This roasted acorn squash with quinoa stuffing is the perfect holiday or special occasion dish!
Packed with a flavorful and fragrant quinoa pilaf richly flavored with pecans, red onion, apple, and mushrooms, this cozy dish is sure to impress, leaving you satisfied on a hearty note with a hint of sweetness. To make this dish completely gluten-free, use a GF tamari.
Each full squash makes a nice-sized main dish portion. Or, if you have lots of other food at the holiday table, each stuffed squash can be cut in half to serve 8.
Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking: 60 Meatless, Dairy-Free Recipes Full of Festive Flavors by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2019. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski.
- 4 medium acorn squashes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1⁄2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1⁄2 medium red apple, diced
- 1⁄3 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 4 cremini or white button mushrooms, diced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch of salt
- 1⁄3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (see tip in Notes)
- To prepare the acorn squash, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut off the top of each acorn squash as well as a thin slice from the bottom so it will stand on its own. Remove the seeds and some of the squash flesh to make a bowl, being careful not to scoop out too much on the bottom side.
- To make the glaze, combine the oil and maple syrup in a small bowl, then brush each squash evenly with the glaze. Place the squash on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender but still sturdy.
- Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Cook the quinoa in the broth according to the quinoa package’s instructions, or simply combine the quinoa with the broth in a small saucepan, bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat and cook until the broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, pecans and maple syrup and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the apple is soft and the onion is golden brown.
- Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, cinnamon, thyme and salt and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the quinoa is done, add it to the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the flavors have combined.
- Remove the squash from the oven. Fill each squash with the quinoa stuffing, then return the squash to the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven, divide the pomegranate seeds among them and serve warm.
Tip: When buying whole pomegranates, there’s a very easy trick to take out the seeds without making a mess. Simply slice the pomegranate into 4 pieces, place them in a big bowl with water and separate the seeds from the skin under water. The seeds will sink to the bottom while the skin will float on top!
Some suggested roasted companions for this dish …
- Roasted Root Vegetable Salad
- Roasted Collard Greens with Brussels Sprouts and Polenta
- Balsamic Roasted Ratatouille
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Learn more about Kirsten Kaminski and sample more of her recipes and travelogues at The Tasty K.
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