Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash | Vegan Dinner Ideas | Blue Zones Recipes

This recipe has ALL the things- vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free. But it’s not one of those that just looks good on a resume. It’s full of flavor.

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The squash pictured here is the Acorn Squash but all squash is super healthy- they’re full of antioxidants, which can protect your skin from sun damage and improve your eye health.

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This recipe comes together simply after you roast the acorn squash in the oven. The stuffing is made from quinoa- a great protein source for meat-free diets. So, it’s a meal in itself.

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I love the bursts of sweetness in this stuffing from the dried apricots and cranberries. I even topped mine with a few pomegranate seeds and candied pecans I stashed in the freezer for a special moment like this. Don’t disturb me when I am eating my squash- it’s one of my favorites.

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Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a go. But, feel free to add other dried fruits like cherries or cut up apples if you’re feeling it! But gotta do the sage!

Update:

I checked back with my students to see if anyone made this. And one gave a great substitution. She used couscous instead of quinoa and said it was great. So, if gluten is okay for you, you can try couscous.

Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4):

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 6-7 button mushrooms
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 dried apricots
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • 2 acorn squash
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. candied pecans (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Do this carefully. It may help to cut the stem off first. Place the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook for 40-50 minutes or very soft and tender. (Some juice may start to caramelize-thats a good indication its ready)
  3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Add vegetable broth and quinoa to a medium pot with lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetable broth is absorbed and the quinoa is soft. Turn off heat.
  4. Produce Prep- Rinse all the produce. Chop the scallions and celery. Slice mushrooms. Thinly slice the sage and parsley.
  5. Warm the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms first and cook a couple minutes, or just until they start to brown and soften. Then, add the scallions and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, pecans, parsley, and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the quinoa, ½ orange, juiced, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until quinoa starts to crisp a little, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat to keep warm.
  7. To Stuff the squash: Flip the squash over and transfer to a serving platter. Stuff the stuffing mixture into the squash and serve. Top with pomegranate seeds, parsley, and candied pecans, if using.

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To your happy and healthy life, 

Joanna

Instagram: @chefjoannas 

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