Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

4.88 from 24 votes
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Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with parmesan, pomegranate, and balsamic glaze. A decadently delicious, vegetarian entree perfect for the holidays or weeknight dinners.Quinoa stuffed acorn squash halves arranged on a gold plate

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.A fork digging into mushroom quinoa mixture

The Ingredients

  • 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.

The Directions

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.

Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash | dishingouthealth.com

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.Mushroom and quinoa being cooked in a white skillet

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!Acorn squashes being stuffed with quinoa mixture and topped with parmesan cheese

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.

Serving Suggestions:

  • 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.

Quinoa stuffed acorn squash halves arranged on a gold serving platter

More Impressive Winter Squash Recipes:

Cheesy Butternut Squash Casserole

Roasted Squash Salad with Parmesan-Peppercorn Dressing

Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!

4.88 from 24 votes

Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with parmesan and rich balsamic reduction. A decadently delicious, gluten free entree or side dish brimming with fall flavors.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Large skillet with fitted lid

Ingredients  

  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 8 oz. sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (sub unsweetened cashew milk)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese divided
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze (homemade or store-bought)
  • Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)
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Instructions 

  • 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 1/2 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 1/4 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!

Notes

*To make homemade balsamic glaze, combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar thickens and is reduced to about 3 Tbsp. (about 20 minutes). (It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.) Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. 
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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1squash half | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 540mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

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51 Comments

  1. Linda says:

    5 stars
    I just discovered this recipe and made it tonight for supper. So yummy! I will definitely make it again 😋
    I did have one issue with it. There was so much liquid still after 20 min. of cooking. I did another 10 min, but there was still a lot of liquid. I ended up thickening it with corn starch. I do soak all of my grains before cooking, so I suspect that is what caused the problem. The next time I make this, I’ll use half the liquid and see how that does.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Linda – Ah that could have definitely been the reason why. I’m so glad it still turned out well!

      1. Penny says:

        4 stars
        I also had a lot of liquid left over even though I put the quinoa in dry. I used oat milk in lieu of cow’s and the flavor was great. The balsamic glaze and arils added a great sweetness component at the end. We served it with tilapia and it was a great dinner! I’d only suggest reordering the directions to start the mushrooms and shallots before getting the squash in the oven, since you end up cooking the filling longer than the squash. I missed reading the 17-20 min quinoa direction so I ended up having to pull the squash out for 10 min before the quinoa was finished to avoid it getting too mushy. Otherwise I’ll definitely make this again. Very pretty, too!

  2. Karen says:

    Delicious! I used toasted pine nuts on top instead of pomegranate seeds.

  3. Kyle says:

    5 stars
    I’ve had this a few times and I am just blown away by how good it is. I am someone who chooses flavor over health but you get both of these with this dish.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Love that!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    Another winner! We only had non dairy half and half and oat milk so I used a mixture of the half and half and water and it turned out great. Our quinoa needed to cook a little longer but the recipe explained it well and it turned out delish. Thanks!!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Jennifer – Thank you for the feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. Nikki Cook says:

    If making ahead of time, would you suggest storing the quinoa mix separate from the cooked squash? Or would you make it as is and then just reheat the entire dish?

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Nikki – you can make the whole recipe ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake!

  6. Jocelyn Newman says:

    5 stars
    Another hit from Jamie! Absolutely loved this one… so filling and delicious!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Woohoo! So glad you enjoyed this one, Jocelyn! Thank you so much for leaving a review!

  7. Les says:

    5 stars
    I made this as the main course for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! I Terrific recipe. I plan to make it again for Christmas Eve dinner. I will have guests at my house while preparing the meal so would like to do as much up front as I can. I wonder if it would come out okay if I baked the squash and stuffed it with the prepared quinoa mixture earlier in the day and just put it back in the oven for the second baking while the guests were present.