Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m sharing this savory and gluten-free Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries!
In addition to being a delicious and nutritious addition to Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebrations, it also makes a great fall/winter side dish or entrée.
Thank you to the Cranberry Marketing Committee (via the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network) for sponsoring this post, originally published in 2016.
Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
Can you guys believe Thanksgiving is in a few short weeks?! If you’re starting to plan your menus and looking for a fun alternative to the usual stuffing, give this savory and gluten free cranberry stuffed acorn squash a try!
I feel like butternut squash gets all the attention in autumn, but there are tons of delicious fall/winter squashes to try. Enter: acorn squash. Not only does it look super fancy (I mean, that shape!), but it’s also tasty and nutritious. It’s packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and calcium (among others).
Looking for another squash recipe to try? Check out this baked buttercup squash with goat cheese recipe!
And, the filling is just as good as the squash in this recipe. Cranberries are harvested just in time for the holidays, making it the perfect time to incorporate the yummy red berries into your recipes. I love cranberries not only because they are so nutritious (one serving is a good source of Vitamin C and fiber, and provides antioxidant polyphenols), but also because they are so versatile. They go well in both sweet and savory dishes.
We all know and love the usual cranberry sauce (check out my easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe). But let’s mix it up a bit, shall we?
If you haven’t tried making a stuffed acorn squash before, it’s time to do it! It looks really fun and fancy for guests, but it’s easy to make. A total win!
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
For today’s adventure, we’re going more savory with a combination. I’m talking tart cranberries, earthy herbs, nutty pecans, salty feta, and sweet squash. (Are you drooling yet? Because I am!)
To make this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, you’ll need:
- acorn squash
- vegetable broth
Step 1: Roast Acorn Squash
The first step is to pre-bake your acorn squash. Start by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. Then, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Step 2: Make Cranberry Filling
While the squash is baking, prep your filling! Heat a little oil in a pot or pan with a fitted lid and add your onion and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes or until tender. Then, add the quinoa, cranberries, herbs, and vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Then, cover and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through and has absorbed all the liquid.
Step 3: Stuff Acorn Squash & Bake
Stir in the pecans, and then the mixture is ready to be spooned into your cooked acorn squash halves! Divide evenly between the squash (you may have some extra depending how big your squash is). Add a sprinkle of feta cheese.
If you’re having guests over, you can pause at this step and put the acorn squash (with the filling in it) in the fridge until it’s go time – overnight if necessary. Then, the final step is to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the filling is heated through and the cheese is slightly browned.
All that’s left to do is enjoy! 🙂
Let me know how you and/or your guests like it! You’ll find the full vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe at the bottom of this post.
Hot tip: did you know that cranberries can be frozen in their original packaging for up to a year? If you find yourself with leftover whole cranberries on hand to use up, here are a couple other recipes to try:
And if you have leftover homemade cranberry sauce (and turkey) from Thanksgiving, try my Turkey and Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. 🙂
Savory Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
This easy gluten free recipe for savory cranberry stuffed acorn squash will be a crowd favorite at your next holiday dinner - or fall/winter weeknight meal!
- 2 acorn squash
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 teaspoons each fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- olive oil, as needed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut acorn squash in half (either lengthwise or crosswise, whichever is easiest depending on the shape of your squash; it's also helpful to cut a sliver off the bottom so the squash sits flat), and scoop out seeds with a spoon.
- Place the squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pot or saute pan that has a fitted lid. Add the onion and celery and saute for about 5 minutes, until just tender.
- Add the quinoa, cranberries, herbs, and vegetable broth. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook until the quinoa is cooked through and has absorbed all the liquid - 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the pecans. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the center of the squash halves (you might have extra, depending on the size of your squash) and sprinkle with feta cheese.
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned and everything is heated through.