Just in time for the holidays, this Quinoa-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash is filled with flavor and vibrant colors! Top it off with a sprinkle of cheerful pomegranate seeds for an entrée that looks as good as it tastes.
I love a dish that’s as versatile as this one and you will learn how to cook acorn squash. It can be an easy weeknight dinner, a hearty side, or a plant-based entrée for any of the fall and winter holidays! I often get asked about plant-based entrees for the holidays, and I’m so happy to have this Quinoa-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe to reference because it really is so, so good. This is a sweet-and-savory dish made with creamy roasted acorn squash, maple syrup, and garlic-infused quinoa. Crunchy pecans make it extra satisfying! I cannot wait for you to try this dish and fall in love with it like I have. I love adding a sweet finish with pomegranates or dried cranberries! It also makes this entrée look totally festive on a holiday table. This is optional, but I think it makes the dish feel extra special. For a little more fruit, you could add chopped apples and cook them with the quinoa and pecan mixture. It’s a dish that’s so autumnal and satisfying!
All About Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a winter squash and is considered a good source of vitamins A and C. They’re also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates! Acorn squash will stay fresh for up to three months when stored properly (keep in a cool, dry area away from extreme temperatures and sunlight). Choose squash that are dull in color and heavy for their size. For a better roasted acorn squash avoid soft spots or cracks. It should be hard to pierce the skin of your squash with your fingernail.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
I cook with quinoa all the time! It’s one of my favorite pantry staples. It is light and absorbs flavor wonderfully with great texture. It is so easy to prepare with amazing health benefits. Quinoa is loaded with fiber (one serving has over 5 grams) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids. This makes it a great source of plant-based protein for vegans. In fact, it has more protein than any other grain! Quinoa is a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals as well as important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.
Cooking with Pecans
Pecans add a nice plant-based protein boost along with healthy fats, so they’re great for making vegan meals well-rounded. They’re also a great source of fiber, so they’re good for digestion. They also contain important minerals such as copper and zinc. Pecans have thiamine (or vitamin B1) that helps your body convert carbohydrates into energy. I think we could all use a little energy boost around the holidays! They are a delicious touch to this quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe!
More Vegan and Gluten-Free Holiday DishesPrint
Learn how to make roasted acorn squash with this Quinoa-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe filled with flavor and vibrant colors!
For the roasted acorn squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved, seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the Quinoa Pecan Stuffing
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup raw pecans, diced
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 cups cooked white quinoa (from 1 cup dry quinoa)*
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds or unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley or chives
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a half sheet baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Rub olive oil all over the halved and seeded acorn squash on all sides. Drizzle the yellow inside of the acorn squash with maple syrup and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper. Place the cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes.
- While the acorn squash roasts, prepare the quinoa stuffing. Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Once heated, add the oil, onions, salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and turmeric and saute another minute. Add the pecans and maple syrup and saute another minute. Add the cooked quinoa and pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the parsley or chives and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
- When the acorn squash is done cooking, turn each half over and stuff with the quinoa mixture. Garnish with thyme and/or chives. Add a drizzle of cashew cream or my easy tahini sauce. Top with more pomegranate seeds or unsweetened dried cranberries if desired. Enjoy while hot.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 50
- Category: Entree or Side
- Method: Oven and Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: stuffed acorn squash, roasted acorn squash