Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

By Kiersten | Last Updated: November 10, 2014

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!
Go to Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings recipe

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Prep Time:

40 minutes

Cook Time:

40 minutes

Total Time:

1 hour, 20 minutes


6-8 servings


  • 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
Print recipe


  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.

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.

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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. 🙂

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? 🙂

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. 🙂

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! 🙂

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!

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!

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. :/

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.

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. 🙂

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 🙂

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