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STUFFED DELICATA SQUASH + QUINOA, CRANBERRY & PISTACHIO

Stuffed Delicata Squash with quinoa, chickpeas, cranberries and pistachios make for a pretty presentation on any holiday table, or simply enjoy anytime during the season for a flavorful and filling meal!

side angle view of stuffed delicata squash with quinoa.

This is the time for winter squashes and all their wonderful flavors!

Healthy and nutritious, stuffed squashes are a wonderful addition the meal rotation and pair well with a simple green salad.

This recipe can be dressed up or kept simple, depending on your mood or occasion. Keep it to a few ingredients, while adding more for complexity.

I’ve made these before with just 6 ingredients (squash, quinoa, cranberries, pistachios, oil and salt) and it was great, but adding a few other components like protein rich chickpeas, a bit of thyme and mint gives it more depth and flavor.

top down view of ingredients used to make stuffed delicata squash with quinoa, chickpeas, cranberries and pistachios.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious quinoa stuffed squash recipe along with tips and ideas!

  • Delicata squash – Delicata squash is so easy to work with and preps and cooks easily. If you want to change it up, arcorn squash also works well in this recipe!
  • QuinoaQuinoa (wiki) is my favorite grain, well technically it’s a seed but can be prepared like a grain. It’s a complete protein, full of fiber and a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron making it a great alternative to grains. And it’s gluten free. Here I used a blend of pearl and tri-colored quinoa. I like blending the two so there is just a few specks of the darker quinoa, but one color would be fine.
  • Cranberries – The cranberries add a little sweetness. To keep this refined sugar free, look for organic or unsweetened cranberries.
  • Pistachios – Adds crunch, protein and subtle, unique flavor. Pecans would be nice too!
  • Chickpeas – Rich in protein and fiber, chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) adds heartiness and make each serving well-balanced.
  • Shallot – If you don’t have shallot on hand, use 1/2 of a red onion.
  • Thyme – I love thyme and it pairs well with all the flavors. If you don’t have it on hand, it’s ok, you can still pull of delicious stuffed squashes.
  • Mint – Mint adds a nice layer of flavor, but can be optional.
  • Pure Maple Syrup – Used to brush the delicata squash with before roasting, keeping this recipe oil-free. You can also use olive oil if you prefer.
  • Salt & Pepper – Use plenty of salt & pepper for the most flavor!

Let this be a template for you to create a quinoa stuffing to your liking. I encourage you to play around with the ingredients adjusting to your personal tastes.

side by side photos showing the process of prepping delicata squash for roasting.

How To Make Stuffed Delicata Squash

Making stuffed winter squash with quinoa stuffing is straight forward, easy and ready in under 1 hour.

  • Prep delicata squash. Be sure to scrub the squash well since you’ll be eating the whole thing.
  • Roast the squash: Delicata squash is super easy to roast, simple place it on a baking sheet and bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 375.

side by side photos of stuffed delicata stuffing and roasted squash.

  • Make the quinoa stuffing: Quinoa takes about 15 minute of cook time and 10 minutes of resting, so it can be made as the stuffing is in the oven. It comes together easily and only takes one pot. Just be sure to season well with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the stuffed squash: Once squash is ready, remove any thyme leaves and fill each half with the quinoa stuffing (shown below). Top with mint or parsley and enjoy!

top down view of stuffed delicata squash with quinoa.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 4 – 5 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. It makes a great meal prep for using these multi-use containers (affiliate link).
  • Freezer: Stuffed squash freezes well for up to 2 – 3 months. Use freezer safe containers (like the ones mentioned above) or baggies to keep it from getting freezer burn. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Re-warm stuffed squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 – 15, until warmed through. You can also zap them for a few minutes, checking for doneness every 30 seconds.
  • Make ahead: You can easily make the your stuffed acorn squashes ahead of time and keep stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Simply reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

More Recipes You’ll Love

side angle view of stuffed delicata squash sliced in half on a white plate.

