A hearty & healthy vegetarian and GF main for Thanksgiving! Squash is stuffed with a spiced kale and quinoa sauté with pepitas for crunch and feta for tang.
My idea of a vegetarian Thanksgiving looks something like this: seasonal acorn squash stuffed with a sauté of quinoa and kale that’s kicked up a notch with scallions, tangy feta, sweet currants, and toasty pumpkin seeds. A colorful & hearty meal that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. With all of the great produce this time of year, who really needs turkey and mashed white potatoes? (ok, just kidding, don’t answer that…)
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 small acorn squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped uncooked kale (or greens of your choice)
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- Drizzle of honey (optional, but I find it enhances the squash's sweetness)
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- ¼ cup dried currants
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- A few pinches of red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle the acorn squash halves with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place cut side down and roast for approximately 25 minutes. Flip them over and cook cut side up for approximately 10-20 more minutes, or until the flesh is tender and the outer edges are golden brown. I turned on my broiler during the last couple of minutes to get a nice golden edge.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and a bit of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, cumin & cinnamon and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not burning. Mix in the kale and cook for a few minutes, until the kale is wilted. Turn off the heat, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, the cooked quinoa, and a good drizzle of honey and toss. Next, mix in scallions, feta, if using, currants, cilantro, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Scoop the filling into the cooked acorn squash, and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, more feta (if you wish), and a drizzle of olive oil and more honey.
The filling can be made up to a day in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. (Keep the pumpkin seeds separate so they stay crunchy.) When you’re ready to serve, reheat filling in a warm skillet with a little bit more olive oil. Top with the garnishes in step 3.