baby spinach, and fresh oregano, and you have taken it to a whole new level of deliciousness!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Here’s the recipe…

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on squash
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup dried tart cherries, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half, vertically, and remove the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of both pieces of squash, then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. While squash is baking, combine quinoa and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and cook until water is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook until translucent. Push onions to the side of the pan, and add almonds, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to toast. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.
  4. When quinoa is done cooking, pour it in to a medium bowl, then stir in onion/almond mixture, pumpkin seeds, cherries, spinach, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop ~ ¾ cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.
You will have about 1 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture left over. Store in refrigerator, and serve as a cold quinoa salad the next day.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn SquashNutrition Notes…

  • Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
  • High in protein and fiber to keep your belly full, and your body full of energy.
  • Rich in nutrients including: Magnesium, Vitamin E, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, and other antioxidants.

Enjoy, and have the happiest of Halloweens!!!

Halloween dioramaBoo!

When was the last time you went to a REAL pumpkin patch?  Have you ever made stuffed acorn squash?  What’s your favorite way to cook winter squash?  Any fun Halloween plans???

I love hearing from you! Please click here to join the conversation. And, if you enjoyed the post, I’d love it {and truly appreciate it!} if you stumble, tweet, pin, or share the post. Cheers!



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  1. Mmmmm….this recipe looks amazing. I am such a pumpkin seed Queen so will have to try this recipe very soon.
    My Aunt lived on a farm and sold pumpkins and Indian corn….and we visited quite a bit. I love walking around a pumpkin patch–Pumpkins make me smile 🙂

  2. This rocks, want to know why? I have acorn squash, and was trying to decide what to make make with it:-) I adore this healthy recipe, and it looks amazing! I am such a fan of quinoa, so this gorgeous flavor combo looks so beautiful! Your trip to the pumpkin patch looks like a perfect day with the family:-) Sending hugs, Terra

  3. Love this refreshing and healthy recipe..and like that picture of tons of squashes..

  4. I love stuffed acorn squash!! In fact, I will be making recipe at work soon that is stuffed with lean mea, beans, and cheese. I can’t wait to demo it and let customers try it! I don’t think a lot of people have ever even tried acorn squash, which is a sin in my opinion 🙂 Yours looks so pretty!!

    I haven’t been to a pumpkin patch in YEARS. I think that’s something we will do when we have kids, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  5. I love this recipe & just have to pin for later … Happy Halloween 🙂

  6. I’m doing quinoa-stuffed acorn squash for Thanksgiving! I love the flavors in yours, especially the dried cherries. I so wish I was having this for dinner tonight! 🙂

  7. Last time we went was last year, I remember well because I had thee worst allergies that day and the pumpkin patch just exhilarated it, I was miserable!! ha! Fav way for acorn squash? Honestly the only way I have ever had it is baked. like you said, little salt, little pepper. I have never had it stuffed and it always looks so beautiful and that goes double for you yours! Not only is the presentation the best representation of fall, I absolutely love the list of ingredients, the cherries really sets it apart! Well done!!!

    • Thanks so much Teri! Funny you mention your allergies at the pumpkin patch…I’m thinking hay allergies? Big Tex always sneezes when he feeds our guinea pigs hay, but didn’t seem to have any problems at the pumpkin patch…Hmmm…a ply to get out of feeding the piggies perhaps??

  8. this looks wonderful and love country drives like this your such a cool mum

  9. This looks totally yummy! Love acorn squash…sweet and very creamy.

  10. This looks totally fantastic. I love all the ingredients and it looks so simple for a midweek meal too, with enough for leftovers. I have never used acorn squash but often do uchiki kuri, which is quite similar I believe. And I don’t stuff them but usually cut them and use them in other things. But this looks a great idea, and I have some fab properly tart sour cherries that would be perfect, or even some dried barberries.

  11. wow, this looks just wonderful + so healthy! and how fun that you took the kiddos to a real pumpkin patch – my husband + i went to one last year + had a blast!

  12. This looks delicious!!
    I vaguely remember going to a pumpkin patch when I was little. It’s such a fun activity to do with the kids!
    Hope you had a good and happy Halloween!!!

  13. I love all the ingredients in this delish dish. I’m really enjoying quinoa more and more now and may try your recipe here. The photos look marvelous! Glad you guys had a great time at the pumpkin patch. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the blog-visit. Your kind support on the networks is much appreciated, EA !

  14. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is such an incredible recipe!! Loving all of the health benefits!

  15. Just printed this one out so I remember to try buy acorn squash and dried cherries next week so I can try this!

    I love those leaf pictures, too cute! I think we just passed peak foliage season here in VA. Two weeks ago it was gorgeous. This week, trees are less colorful and a lot more barren!

  16. I love how elegant stuffed squash looks – and this recipe with pumpkin seeds + cherries is so perfect for this time of year!

  17. Thanks for the beautiful recipe! I just highlighted it on my blog ( today with a very slight variation (based on what I had on hand). We loved it! I will be making more of your recipes FOR SURE!

    • Hi Mimi! So glad you stopped by, and thanks so much for highlighting my recipe on your blog! I love when people get creative in the kitchen, and come up with their own adaptations of other recipes. Your version lookds delicious!


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