Quinoa stuffed squash with almonds and apricots makes a stunning side, or an easy vegan main dish, that even kids will love.
QUINOA STUFFED SQUASH
I’ve mentioned several times that my husband and I grew up hating squash. It wasn’t until we’d been married a couple years, and were forced into cooking squash from our local CSA, that I learned just how flavorful and versatile squash can be.
Gone are the days of mushy, slimy brown sugar laden acorn squash!
Now we look forward to fall and winter every year, and try a new squash recipe on a weekly basis.
Our current favorite is the quinoa stuffed squash with almonds, apricots, fresh mint, and layer upon layer of FLAVOR!
Think of the complex flavors of a Morrocan tagine dish, with toasted almonds, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, garlic, mint, and dried apricots. A drizzle of honey and white balsamic vinegar add a touch of sweetness and brighten the flavors, bringing it all together in the caramelized acorn squash halves.
Are you hungry yet?!
VEGAN QUINOA STUFFED SQUASH
Making this quinoa stuffed squash vegan is as simple as swapping the honey for maple syrup. While it does change the flavors, it still works well since maple syrup pairs so wonderfully with squash.
Since the honey is drizzled over the squash just before eating, you don’t even have to cook the vegan batch separately. You can have bottles of honey, maple syrup, and white balsamic vinegar on the table for guests (or family) to drizzle on to taste.
OUR KIDS LOVE QUINOA STUFFED SQUASH! SERIOUSLY!
I will admit, that even with my updated cooking methods, my kids have the same difficulty with the texture of squash that we did growing up. It’s especially tough for Corban with his Sensory Processing Disorder.
The great thing about this quinoa stuffed squash is that it has a variety of textures thanks to the quinoa, chopped almonds, and dried apricots.
To get the kids to eat it, I just pull the peel off, and chop the squash into small bites. When it’s all mixed together, they don’t even notice or have any texture issues.
They also might just eat it because they watched me pour honey on it. Either way, it’s a win!
PIN TO SAVE QUINOA STUFFED SQUASH FOR LATER:
LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT SQUASH RECIPES? THESE ARE SOME OF OUR FAVORITES:
- cooking spray
- 2 lbs acorn squash, 2 @ 1 lb each
- 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup), divided
- 1⁄2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 10 dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
- Brush the cut side of each squash with 1/2 teaspoon honey; place squash, cut side down, onto the baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, put the quinoa and vegetable stock into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover; cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a dry medium-size skillet, toast the nuts over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, three to five minutes. Allow them to cool, then chop coarsely.
- Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon and ginger. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice.
- Add the onion mixture to the cooked quinoa, stirring until well combined. Stir in the almonds, apricots, parsley and mint; season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, place squash halves on a serving plate then fill each piece of squash with one quarter of the quinoa mixture.
- Serve the halves for a main course, or slice them into quarters for a side dish. Serve with honey, maple syrup, and white balsamic vinegar for drizzling.
Serving Size:8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Sodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g