Creamy quinoa and sautéed mushrooms are stuffed in roasted acorn squash and topped with melted parmesan and rich balsamic reduction. A decadently delicious plant-powered meal that is brimming with fall flavors and the epitome of nutritious comfort food.Holy CAMOLEY, have I met my favorite fall meal.
I could honestly eat it every day. It’s basically Octoberfest in a squash.
I mean how fun is stuffed food, in general? It always wins me over. Stuff yo squash, stuff yo face. Easy as that.Not only is acorn squash visually appealing with its golden flesh and vibrant outer striations, but it’s also abound with nutrition. One cup boasts about 25 percent of your daily vitamin C and 5 grams of fiber — all for under 100 calories. It’s also an excellent source of immune-supporting vitamin A, as well as a good source of potassium.
It’s also extremely versatile. Paired with the right ingredients, acorn squash can be the center piece of an easy, delicious meal, or serve as a hearty side dish or salad topper.So, let’s chat about this situation. We have a umami-rich mixture of quinoa, mushrooms, garlic and parmesan that is made to resemble risotto in taste, texture and creaminess (spoiler alert: IT TOTALLY DOES) nestled in a roasted acorn squash. Atop of that beautiful mess, we have MORE melted parm (obviously) and a drizzle of rich balsamic reduction.
Digging your fork into this pillowy mixture ensures an all-encapsulating explosion of sweet, salty, savory and umami flavors. I can’t. EVEN. (!!!)You can also choose to add fresh herbs (perhaps thyme or basil) and pomegranate seeds for a pop of freshness and color. This recipe makes for a filling, satisfying main dish, though you could also serve it as a side dish with just about any meat or fish.
Heck, it could even be the cool new side dish at your Thanksgiving table this year! 😉
Fall food fantasies are coming to fruition, friends. (say that 3 times fast)
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
- 2 acorn squashes, halved
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened cashew milk)
- 4 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional herb topping: fresh thyme or basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut acorn squash in half, lengthwise; scoop out seeds and discard. Rub 2 tsp olive oil over flesh. Place squash, flesh-down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare quinoa and mushroom mixture. Heat 1 tsp. butter and remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add mushrooms, garlic and ¼ tsp salt; cook another 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add milk, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until milk starts to reduce.
- In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all broth is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Mix quinoa and 2 tbsp parmesan cheese into mushroom mixture.
- Fill the hollow center of each squash half with quinoa mushroom mixture. Top each half with remaining parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- In the meantime, pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Drizzle balsamic over squash. Top with herbs (if desired) and serve.