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This quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe is vegan, WFPB, and vegetarian friendly.  It’s a tasty, dairy free option for Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday meals.  This clean eating, fall favorite is loaded with healthy protein from chickpea and is easy to make baked in the oven.  Dried cranbury gives it a sweet flavor. #stuffedacornsquash #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #forksoverknives #fallfavorites #veganthanksgivingrecipes #veganchristmasrecipes

For a while now I’ve wanted to make a stuffed acorn squash recipe, but for some reason was intimidated by that little mini looking green pumpkin! I had recently rewatched the Forks Over Knives documentary and remembered the ending scene with them all eating what looked like quinoa stuffed acorn squash together with Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn.

Then yesterday I was at Aldi picking up a few groceries and I saw that they had acorn squash and was like, ok, I’m doing this. This is the perfect time of year to try a nice autumn recipe like stuffed acorn squash.

Because acorn squash are relatively small, they make the perfect personal sized “bowl” to stuff with just about anything!

I consulted a few recipes to get ideas and learn how to cut the darn thing open. It was a LOT easy than I expected. I personally hate cutting open spaghetti squash because I feel like I’m going to slice off a finger… But these little acorn squash cut much easier than hard spaghetti squash.

nutrition fact of an acorn or pepper or winter squash

Interesting Facts of Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is often referred to as a winter squash and is also called a Des Moines squash or pepper squash. Typically green and orange on the outside with longitudinal ridges, the inside yellow-orange flesh is sweet, similar to a butternut squash flavor.

Acorn squash is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, thiamin, B6, fiber, and magnesium, making this a very nutrient dense food!

1 acorn squash (4 inch diameter):

  • 172 calories
  • 04. g fat
  • 1496 mg potassium
  • 6 g fiber
  • 3.4 g protein
  • 79% RDA Vitamin C
  • 31 % RDA Vitamin A
  • 35% RDA Vitamin B6
  • 34% RDA Magnesium
  • 31% RDA Vitamin A
  • 16% RDA Iron
  • 14% RDA Calcium

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how to cut open an acorn squash

Tips to cut open an acorn squash

  1. Make sure you have a good, sharp, chef’s knife!
  2. Cut in half from bottom tip to stem
  3. Start in the middle along a seam and slice through to the bottom tip and then along the other side until you get to the stem
  4. Don’t try to cut through the hard stem with a knife. If you are perfectly center, you can break it the rest of the way open with your hands. If you are off center slightly, you can cut the rest of the way with your knife just to the side of the stem.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

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What to stuff your acorn squash with

There are so many options and combinations on what to stuff your acorn squash with! I decided I wanted to do a quinoa and chickpea base with some dried cranberries & toasted pepitas to have a nice fall/sweet taste.

You don’t have to use chickpeas, though – you can sub out any bean that you have on hand. Black beans and northern white beans are great options too!

Depending on the size of your squash, you may have left over stuffing. Which is great for a stand-alone side dish or topping salads as leftovers. However if you notice that the acorn squash you are buying are relatively small (mine were) you can buy more squash to stuff with the extra stuffing.

vegan quinoa stuffed acorn squash vegetarian

Baking acorn squash

It’s super easy to bake your acorn squash and you don’t need any oil and if you are following a WFPB diet, you know that is important to avoid.

After you slice your acorn squash in half, place face down (cut side down) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Bake at 400º F for 30 minutes or until tender with a fork.

bake acorn squash

Making the stuffing for your Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

While the acorn squash is cooking, you can make your quinoa & pepitas.

  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and place in a saucepan with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and then cover and lower heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, toast the pepitas in a pan over medium heat stirring frequently until light brown and make popping noises, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Once quinoa is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the cranberries, pepitas, chickpeas, oregano, garlic powder, & lemon juice to the quinoa.
toasted pepitas as part of acorn quinoa stuffing

Toasted Pepitas give it a nutty crunch

What are pepitas? Pepitas are raw, hulled pumpkin seeds and you can find them near the nuts & seeds in most grocery stores. If you can’t find pepitas, you can always sub a different nut or seed like walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds.

Toasting the pepitas in a pan is really easy and doesn’t require any oil. Just add pepitas to a warm pan over medium heat and stir frequently until you hear popping sounds and they are lightly browned on the edges.

Lastly, when the acorn squash is done, flip them over and fill with the stuffing. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the quinoa is a little crispy.

Other recipes you might like:

If you try this recipe, please comment below and share on Facebook and Pinterest!

This quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe is vegan, WFPB, and vegetarian friendly.  It’s a tasty, dairy free option for Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday meals.  This clean eating, fall favorite is loaded with healthy protein from chickpea and is easy to make baked in the oven.  Dried cranbury gives it a sweet flavor. #stuffedacornsquash #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #forksoverknives #fallfavorites #veganthanksgivingrecipes #veganchristmasrecipes

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

This fall favorite is really easy to make and such a comfort food. Tons of protein & fiber for a filling meal the whole family will enjoy! Ready in less than an hour it's no-oil, vegan, wfpb, & gluten free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Whole Food Plant Based
Keyword: fall comfort foods, no oil recipe, non-dairy, stuffed acorn squash, Vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 275kcal
Author: Kim Murphy

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  • Using a sharp chef's knife, slice the acorn squash in half, from tip to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Place the acorn squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender – check with a fork.
  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and place in a saucepan with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and then cover and lower heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, toast the peptias in a pan over medium heat stirring frequently until light brown and make popping noises, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Once quinoa is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the cranberries, pepitas, chickpeas, oregano, garlic powder, & lemon juice to the quinoa.
  • Flip acorn squash over so cut side is up and spoon in quinoa mixture. You might have extra stuffing left over depending on how large your acorn squash are.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until squash is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes

Depending on the size of your squash, you may have left over stuffing.  You can use the leftover stuffing as a side dish or to top salads the next day!

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 1049mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 4mg
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