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Appetizers/ Holiday Recipes/ Recipes/ Sides/ vegetarian recipes

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 1x
Scale

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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125 Comments

  • Reply
    Diane (createdbydiane)
    November 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    These are so beautiful, they will dress up any Thanksgiving table VERY nicely.

  • Reply
    TidyMom
    November 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    These are BEAUTIFUL Kiersten!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    November 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Mmmm, I just bought some acorn squash today. Can’t wait to make it!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    November 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I am printing this to try at our family’s Thanksgiving. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Dara
    November 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I LOVE this recipe! So tasty and your photos are gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 13, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Made this tonight, turned out not only delicious but beautiful! Only thing I changed was using Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar. But both are sharp cheeses so I’m sure it was similar to original 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great recipe – its a keeper for sure!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      I’m so glad to hear it turned out well! I suggested Parmesan to someone else, so I’m glad to hear that it did work out with that instead of cheddar. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    November 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I just made roasted acorn squash tonight – along with a chicken tho 🙂 Will definitely try this with the 2nd squash I bought!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      You should totally try stuffed squash–it is so good!

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    November 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I like the squash ring idea, they look so pretty!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    November 14, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Beautiful idea! I do love stuffed squash halves, but agree that it ends up being a lot of food. Fine for a stand alone meal, but as a part of a thanksgiving spread, totally overwhelming. If only I hadn’t just cooked up my only acorn squash (they’re dang near impossible to find in my corner of the world) I’d be rushing to make this! Must try it out with other squash. Thanks for another gorgeous recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      I think just about any squash that can be cut into rings would work. Maybe even a small pumpkin!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
    November 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

    This looks amazing! All of my favorite ingredients!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Oh my goodness. These are *so* gorgeous. And they sound absolutely amazing!! I love every single ingredient. I have to make these!!

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    November 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I love how you’ve used beautiful acorn squash slices here. I want to reach out to eat, if THAT is ever possible to do 😉

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      When will someone invent that kind of technology?!

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    November 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    These are so pretty! I love that they look like little flowers, and I think my little girl will love that too 😀 And they look delicious!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Someone else said they look like cogs! I didn’t notice either of those, but now of course, that’s all I see. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    November 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Oh my goodness these are beautiful and they look so flavorful and well, pretty!

  • Reply
    Kyle
    November 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I’m loving the looks of everything you posted today for TDay. I have to cook a mixed meal for carnivores and vegetarians – and have a small oven. How do the various components of your meal handle being cooked ahead of time – I’m thinking of cooking some of the meal this Sunday to be reheated on Thursday.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      The sweet potatoes can be made in advance, which will free up space (and time) in the oven for you. (There are also a lot of stovetop things you can make in advance–caramelizing the onions and shallots, the cranberry sauce, the gravy.) If you have the room, you could do the stuffing and squash rings at the same time (both at 375 degrees), then do the carrots and green beans at the same time. When the carrots and green beans are done, pop the squash rings and stuffing in the oven again for 5 minutes or so if they need a little reheating. Roasted veggies can definitely be made in advance and reheated, but they’re not as nice looking the second time around!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    November 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Do you think I can prepare the mixture the day before (maybe omit egg until before I fill), as well as cut the squash, keep in the fridge, then bake the next day?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Yup, I haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty certain that would work out fine. I’d omit the egg until the next day too.

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Hardgrove
    November 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I made these last night & they were SO delicious! The most daunting part is cutting the squashes into rings, but after that – it’s smooth sailing.

    Thanks for sharing! : )

    Jaclyn

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      I’m glad they turned out well! I always have to have my husband cut winter squash for me–I don’t have the best track record with big knives. 😉

  • Reply
    Crista
    November 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I am so inspired by your Thanksgiving recipes… maybe some of the best I’ve seen! I’d love to duplicate the entire meal that you created with Rikki. I shared a few of your recipes on my blog today. THANK YOU. http://peacelovequinoa.com/2012/11/20/thanksgiving-recipes-vegan-gluten-free/

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Thank you so much! Just to let you know, though, not all of my Thanksgiving recipes are vegan–the acorn squash rings aren’t, although they’d be pretty easy to adapt. 🙂

      • Reply
        Crista
        November 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        oh yeah!, I caught that, thanks! 🙂
        i’ll substitute Earth Balance for butter and I won’t use the cheese. Regardless, I can’t wait to try them!!!!!

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    November 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I totally agree with you – I always see recipes for quinoa stuffed squash as a vegetarian main course option, but never a smaller-portioned option that would be easier to eat, like this one. I love to fill up on side dishes at Thanksgiving too, so this would let me fill my plate with other things, and still come back for a second slice!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Yeah, the side dishes are the best part of Thanksgiving–I definitely wanted my entree to be something that left a lot of room for them! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara
    November 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Yummy! Great recipe. I thank you for tonight’s dinner! The only thing I had trouble with was cutting the rings, but I ended up chopping up some of the end bits into cubes, roasting them, and eating them with the extra filling. Just as delicious.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply
    CrystalFawn
    December 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I served them to company and they made for a very pretty presentation and were simply DELICIOUS!!!! Will definitely make again…Thank you.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up
    December 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    WOW! These look fantastic. I am always looking for squash recipes this time of year. Ill have to try these out.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you! I hope you like them if you make them. 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna
    November 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe. I made it couple of times already and my family love it. I made also spicy versions of this recipe (added garlic, marjoram, and some turmeric)… everyone loved it.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I love the sound of your spicy version too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jeannine
    November 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I made these and they were both beautiful and delicious! Thank you! 🙂 I did not make any changes to your recipe and it was just the right amount of everything. The only difficulty I had was slicing the squash – my chef knife wasn’t too sharp so I used a serrated bread knife. I had some issues getting the slices straight and even (as you can probably imagine). Next time I make this I think I will need a new knife!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Usually my husband gets squash slicing duties. 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Alexis
    November 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    What are the best kind of apple and onion to
    Use? Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I use yellow or white onion. Any kind of apple will work, but I prefer to cook with Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Braeburn.

      • Reply
        Alexis
        November 26, 2013 at 10:14 am

        Thank you!

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