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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


  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.

Top Veggie Recipes: 

To your happy and healthy life, 


Instagram: @chefjoannas 

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page. 

Leave a Reply