If you try this stuffed delicata squash recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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STUFFED DELICATA SQUASH + QUINOA, CRANBERRY & PISTACHIO

Flavorful and nutritious, stuffed delicata squash is a healthy way to celebrate the fall season! Winter squash is a colorful centerpiece for the holiday table too!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Roast, Simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, fresh or dried

Quinoa Stuffing

  • 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 3/4  cup water
  • 1/23/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/23/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • mineral salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

add complexity to the quinoa by adding one or more of the following to suit your taste:

  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat.

Prep and roast the squash: Wash and dry squash. Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. The seeds should come out easily by scraping the inside of the squash with a spoon. Lightly brush the inside of each squash with a little oil or maple syrup. Sprinkle with a bit of mineral salt and thyme. Place on baking sheet cut side up. Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork.

Quinoa Stuffing: In a medium pot, add quinoa and water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff a fork and let set 10 minutes. Add pistachios, cranberries, shallots, salt, pepper and any other optional ingredients. Toss well to combine.

Assemble: Scoop quinoa into squash halves, place back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm if needed, and serve.

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in fridge for up to 4 – 5 days.

Notes

For the quinoa I used a blend of 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa. Feel free to use all of one type or mix and match to your preference.

Seek out organic cranberries if possible. Unsweetened is best but can be hard to find. The ones I have here are from Trader Joe’s which are organic but sweetened.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: For roasting the squash I love my Silpat or these parchment liners for lining this rimmed baking sheet (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials!

Updated: Stuffed Delicata Squash + Quinoa originally published October 2013 and has been updated November 2019 with new photos and helpful tips. The original recipe included acorn squash and has been modified to only include delicata squash, but feel free to use acorn squash as it cooks the same way. I also added chickpea to round out the nutritional profile. Enjoy!

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12 Comments

  1. sarah berry says:

    This will for sure be on my Thanksgiving table! My mom is vegan, and I'm excited to be cooking something nutritious, delicious and different for her! :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just bought dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice from Vitacost! They are SO good, very soft and just the right sweetness. I think they are from Eden Foods.

  3. Lorimer Street Kitchen says:

    Oh wow, I love the combination of pistachio and cranberry in something savory! And beautiful pictures, as always! :)

  4. First off, thank you!

    I have heard all the bad press about quinoa as well. As with any product that comes into demand it will have to go through a process until it eventually works itself out. I've seen the differences of opinion and happen to relaxed about the situation. Honestly, I don't know all the information and the complete truth to any of it…some is sensationalized while some has merit. I will continue to eat my quinoa and promote it's health benefits. I would suggest buying fair-trade quinoa if you can. Alter Eco Foods sells all the different quinoas. Prices vary depending on the color of quinoa your purchasing. http://www.alterecofoods.com/products/quinoa

    Not a thought provoking answer but that is my perspective. :)

  5. The Vegan Cookie Fairy says:

    What a perfectly simple meal. That's what I love about your recipes.

    I love quinoa but haven't cooked it in ages because I've heard a lot of bad press about quinoa not being a sustainable crop and farmers not being able to handle the world demand for their crop. What do you think about that?

  6. Yummy! This is so similar to something I concocted about a month ago it is almost scary! The only differences are that I used finely minced red onion and chopped pan toasted pecans and didn't use lemon juice – will have to try this variation next – love pistachios, just rarely have them on hand ;-)

    1. This is a simple recipe that I'm sure has been concocted by many with some variations. The pecans sound great! I will have to vary this up and try different nuts. I've seen a recipe with hazel nuts that sounds fantastic too!

  7. Bliss Doubt says:

    That is by far the prettiest stuffed winter squash presentation I've ever seen. Must try.

  8. coconutandberries says:

    This is perfect! I've been wanting to try a quinoa stuffed squash for a while but wasn't sure exactly how to go about it. Looks scrumptious :)

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