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Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash RingsThis Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings recipe makes a great vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving. The rings are stuffed with apples, cheddar, and quinoa

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 RingsSquash at Thanksgiving

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 RingsAbout This Recipe

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.

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Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings Recipe

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

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup sharp, aged, or smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup 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°F. 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 with 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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123 Comments

  • Reply
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
    November 12, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Okay, so these are stunning. And brilliant. Voltron indeed (I have no idea what Voltron is and try to avoid Transformers altogether, but I love that your husband schooled you about it)!

    This is really just the greatest idea. Quinoa so the vegetarians can have a nice complete protein … and the smaller size really is just perfect for an already-piled-high Thanksgiving plate. And, dude! Would these totally work in a hamburger bun for a Thanksgiving-leftovers sandwich, veggie style?? I always feel so left out of that whole turkey sandwich business!

    Okay, I’m excited about them too. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      I think they would work in a sandwich! They are definitely good with a little cranberry sauce on them, although I’m not sure what else you could pile on. Stuffing? Maybe? 🙂

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    November 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Mmmm, I think my daughter and I would absolutely love these. They’re beautiful and they sound like heaven .

  • Reply
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    November 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Oooh – such a good idea to make rings! I can think of so many things to stuff inside of them. These look great!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      There are so many possibilities! I also thought about stuffing them with stuffing.

  • Reply
    Amy
    November 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I love the idea of stuffed squash rings. A whole half 😉 just seems like too much for one sitting.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Yeah, when I make stuffed squash like that, it’s a whole meal. And let’s face it, I am just too much of a glutton to sit there with my whole squash half while everyone else eats mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren
    November 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hah, that Transformers thing sounds like something my husband would say. Hey, if I started referencing Jem (80s girl cartoon), I doubt he’d have a clue either.

    Your squash looks delicious! I love the combination of orange squash with quinoa. I’ve actually never tried acorn, so I’ll have to give this a go! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      I love acorn squash! The skin gets crispy when you roast it and the flavor is really mild–a little less sweet than butternut. Oh, and now I have the Jem theme song stuck in my head. Truly outrageous!

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    November 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    These are so pretty! What a great idea:)

  • Reply
    Shelbi
    November 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Such lovely pictures! I cannot wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits
    November 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I love this! And the photos are stunning. Such a great Thanksgiving recipes, who needs turkey when squash is this amazing 🙂

  • Reply
    ea-the spicy rd
    November 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Such a fab idea to cut these in to rings so more people can share! This looks delicious! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only in 10 days!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    November 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    This is a 5-star stuffed winter squash! Fantastic clicks too.

  • Reply
    Jennifer The Quirky Momma
    November 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Oh my, another to make item. I think tonight would work, I have everything but the cheese.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

      I hope you like them! 🙂 I think you could get away with using a different cheese (Parmesan maybe?) too…

      • Reply
        Jennifer The Quirky Momma
        November 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

        I had to change it a bit due to not having everything I needed. I used chicken stock, spaghetti squash and acorn squash and thyme. They were delicious! I’m having leftovers today and I can’t wait!

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          November 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

          Yay, I’m glad to hear that! 😀

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    November 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I almost wee’d myself about the Voltron/Transformers reference because that would so be my Mr!

    These look wonderful!! I’m wanting to make quinoa salad for a Christmas gathering so this might be a good recipe to keep in my back pocket!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Minus the egg, the filling would make a really good salad! I was tasting it to get the seasoning right and I had that thought too.

  • Reply
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    November 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Wow…simply wow! These look scrumptious and so delicious! They would be perfect for vegetarians. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jessi
    November 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I almost had a panic attack when I read the first sentence! I haven’t even started to think about what I’m going to do for Thanksgiving! But dear lord, these are so beautiful and impressive! I am very excited to use some of your recipes for thanksgiving!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

      It really seemed to creep up on us this year, didn’t it? It seems like November just started, but Thanksgiving is next week!

      • Reply
        Jessi
        November 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

        And then Christmas a month after that… o.o

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          November 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

          This is how you know you’re getting old. Because when you’re young, it feels like these holidays can’t come soon enough. And then you get older and you wonder how they snuck up on you so fast. :/

  • Reply
    Bibi
    November 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Ahhh they look like little cogs. That brings out the nerd in me and makes her very happy. “Watchmaker’s Stuffed Squash’

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

      I didn’t even notice that, but they do!

  • Reply
    Robin
    November 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    They almost look too pretty to eat!!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving
    November 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Oh wow, gorgeous and I love this idea.

  • Reply
    Shirley
    November 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    LOL! If it makes you feel better, I didn’t even realize Voltron was the correct answer until you pointed it out. I love the idea of rings! All Thanksgiving sides should come portioned so elegant and small. And just gorgeous photography by Rikki.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:01 am

      I guess now that I think about it, it makes sense–Transformers transform into something else. Oops.

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    November 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I love the idea of stuffed rings instead of an entire squash half – much better for Thanksgiving so you can sample all the other wonderful holiday dishes!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    November 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    These are beautiful! Makes my mouth water just looking at the photos. Yummy! Wonderful idea, but you always have such great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

      I’m so thrilled with how Rikki’s photos turned out! She has a way of making everything look absolutely delicious. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara @my less serious life
    November 13, 2012 at 6:31 am

    so i’ve never had acorn squash. ever. but, i love all things butternut squash and i certainly love all vegetables (i do not discriminate) – so im sure i would love it! maybe i’ll make this for thanksgiving?!?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

      If you like butternut squash, I think you’d like acorn squash too. The flavor is just a bit milder. On its own, it’s a little bland, but when it’s seasoned and combined with other things (like a quinoa filling!), it’s fabulous. 🙂

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    November 13, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I’m jazzed too! Can’t wait to give these a try!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Oh girl, these are so pretty! What a fabulous Thanksgiving offering!

  • Reply
    Rachel Cooks
    November 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

    This is awesome! I love it!

  • Reply
    A tasty love story
    November 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

    This is such a good idea, making rings instead of whole or half pumpkins. I am having girls over tonight, and I plan on doing a meat-stuffed-hokaido-version with fresh cranberries, really hope it’s gonna work out! But thank for the inspiration, and what a lovely blog you’ve got 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

      I love Hokkaido pumpkin! That would be perfect for a stuffed squash recipe. I hope your recipe turns out well!

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