Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with parmesan, pomegranate, and balsamic glaze. A decadently delicious, vegetarian entree perfect for the holidays or weeknight dinners.
These beautiful stuffed acorn squashes may be one of my new fall favorites.
They're rich and hearty, while also being super nutritious. Each squash half is filled with a quinoa and mushroom mixture, topped with cheese, and baked until golden.
A rich balsamic glaze finishes them off for a touch of sweetness.
Serve these squashes alongside your protein of choice, or as a meal on their own.
I personally love to enjoy them with a side salad and some fresh bread. Easy, delicious, and totally weeknight-friendly.
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash:
So, let's break down the details of this dish.
- Umami-rich mixture of quinoa, mushrooms, garlic, and parmesan that kind of resembles risotto. (Read: it's ultra rich and creamy with a cheesy backbone.)
- Nestled inside a roasted acorn squash, topped with more cheese, and finished with balsamic.
- Garnished with pomegranate arils for extra festive flare.
This combination ensures that each bite is an all-encapsulating explosion of sweet, salty, savory and umami flavors.
- Acorn Squash: Acorn squash is a super versatile variety of winter squash. Pair it with the right ingredients, and it can stand alone as a centerpiece, or accompany any protein.
- Aromatics: A mix of onion and garlic create the aromatic foundation of the filling.
- Quinoa: Rich in protein and fiber, and a fabulous swap for rice in plant-based dishes.
- Mushrooms: Look for cremini (or baby bella) mushrooms. For more umami, you can also toss in some shiitake mushrooms.
- Broth: Use vegetable or chicken broth if not making vegetarian.
- Milk: I prefer whole-milk, however for a vegetarian alternative, cashew milk will also work well.
- Thyme: You really can't beat fresh thyme! Alternatively, rosemary and/or sage are also beautiful in this dish.
- Balsamic: Look for a balsamic glaze, which is reduced to concentrate its flavor. Alternatively, you can make your own balsamic reduction at home!
- Pomegranate: Optional, however pomegranate arils add beautiful festive flare.
Step 1: Roast Acorn Squash
Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line abaking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up.
Cut acorn squash in half, lengthwise; scoop out seeds and discard. Brush flesh evenly with olive oil and season evenly with salt. Place flesh side-down on baking sheet.
Bake until the squash flesh is easily pierced through by a fork, about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Quinoa Filling
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook 6 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Stir in quinoa and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, to lightly toast grains.
Stir in broth, milk, and remaining salt and pepper. Add thyme sprigs and bring mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until quinoa absorbs liquid and is fluffy. Stir in Parmesan and remove thyme sprigs.
Step 3: Stuff Acorn Squash
Fill the hollow center of each squash half with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese overtop. Place back in the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.
Lastly, garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and pomegranate arils!
Health Benefits of Acorn Squash:
Not only is acorn squash visually appealing with its golden flesh and vibrant outer striations, but it's also rich in nutrients.
One cup has about 25 percent of your daily vitamin C and 5 grams of fiber -- all for under 100 calories. Plus, it's an excellent source of immune-supporting vitamin A, as well as potassium.
- Protein: For an impressive, veg-forward dinner, my Best Ever Vegan Meatloaf is sure to impress both vegetarians and omnivores. It was even tested on the most DEVOUT carnivore I know, and he approved!
- Salad: This beautiful Winter Chopped Salad with White Balsamic Dressing features cooler weather produce like sweet potatoes, radicchio, and apple. It's a fabulous compliment to the flavor profile of the quinoa stuffed acorn squash.
- Soup: You can't go wrong with a cozy soup to accompany this squash. My personal favorite (and reader favorite!) is this White Bean and Lemon Soup, which features rosemary and Parmesan.
How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Squash:
- STORE: Wrap stuffed squash halves in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 4 days.
- REHEAT: Place stuffed acorn squash in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom. Rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until hot.
More Impressive Winter Squash Recipes:
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Baking sheet
- Large skillet with fitted lid
- 2 medium acorn squashes
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 8 oz. sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 thyme sprigs
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¾ cup whole milk (sub unsweetened cashew milk)
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 6 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese divided
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze (homemade or store-bought)
- Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up.Cut acorn squash in half, lengthwise; scoop out seeds and discard. Brush flesh evenly with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season evenly with ½ tsp. salt. Place flesh side-down on baking sheet. Bake until the squash flesh is easily pierced through by a fork, about 30 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet (with a fitted lid) over medium-high. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook 6 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Stir in quinoa and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, to lightly toast grains.
- Stir in broth, milk, remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and black pepper. Add thyme sprigs and bring mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until quinoa absorbs liquid and is fluffy; about 17 to 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in 3 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese. Remove thyme sprigs.Fill the hollow center of each squash half with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese overtop. Place back in the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.
- Remove from oven and drizzle balsamic glaze over squash halves. Garnish with pomegranate arils. Enjoy right out of the skin!