Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries and Pinoli — A healthy side dish, perfect for fall, delightful for any holiday. Serve it as a main for your vegan friends!
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries and Pinoli is one of my favorite fall dishes! I meant to make this pistachios. I love pistachios. I was really looking forward to this recipe since it had pistachios in it. I thought I was toasting them nicely. Well, I was until I had to walk away from the kitchen for a couple minutes.
It just took those extra couple of minutes to turn them from the perfect color into a dark brown mess. In the garbage they went and I quickly looked through my cabinets to see what I could substitute them with. I found some pinoli I had bought to make my Dark Chocolate and Clementine Pinoli Compound Butter and also some walnuts. I love the flavor of my substitutions. If you love butternut squash, you have to try this lasagna! Another squash favorite is this roasted butternut squash soup...SO GOOD!
But back to this lovely recipe!
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries and Pinoli
I happen to be a huge pinoli (pignoli as they are called here)fan. I love their subtle, yet obvious nutty flavor. I usually bake with them and was thrilled with how delicious they were paired with the quinoa, and dried cranberries. Acorn squash is a favorite squash and also goes by other names: pepper squash, winter squash, and even Des Moines squash.
I made this as a side dish idea. I ended up eating it for dinner that night. Just perfect as a main course. I can't wait to make again and the next time will try to make it with pistachios.
It was difficult to not eat the whole stuffing before adding it into the acorn squash. It was delicious!
A wonderful idea for a quick and healthy Thanksgiving side dish. I will be making this again to bring to our hosts’ house for Thanksgiving on Thursday.
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED ACORN SQUASH?
It all starts out with these beauties! You can't go wrong in choosing an acorn squash. The best thing about fall is that there are so many types of squash at every market.
The next step is to very carefully cut them in half. Be sure to have a very sharp knife and take care not to let the knife slip.
Once you have your squash sliced in half, simply spoon out the seeds. Brush the insides with the extra-virgin olive oi. Season with salt and pepper. I used my hands to really rub in the oil and salt and pepper.
When they're cooking up, prep the quinoa. Once the quinoa is cooked, stir in all the other ingredients. I chopped the pinoli and left some whole to sprinkle on top. You could sub in walnuts or pistachios for the pinoli. The last thing to do is mix together the extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lime juice, and red wine vinegar.
PIN for later!
This is a perfect main dish for your vegan friends and family! The filling is seriously so delicious you will find yourself eating it on its own. But the best part may be the sweet squash that melts in your mouth with every bite.
slight updates from Nov 2011
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, and Pinoli
- 4 small acorn squash halved and seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup pinoli chopped and roasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- juice of one lime
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, pinoli, dried cranberries, remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Check the flavor and add more lime juice or vinegar if needed. Divide filling among squash.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.