Stuffed Acorn Squash

I first made this stuffed acorn squash recipe for Thanksgiving, but its spiced quinoa filling is so good that it's become one of my go-to fall recipes.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

The year I first became vegetarian I truly missed the turkey part of turkey day. It seems like ages ago now, but back then I barely knew how to cook for myself, let alone embrace seasonal foods like squashes, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes (you know, the kind without marshmallows).

Now, with hearty vegetarian main dishes like this stuffed acorn squash, I couldn’t miss the turkey less. When I started working on this recipe, I knew I wanted to make an unconventional stuffed squash. Obviously, you won’t find ground beef or a sausage and apple combination here, but I also veered off the traditional vegetarian stuffed acorn squash path. Instead of using wild rice, dried cranberries, and onions and celery in my filling, I went in a totally different direction: Tex-Mex!

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe ingredients

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe Ingredients

This stuffed acorn squash filling is DELICIOUS, hearty, and healthy. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Cooked quinoa and black beans make up its hearty base.
  • Avocado adds creaminess.
  • Cumin and coriander spice it up.
  • Feta gives it a tangy, salty punch of flavor.
  • Onion, green onions, and green chiles add heat and depth of flavor.
  • Pepitas add crunch.
  • Lime brightens it up.

While the squash roasts, sauté the onion and stir in the other ingredients. When the squash halves are tender and golden brown, remove them from the oven and load them up with the yummy filling! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Stuffed Acorn Squash Serving Suggestions

If you serve this stuffed acorn squash recipe at Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’ll have a spread of dishes like cornbread stuffing, cauliflower mashed potatoes, an autumn salad, and apple pie or crumble to go with it.

If you make it on its own, I recommend pairing it with a simple veggie side like roasted beets, lemon green beans, or roasted cauliflower. Alternatively, embrace its Mexican flavors and pair it with my Mexican street corn salad!

Depending on the size of your acorn squash, you may have some of the filling left over. My leftover suggestion: make post T-giving tacos!

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you love this stuffed acorn squash recipe…

Try my butternut squash soup, roasted spaghetti squash, delicata squash, squash curry, or squash stuffed shells next!

5.0 from 11 reviews

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This stuffed acorn squash with spiced quinoa, avocado, and black bean salad is a delicious vegetarian dinner or Thanksgiving main course! Vegan and gluten-free.
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 6-8
  • 3-4 small acorn squash, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 (4 ounce) can of green chiles
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup toasted pepitas
  • ¼ cup feta cheese (optional)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • A few squeezes of lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the insides. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cut side up for for about 35-50 minutes or until your squash is tender in the middle and browned around the edges. (The timing will depend on your squash. If it’s taking too long to become tender, flip it upside down for a portion of the roasting time).
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook the onion until translucent, then add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and stir. Add the green chiles and stir again, then add the quinoa, black beans, scallions, pepitas, feta cheese, a squeeze of lime, and a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Remove skillet from the heat, let it cool, then stir in the diced avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Scoop the filling into the acorn squashes halves. (Note: if you’re not scooping the filling into the squashes right away, scoop the mixture out of the pan and into a bowl and set aside.)
Make ahead tip: make the quinoa pilaf up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge. Wait to add the avocado until ready to stuff & serve.

Vegan option: skip the cheese.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rebeca

    Thanks! Worked perfectly! I did it in the stove with chicken stock, much better texture and loose grain than the rice cooker.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. April

    This was delicious. A great way to make a complete meal with acorn squash. Will make again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Venus

    I made this but added caldillo beef and cilantro. It came out AMAZING! Possibly my new favorite food!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.