Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa and Roasted Almonds
Some of you who have followed my blog from the beginning may recognize this recipe, as it’s one of the first ones I posted on the blog. I decided to re-post it as I made a few changes to the recipe and updated all the photos, plus I feel like it’s a wonderful recipe to share with you all this time of year as acorn squash is in season and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This is a great meatless alternative for Thanksgiving or you can serve these up as a healthy side dish. You can even make these vegan by adding nutritional yeast in lieu of the feta.
The squash paired with the quinoa is truly a complete meal and the presentation on these is just gorgeous. Serve these up to your guests for lunch or dinner, and they will be impressed. Please don’t be intimated by this recipe, it’s seriously super easy to put together. The only difficult part is cutting the squash in half. You can even omit the squash and just make up the quinoa, as the quinoa is great on its own. Basically you have choices here peeps!
Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds:
recipe adapted from Whole Living
serves 4-8 – depending on how many squashes you buy – see my notes below
Note: I used 1 large acorn squash here. I did make the full batch of quinoa though, as the leftovers are great for lunch throughout the week. If you don’t want that much leftover quinoa, then just half the quinoa portion of the recipe.
- 2-4 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed – If you’re serving 2 people get 1 squash, 4 people then get 2 squashes, 8 people then get 4 squashes. The quinoa makes enough to fill 8 small squash halves. You could even use 1 large butternut squash here and fill that up with the quinoa. I used one squash and had the leftover quinoa for lunch sans the squash.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing on the squash
- fine and coarse sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed – I love this brand of quinoa from Quinoa corporation as it’s pre-rinsed.
- 1 3/4 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup raw almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut the acorn squash in half, from stem to tip. The squash can rock back and forth, so take care as you are cutting it.
Scoop out all the seeds and membranes, using either a spoon or a melon baller.
Brush each squash half with a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Roast the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, until tender when pierced with a fork, and caramelized, about 15-25 minutes. It may take longer or shorter, depending on the size of your squash. I had a larger acorn squash, so it took mine about 25 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, place quinoa along with 1 3/4 cups filtered water and a big pinch of coarse sea salt in a pot set over high heat. Bring quinoa to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa’s germs look like lots of little spirals, about 12-15 minutes.
Turn off heat, place a dry clean paper towel between the pot and lid, and let quinoa sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.
While the quinoa and squash are cooking, chop the parsley and toast up the almonds.
Note: You can also toast up the almonds ahead to time to save a step. Just store them in covered container till you’re ready to use them.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the chopped almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots and the nuts are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the oil. Sprinkle the almonds with some fine sea salt. Set them aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine together the quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup feta, almonds, 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill up your squash halves with the quinoa and dig in.
Got leftover quinoa? Just reheat it in a skillet with a touch of coconut oil, or just eat it cold.
24 thoughts on “Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa and Roasted Almonds”
I know how you feel about updating some of the older recipes. It’s a shame when the pictures don’t do the meal the justice it deserves.
These pictures make it look delicious though! You’re so good with your step-by-step photos too. It looks so light and flavorful with the feta and almonds. Perfect for turkey day!
This looks delicious! Stuffed squash is a thing of beauty for sure! Your instructions are so clear, helpful and detailed – love the idea of using a melon baller to scoop out the seeds, need to try that next time!
Thanks for sharing! xoxo
now that is something I could just dig right into “bowl” and all! Would it be bad if I just gobbled up the whole thing? Just wondering- cause i would you know:) Hope life is just great for you this week. The Lord has provided you with healthy and beautiful kids and your such an amazing mom to them and friend! This recipe ROCKS and I can’t wait to ry it because my family tends to get tired of squash easily during the winter bc I use it often but never have I tried it this way before! Love ya!
I’m laughing because I just made this – except with wholewheat couscous on sunday night! wonderful recipe!!! and of course lovely photos:)
What a delicious Idea!! LOve the quinoa anytime and inside the squash is a meal itself. Genius! xxoo Anna and Liz
This looks delicious!
