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The Yummiest Vegetarian Stuffed Squash Recipe

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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. Easy to make and super nutritious too!

Time saving tip! No time to roast acorn squash? 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.

How do you cook stuffed acorn squash?

acorn squash halves on a blue kitchen towel

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, stuff them with the pilaf, and dinner is served!

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

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.

(Learn more: Acorn Squash Nutrition Facts & Health)

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

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

squash halves with quinoa on a white platter.
Acorn vegetarian stuffed squash filled with quinoa pilaf on a white dish.

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 10 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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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!

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