Quinoa Stuffed Squash

I actually saw a picture of this dish in a magazine ad sometime last year. It was so visually appealing that I remembered it all spring and summer, waiting for all the pumpkins and squash to turn up in fall. Could I have found the squash I wanted earlier in the year? Probably. But I wouldn’t have wanted to for the same reasons I don’t crave a dinner of salad and sorbet out in the yard in winter.

This was an easy, tasty dish. You can serve it as a side for a warm, hearty dinner, with roasted pork or chicken. It could serve as the main dish for somewhat lighter meal, with some warm, fresh bread, and save room for a rich dessert. Use dried cranberries in place of the cherries if you can’t find them and add in a quarter-cup of chopped pecans, if you feel so inclined. I will sometimes drizzle a bit more maple syrup over it before serving, but salt and pepper are nice, too.

Quinoa Stuffed Squash

1 acorn or carnival squash

1/4 cup quinoa

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut squash in half and place face down in a over proof dish. Add a few tablespoons of water to the dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine quinoa and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and dried cherries. Set aside until the squash is ready.
Remove squash from the oven and turn cut side up. Divide quinoa mixture evenly between the squash. Cover the squash tightly with foil and return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, until squash is quite tender.
Serves 2.


  1. Oh, that looks cool! I can’t find squash like that, but I’ve been looking for something to do with quinoa.. maybe that, some sliced zucchini, and.. lamb? Could work.

  2. Quinoa is one of those grains I keep hearing about as super healthy for you and I’ve been wanting to try it – thanks for a new way to try squash, and a cool-looking one at that!

  3. Dang, that’s one awesome looking squash. Do it again!!!

  4. What a great recipe. I’ve been thinking in eating more grains, and this is just what the doctor ordered not that winter squash season is here.

  5. I swear I remember seeing that recipe in an ad somewhere, too…was it perhaps in Eating Well Magazine? Well…never-the-less, it looks really good!

  6. Anne – Quinoa would work really well in some sort of pilaf. It has a nice, nutty flavor.

    Michelle and Ana – It has more protein than any other grain, so it is a particular great choice for vegetarians or for a light main course.

    Dr. B. – I definately will soon. I’m trying not to turn this into the pumpkin blog.

    Alice – I think you’re right! EatingWell is probably the most useful food mag I get. Great articles and even useful ads!

  7. I just cooked with quinoa for the first time on my vegan post. This is a beautiful presentation. I still have some of those grains leftover. I think I will try this.

  8. Oh goodness. I love squash/pumpkin. It’s just a pity that we only have one type of squash here in Manila. It’s my favorite vegetable. Great presentation, Nic. I wish it would materialize in front of me. :p

  9. What’s the best way to rinse quinoa? I bought some from whole foods and it says to rinse before using, but I’m afraid I’ll lose it thru the holes in the strainer.

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