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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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!

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!

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.

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!

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?

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. 🙂

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!

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.

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

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.

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!

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