Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash- with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans
This stuffed acorn squash recipe is both vegetarian and gluten-free. Inspired by the trend towards healthier plant-based eating this holiday recipe brings together quinoa, apples, cranberries, and pecans to become a new favorite holiday stuffing tradition. Acorn squash is first sliced, then roasted and stuffed with healthy ingredients and holiday spices. This recipe looks fancy but it is easy to prepare and can be served as a side dish or as a main entree. It will certainly be the spotlight at your next holiday gathering and enjoyed by both your vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!
Recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash- with Apples, Cranberries, and Pecans
2 Acorn Squash, medium
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil or grape seed oil
1 stalk of celery diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium honey crisp or granny smith apple peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup fresh cranberries sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
salt and pepper
First prepare the Acorn Squash Slices
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and pat dry the Acorn Squash. With a sharp knife cut off the top stem and bottom to create a flat edge.
- To make it easier to slice, soften each squash by first making several small slits through the skin with the tip of a sharp knife, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.
- First cut the squash horizontally in half. Scoop out the membranes and remove the seeds. Lay the flat side down on a cutting board and slice one more time to make a total of 4 slices for each squash.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil. Brush each squash slice lightly with oil and place evenly on the cookie sheet. Then brush lightly with maple syrup and sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Roast squash slices for 30-35 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.
While the Acorn Squash is roasting prepare the stuffing
- In a medium sauce pan heat oil and saute the chopped apple and celery until softened about 6-8 minutes, add the thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vegetable broth and lightly simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Mix in the cooked quinoa and sliced cranberries.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon stuffing equally among the 8 slices of roasted acorn squash. Sprinkle tops with chopped pecans. Turn the temperature of the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake the stuffed acorn squash slices for 20 minutes or until heated through.