Home ยป Recipes ยป Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash w/ Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash w/ Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf

This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash {gluten free & vegan} is a healthy fall favorite! It’s filled with a delicious pumpkin seed and tart cherry quinoa pilaf. Serve it as a side dish, an entree for Meatless Monday, or at your next holiday gathering.

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash with quinoa pilaf on a white platter

Tis the season for the most delicious stuffed acorn squash recipes!

Like my all-time favorite version I am sharing with you today.

It’s fully loaded with the most delicious tart cherry & pumpkin seed quinoa pilaf that’s easy to make and super nutritious too.

Note: If you don’t have time to roast acorn squash right now, you can make the pilaf on it’s own and serve it as a side dish or toss in some lentils for a hearty plant based main dish.

But, I hope you’re excited to eat some yummy acorn squash, so let’s talk a little bit more about how to cook it…

How do you cook stuffed acorn squash?

It’s easier than you might think!

  1. Simply start by washing your acorn squash, and cutting it it half vertically with a sharp knife.
  2. Next, scoop out the seeds, & place the acorn squash halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Drizzle the acorn squash halves with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then bake, flesh side down, at 350 degrees F for ~30 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Pop the acorn squash halves out of the oven, and stuff them with the tart cherry and pumpkin seed quinoa pilar, and dinner is served!

Before I share the recipe with you, let’s talk about acorn squash nutrition…

acorn squash halves on a blue kitchen towel

What nutrients are in acorn squash?

Acorn squash, like other winter squash, is rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A, B vitamins, magnesium, and microbiome friendly fiber.

Top if off with the tart cherry & pumpkin seed quinoa pilaf, and you’ve got a plant based meal packed with protein, fiber, iron, and potassium, that’s absolutely delicious!

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash Preparation & Serving Tips

  • You can meal prep the pumpkin seed & tart cherry quinoa pilaf ahead of time. You should also have leftover quinoa pilaf~enjoy it the next day for lunch!
  • Don’t have baby spinach? Add any favorite finely chopped leafy greens.
  • Ditto for the “bling” (almonds, pumpkin seeds, tart cherries)~You can toss in any seeds, nuts, and dried fruit you have on hand.
  • I LOVE fresh oregano with this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, but feel free to experiment with any variety of fresh (or dried) herbs, and let me know it goes!
  • Serve as a main dish with some fruit on the side, or as a side dish. It would be perfect for a vegetarian/vegan entree at Thanksgiving!

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash with fresh oregano on a white platter
Let’s make this yummy Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe!

vegetarian stuffed acorn squash with fresh oregano on a white platter

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe + Pumpkin Seed & Tart Cherry Quinoa Pilaf

This vegetarian stuffed acorn squash (vegan & gluten free) w/ pumpkin seed & tart cherry quinoa pilaf, is a healthy fall entree or side dish. Serve it as a side dish, an entree for Meatless Monday, or at your holiday gathering.
5 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil plus additional for drizzling on squash
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa dry, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried tart cherries chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop ~ 3/4 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.

Notes

Preparation & Serving Tips

  • You can meal prep the pumpkin seed & tart cherry quinoa pilaf ahead of time. You should also have leftover quinoa pilaf~enjoy it the next day for lunch!
  • Don’t have baby spinach? Add any favorite finely chopped leafy greens.
  • Ditto for the “bling” (almonds, pumpkin seeds, tart cherries)~You can toss in any seeds, nuts, and dried fruit you have on hand.
  • I LOVE the fresh oregano with this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, but feel free to experiment with any variety of fresh (or dried) herbs, and let me know it goes!
  • Serve as a main dish with some fruit on the side, or as a side dish. It would be perfect for a vegetarian/vegan entree at Thanksgiving!

Nutrition

Calories: 618kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 1630mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4185IU | Vitamin C: 38.6mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 8.5mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Mediterranean, Vegan
Keyword acorn squash baked, squash recipes, stuffed acorn squash recipes
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vegetarian stuffed acorn squash on a white plate

Let’s Chat!

Have you ever made stuffed acorn squash? What’s your favorite way to cook winter squash?  What are you favorite vegetarian or vegan holiday dishes???

Craving more fall inspired healthy comfort food? Here are a few more recipes I think you’ll love!

36 thoughts on “Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash w/ Pumpkin Seed & Cherry Quinoa Pilaf”

  1. Thanks for the beautiful recipe! I just highlighted it on my blog (www.mimisfitfoods.com) 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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 !

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!!

    1. 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??

  5. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

  6. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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