acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almondsSome 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.

I love this recipe and make it up quite often for lunch in the fall.  I say lunch because my kids are not fans of quinoa and squash, so I really can’t make this up for dinner as my kids would not be happy campers.  This is more of a “mommy and daddy” meal in my house.

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!

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

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, because it was just John and I eating it.  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. 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing on the squash
  • fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry, quinoa, rinsed – I love this brand of quinoa from Quinoa corporation as it’s pre-rinsed.
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

 ingredeints for acorn stuffed squashPreheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let’s begin by roasting up the acorn squash.

Cut your squash in half as shown below. I’m going to warn you, cutting an acorn squash in half is HARD work. I felt like I was cutting through a log or something. I really had to dig in with my knife and rotate the squash around.

After you cut your squash in half, scoop out all the seeds and membranes, using either a spoon or a melon baller.

Next, brush each squash half with a bit of olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper.

cutting up an acorn squashRoast the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet 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.

DSC_0022roasted squashWhile the squash is cooking, bring the 1 cup well rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Once the quinoa has come to a boil, give it a stir, cover it and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the quinoa until all the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Note: If you’re using another brand of quinoa, please check the package for cooking instructions as they all vary.

The quinoa is done when its tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.  

Let the quinoa cool just a bit and then fluff with a fork.

cooked quinoaWhile the quinoa and squash are cooking, was and chop your parsley and toast up the almonds. 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.

Coarsely chop the almonds.

coarsley chopping almonds Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer the nuts to a paper towel lined plate to get the grease off.  Sprinkle the almonds with some fine sea salt. Set them aside.

toasting chopped almonds in olvie oilIn a large bowl, combine the quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup feta, almonds, 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

quinoa with toasted almonds and chopped parsleyFill up your squash halves with the quinoa and dig in.

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almondsGot leftover quinoa?  Just reheat it in a skillet with a touch of coconut oil or in the microwave.

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 4-8 depending on how many squashes you buy

acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and roasted almonds

Note: I used 1 large acorn squash here, because it was just John and I eating it. 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing on the squash
  • fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry, quinoa, rinsed - I love this brand of quinoa from Quinoa corporation.
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Let's begin by roasting up the acorn squash.

Cut your squash in half. I'm going to warn you, cutting an acorn squash in half is HARD work. I felt like I was cutting through a log or something. I really had to dig in with my knife and rotate the squash around.

After you cut your squash in half, scoop out all the seeds and membranes, using either a spoon or a melon baller.

Next, brush each squash half with a bit of olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper.

Roast the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet 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, bring the 1 cup well rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small sauce pan.

Once the quinoa has come to a boil, give it a stir, cover it and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the quinoa until all the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Note: If you’re using another brand of quinoa, please check the package for cooking instructions as they all vary.

The quinoa is done when its tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

Let the quinoa cool just a bit and then fluff with a fork.

While the quinoa and squash are cooking, wash and chop up your parsley and toast up the almonds. 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.

Coarsely chop up the almonds.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped almonds to the skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a paper towel lined plate to get the grease off. Sprinkle the almonds with some fine sea salt. Set them aside.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup feta, almonds, 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season 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 in the microwave.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/11/acorn-squash-stuffed-quinoa-roasted-almonds/

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Comments

  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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!
    Jessica

  4. says

    I’m laughing because I just made this – except with wholewheat couscous on sunday night! wonderful recipe!!! and of course lovely photos:)
    Mary x

  5. says

    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

  6. Emily3 says

    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!

  7. Britt says

    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! :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      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

  8. Alison says

    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~

    • jackiegrandy says

      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

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