This simple stuffed acorn squash recipe is packed with flavor and perfect for a cozy night. It's vegan, gluten-free, easy to make and can be tailored to your liking. So whip up a batch of this yummy goodness and enjoy!
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" below!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
If you're still on the fence about whether or not this is a recipe for your tastes:
- Super easy to make: This dish only requires a few simple ingredients. Plus, there's minimal cleanup required!
- Incredibly versatile. You can customize this to suit your taste. My version uses a mix of quinoa, mushrooms, walnuts and cranberries, but you can use any mix of starch, nuts and sweets to balance texture and flavors!
- Perfect for a crowd. You can easily double or triple this recipe to feed a group, and it always looks impressive when served!
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this recipe, you'll need: acorn squash, olive oil, quinoa, button mushrooms, garlic, dried cranberries, fresh peas, walnuts, lime juice, salt, pepper, and spring onions.
Notes and Variations
- Add more protein to your recipe: Chickpeas can be added to this dish to increase the amount of protein. Simply drain it and thoroughly combine it with the quinoa. You can also add plant-based meats or crumbles! Cook those to direction and just add them in before the final bake.
- Swap the starch: I use quinoa in this recipe, but you're also welcome to use wild rice, brown rice, or just plain rice or even pasta based on your taste!
- Substitute acorn squash: You can easily swap the acorn squash with other squash varieties (e.g., spaghetti squash, butternut squash, etc.) Just make sure to watch the cook time!
- Swap seasoning: I like to keep the seasoning simple, but you can easily amplify the flavors with herbs like sage and thyme.
📖 Make the best Stuffed Acorn Squash!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Score flesh of each squash and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Place each piece cut side up in a large baking dish that fits all four halves.
Brush a light coat of olive oil, add salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven once cooked.
In the meantime, cook the quinoa. Bring a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add the rinsed quinoa with water.
Once it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until the quinoa absorbed the water, then remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes—fluff with a fork and reserve.
Heat a skillet to medium heat, and add olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms are browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute until fragrant. Reserve.
Add the cooked quinoa, walnuts, dried cranberries, peas, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl and toss to combine.
Spoon the quinoa mixture over the squash halves evenly, top each with the crispy mushrooms and return to the oven just to heat filling for 5-10 minutes.
Sprinkle spring onions on top and serve warm! Enjoy your stuffed acorn squash.
👩🏽🍳Top Tips for Making Stuffed Acorn Squash
This stuffed acorn squash is perfect for any chilly autumn evening. Here are some of my tips for making the perfect stuffed acorn squash recipe:
- Pick the right squash. When selecting an acorn squash, you want one that is heavy for its size and has deep green or orange coloration. Avoid squash that has blemishes or bruises.
- Prep your squash properly. Before you start stuffing your squash, you need to prep it by cutting off the top and scooping out the seeds. Shave a flat surface on the bottom of your acorn squash so that it stands securely while cooking.
- Be creative with your stuffing. The are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can stuff it with. You can really use whatever ingredients you like. Get creative and experiment!
- Don't forget the toppings. Once your squash is stuffed and ready to go into the oven, don't forget about the toppings! A sprinkle of shredded cheese or some chopped fresh herbs can really take your dish to the next level.
- Bake, don't fry. Baking them allows the natural flavors of the squash to shine through.
- Let them cool before you serve. Once they've cooled down slightly, they'll be even more delicious than before.
You can prepare the quinoa filling ahead of time, and then bake the acorn squash, stuff it, and finish baking right before serving. I prefer to roast the squash fresh (because it takes just as long to reheat it!)
Acorn squash has a sweet, nutty flavor that is similar to pumpkins and sweet potatoes. When cooked, it can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups and stews to pies and casseroles and take on complex flavors!
Acorn squash pairs well with so many ingredients, making it a versatile ingredient for any autumn meal! Try acorn squash with sage and vegan cheese of choice! Or, if you want to try something new, try acorn squash with quinoa, black beans, and cilantro for a more refreshing flavor!
I've had acorn squash from my garden last a whopping two months! The key is proper storage. Keep your acorn squash in a cool, dark place, and it should stay good as new for weeks on end.
There's a lot of debate on this! Some folks find it tough to digest, but as long as it's properly cooked, the skin becomes soft and edible, making it a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
Making fresh acorn squash is the best way to consume it. Although the filling can be prepared in advance, I suggest roasting it right before serving to maximize its texture and flavor.
Stuffed acorn squash can be kept in the fridge for 3–4 days. You can transfer them to your freezer once they are chilled by placing them in a freezer bag and carefully sealing the bag making sure that there is no air inside the container.
If you wanted to reheat your stuffed acorn squash, microwave them for two and a half minutes or reheat them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°F.
If you like this recipe, check out these other hearty vegan dishes:
The Best Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegan, with Quinoa)
- 2 medium acorn squashes, halved
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup button mushroom, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup fresh peas, or thawed if frozen
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- spring onions, to taste, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Score the flesh of each squash and spoon to scoop out the seeds and place each piece cut side up in a large baking dish that fits all 4 halves.
- Brush a light coat of olive oil, add salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes until the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork (this will depend on your oven specifications so make sure to check at 30 minutes and then cook a bit more if it's not soft enough!) Remove from the oven once cooked.
- In the meantime, cook the quinoa. Bring a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes until the quinoa absorbed the water, then remove it from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and reserve.
- Heat a skillet to medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms are browned, add the garlic, and cook for a minute until fragrant. Reserve.
- Add the cooked quinoa, walnuts, dried cranberries, peas, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl and toss to combine.
- Spoon the quinoa mixture over the 4 squash halves evenly, top each with the crispy mushrooms and return to the oven just to heat the filling for 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle spring onions on top and serve warm.
- Use a variety of mushrooms. I use button mushrooms, and Cremini mushrooms are a good all-purpose mushroom, but you can also use shiitakes, portobellos, or even wild mushrooms for a more complex flavor.
- Add some spices to the stuffing. In addition to salt and pepper, try adding some herbs like thyme, sage, or rosemary. You could also add a bit of cumin or paprika for a smokier flavor.
- Don't overcook the quinoa. Quinoa should be cooked through but still have a bit of a bite to it. Overcooked quinoa will be mushy and unappetizing.
- Add a bit of moisture to the filling. If the filling seems too dry, add a splash of vegetable broth or white wine. This will help to keep the squash moist and flavorful.
- Top the squash with nuts or seeds. Before baking, sprinkle the top of the squash with chopped nuts or seeds like walnuts, pecans, or almonds. This will add a bit of crunch and extra flavor to the dish.