So pretty! The presentation is gorgeous and it sounds yummy AND healthy. I love the idea of the almonds and feta in here too. You make the best looking things! Have a great day, girl! Off to work in a few minutes but wanted to catch up on my favorite blogs. 🙂 xoxo, Sharon
what a terrific way to make squash the main dish! LOVE it
It really is a great idea to go back and re-do older recipes. I wish I could re-do the pictures to many of my recipes. I would have to just make thus for myself my bf doesn’t like squash but I love it!
Simple, beautiful, healthy! Thanks for the recipe!
These look delicious, good for you too I’m sure!
Made this for dinner tonight and it was good! Kids didn’t want to try it, but adults enjoyed the flavors. We ended up scooping out the squash and mixed it up with the quinoa, with a bit of extra salt and pepper. I’ll make this again, especially if we have vegetarian friends over. Thanks!
Thanks for the recipe! I thought I’d offer an alternative you might enjoy. Instead of cutting the squash prior to baking, just pop the whole thing in the oven directly on the rack. Set your heat to about 400 degrees and come back in 50-60 minutes (check at 50 minutes). No need to poke ~ I just wash mine thoroughly and put them in. After it’s cooked through, you can slice it open easily, scoop out the seeds and get every morsel of the squash from the now softened skin! No more need for muscles and large sharp knives! 🙂
Hi Britt! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I will definitely give it a try next time, as it’s so hard cutting that squash in half. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
Made this dish last night using Britt’s technique to roast the squash first and it worked like a gem, thank you!
I completed this recipe with red quinoa; which is my preference and the dish was,,,perfection! Even my husband the skeptic liked it; which to me meant it was a success since eating acorn squash was a first for both of us.
Looking forward to trying more of your healthy and adventurous (for us) recipes. Thank you Marin Mama!! ~ Debra
Awesome Debra! Thanks for letting me know! Ok, I’m totally going to add Britt’s tip to the post so everyone can see it. I’m even going to try it this weekend just to test it out! I’m glad that your hubby even approved of this dish! BONUS!
Please let me know what else you try from the blog. You have to try my lacinato kale salad, it’s the bomb and gets made at least 2x a week in my house! Also since you like squash, then you should try my spaghetti squash tacos! They’re super tasty and super easy! xoxo, Jacquelyn
Thanks for the recipe, it was delicious! The second time we made it, I added a bit of garlic to the almonds as they were finishing roasting and a half cup of dried cranberries and it was also quite good…. I don’t eat dairy so it helped give it a little kick in place of the feta. Thanks for your blog! Best wishes for 2014~
Hi Alison! I’m so happy that you made and loved this recipe. Your additions sound delish and will be great for those people who don’t eat dairy. I’m lactose intolerant, but I just can’t seem to part with cheese. I know I shouldn’t eat it, but it’s way too good! Best wishes to you as well girl! 2014 is going to be an amazing year, I can totally feel it 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
Just made this tonight and it is great! I just made 1 squash for my husband & myself and I tweeked it a bit. I added 1/2 sautéed onion and a clove of garlic. We don’t care for red wine vinegar very much so I substituted balsamic instead. Fantastic recipe.
I made this today after googling recipe for acorn squash and quinoa – delicious!! I made it with black quinoa as that is what I had in my cupboard. Will defintiely do again!
Hi Julie! Awesome! I’m so happy to hear that you loved this squash recipe! Thanks for letting me know! xoxo, Jacquelyn 🙂
Hi, just discovered this recipe and I LOVED it! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Mary! You’re so welcome, and I’m so happy to hear that you loved the squash! 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn
Didn’t have any parsley. I really like marjoram so I thought I’d throw in a little.
Note to self: Don’t do that again.
Everything else was great, but the marjoram threw the taste in the wrong direction. Made it heavy instead of fresh.