Mushroom & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
This mushroom and quinoa stuffed acorn squash is a comforting meatless meal to enjoy all winter long. It's easy to make, can easily be scaled up to serve a crowd and is packed with plant-powered goodness.
When I was little, my parents always used to make acorn squash in the wintertime. Usually, it was mashed, but sometimes we got to have a whole half just to ourselves. They'd roast it with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and just a touch of salt and pepper, and it was always one of my favorite meals. I remember peering inside, seeing a pool of warm maple syrup in the center, and digging in, making sure I had a little extra sweetness with every bite.
This is still the only way I make acorn squash, but over the years I've started making the squash the focus of the meal rather than just a side. So here's what I do: I roast my squash with coconut oil and maple syrup, then stuff it with ALL the veggies.
For today's recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and easy. You can prepare the filling while the squash is roasting, and all you need to do is whiz up some carrots, mushrooms, and shallots in a food processor then saute them with some spices, quinoa, spinach, and pecans.
Add the filling to your squash, bake it another 5 minutes and done.
Most commonly, I see recipes for sausage stuffed acorn squash or something involving meat (like my chicken & quinoa stuffed acorn squash), but I wanted to keep things plant-based here since I know many of us aren't eating as much meat anymore.
So to keep things kind of meaty, I added mushrooms which have to be my favorite meat alternative. Whether you grind them up like I did here (or resemble ground meat) or you slice them thickly and grill them like steaks, it always amazes me how satisfying their texture is.
Quinoa also lends a hand in making this dish super filling. With the extra kick of protein, in addition to the greens and other veggies, this dish becomes a well-balanced meal you can serve as a main course for dinner.
Bonus: it also makes great leftovers!
Just take one to work with you, pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and you're golden.
If you love acorn squash as much as I do, then you've GOT to try this recipe. It's simple to make, tastes amazing and is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Holidays or not, this needs to be on your table asap!
Do you have any recipes from childhood that you still make all the time? Share your favorites in the comments below. I can't wait to hear your stories! And also…if you end up making this recipe (or any other from SQ), I'd love for you to share a picture on social media, tagging @simplyquinoa or using #simplyquinoa so I can find it and give you some love!
More Deliciously Comforting Recipes to Try:
- Vegan Lentil + Quinoa Meatloaf
- 30-Minute Roasted Broccoli Chowder
- Nourishing Quinoa + White Bean Stew
- Glowing Winter Quinoa Buddha Bowls
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Whipped Sweet Potato
- Gluten-Free & Vegan Eggplant Lasagna
Mushroom & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squashes
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 8 medium mushrooms button or baby bella
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium shallot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups spinach or greens of choice
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Pomegranate seeds to garnish optional
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Slice the ends off the squash, then slice each in half width-wise. Scoop out the seeds and place the squash, flesh side up in a shallow baking dish. Rub each half with coconut oil and drizzle with maple syrup.
- Bake on the center rack for 40 - 45 minutes until squash is tender.
- While the squash is roasting, add the mushrooms, carrots and shallot to a food processor. Process on high until the veggies are finely chopped.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable mixture and saute for 2 - 3 minutes until the mushrooms have started to release their juices. Add spices and quinoa and cook until quinoa is warmed. Add water if needed.
- Once veggies are cooked, add spinach and pecans, and cook until spinach has wilted.
- Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in nutritional yeast.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the four squash halves. Place back in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, garnish with pomegranate and serve immediately.
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