Recipe | Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
Thanksgiving might be next week, but here on Oh My Veggies, it starts today! I’m collaborating again with Rikki Snyder, whom you may remember from my Butternut Squash Flatbread post. Rikki is a professional photographer and her work never fails to amaze me. So like the last collaboration we did, I developed the recipes and Rikki did the photos.

(Sidenote: when I told my husband this was like the food blog equivalent of Transformers, where the different parts go together and create something bigger and better, he corrected me with a sigh: “No, that’s Voltron. Voltron. Not Transformers.” And then he shook his head in disappointment.)

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
Stuffed squash often makes an appearance at vegetarian Thanksgiving meals, but usually it’s in the form of squash halves, stuffed with delicious things like quinoa or rice or other grains and veggies. I decided to do rings instead. Why rings?

Well, first of all, there is so much food available on Thanksgiving. And a whole squash half (whole half! That’s like jumbo shrimp, right?!) is a lot of food on top of all the sides and other yummy things you definitely don’t want to miss out on. It’s also a bit unwieldy to eat. Rings are a little more manageable, don’t you think? Easier to eat and they don’t take up nearly as much room on your plate.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
And second, while these squash rings make a wonderful main dish for vegetarians, they also make a great side dish for the meat eaters. No one is going to add a ginormous squash half to his or her plate on top of turkey and all the sides, but a squash ring is a different story. Everyone has room for a squash ring!

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
So yeah, I’m pretty jazzed about these stuffed acorn squash rings. They’re stuffed with quinoa, apples, dried cranberries, walnuts, onions, and sage, which is a lot, but it works, I promise. Because there’s no bottom to the rings, I added a little egg and cheddar to the quinoa mixture to help bind the filling so it doesn’t fall out when transferring from the baking sheet to serving platter.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
I originally developed this recipe for delicata squash; if you’re able to find large ones, 2 or 3 of those could be used in place of acorn squash. (Because I couldn’t consistently find large delicata squash, I decided to use acorn squash instead.) And any relative of acorn squash would work as well, like the sweet dumpling or yellow acorn.

Today Rikki is posting my recipe for Green Beans & Caramelized Shallots. It’s a healthier, fresher alternative to green bean casserole. Be sure to stop by her blog and check it out!

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Roasted acorn squash rings stuffed with quinoa, apples, walnuts, cheese, sage, and onions.

Ingredients

  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • 1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 c. shredded sharp, aged or smoked cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. chopped sage
  • 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3 small acorn or sweet dumpling squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices (remove seeds & guts)
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray or oil and place squash rings on sheets.
  2. Cook quinoa in broth according to package directions. Cool slightly.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook about 10 minutes, or until onion is just beginning to brown. Add apple and cook about 5 minutes more, until apple is softened. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Combine quinoa, apple and onion mixture, cheese, cranberries, sage, and walnuts in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in egg.
  5. In a small bowl, combine butter and maple syrup. Brush tops and insides of squash rings with butter mixture; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stuff quinoa filling into the center of each squash ring, pressing down to fit as much stuffing as possible without overflowing. Spray centers of squash rings with oil or cooking spray. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and squash is tender.
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Debra says

    I can’t wait to make these on Thanksgiving! This is my first year as a vegetarian, so I’m so not grieving the loss of eating turkey – I’m looking forward to these instead! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Nicole Darcy says

    Oh gosh, thank you, thank you, thank you! I made these yesterday as our vegetarian main course instead of a Tofurkey roast and I am so glad I did. I will admit I was a bit nervous — sage, apple, cheese, squash, cranberry? It turned out perfect and was such a way to keep it “real” on Thanksgiving. I will be making it every year instead of any type of mock meat. Thank you!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I’m so, so glad to hear that! We used to have Tofurkey every Thanksgiving too, but I find it’s much more satisfying to make something that’s delicious in its own right rather than something trying to imitate turkey. :)

  3. says

    SO YUMMY. Whenever I visit my mother’s house, I survey the ingredients in her kitchen that are in need of being eaten (my mother doesn’t cook but always has great intentions to when buying food at a grocery store…). A “quinoa and acorn squash recipe” search led me to your recipe and I am so happy it did! This was a huge hit tonight for both our veggie friends and meat lovers. Not only are they cute, they are incredible delicious and satisfying. We will be enjoying these squash rings again very soon. Thank you!

      • Carlie says

        Is there a special way to cut fresh squash? I tried to cut an acorn squash in rings recently and was surprised that I didn’t accidentally cut my hand off lol. It was like cutting through a rock! Any suggestions? I would love to attempt your recipe, but cutting an acorn squash again has me intimidated lol.

        • Kiersten Frase says

          I know! With acorn squash, it can help to cut a little sliver down one side so the squash will stay put on the cutting board. It doesn’t look quite as pretty, but if you’re just making them for yourself or family, it doesn’t really matter. :) Using a very sharp chef’s knife is a must. Other than that, yes, it’s always going to be kind of a pain.

  4. Stephanie says

    I almost never leave comments on the blogs I browse (I’m a lurker, I suppose), but OMG THESE WERE AWESOME!!
    I just started practicing a few recipes I would like to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and this one is perfect! I only had giant acorn squashes though, so next time I’ll double the quinoa mixture to balance it out. I can’t wait to have my family over and demonstrate how tasty vegetarian meals can be :D
    I’m so glad I found your blog, I’m really impressed by how lovely it is. I’ll definitely try more of your recipes! Thank you!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad I’m not the only one who does trial runs of recipes before holidays and get-togethers. ;) I always get nervous things won’t turn out on the big day, so I feel compelled to test things first!

  5. Kat Jett says

    Happy Sunday,

    We cant use cheese ( like for the binding agent ) any other options? can we use a gluten free bread, and add spices, liked smoked Paprika?

    Seems like a silly question, however my husband has been dx with a lot of food allergies and intolerance to several foods this past week, and looking for alternative food options.

    • says

      Hey Kat-

      I made these tonight as a trial run for our plants-giving this year. I always use flax seed to substitute egg (1 tbs flax seed + 3 tbs water, let sit for about 5 minutes to thicken) and it really helped bind the ingredients. As a plant-based eater I don’t use dairy either, so instead of the cheese, I added a small amount of nutritional yeast. I’m sure it’s a slightly different flavor, but delicious all the same!

      Good luck!

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