As we approach fall this Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash takes your favorite flavors and stuffs them in roasted acorn squash. Quinoa, dried cranberries, pine nuts, fresh herbs and chickpeas create a healthy, vegetarian filling. This is a wonderful plant-based meal that your family will love!
MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
When fall rolls around one of my favorite things to eat is all kinds of squash.
I love everything from butternut squash to acorn squash to delicata squash.
Some favorite recipes I make a lot are this Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Butternut Squash Pasta, Parmesan Delicata Squash, Butternut Squash Apple Bake and this Baked Chicken Risotto with Kabocha Squash.
I am excited to celebrate fall with Heinen’s today and share this Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash with you guys.
It is a delicious way to eat squash.
It is similar to this Mexican Stuffed Acorn Squash but using your favorite Mediterranean flavors.
The stuffing mixes together quinoa, dried cranberries, pine nuts, parsley, green onions, mint and chives along with spices, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
It is packed with flavor and is stuffed inside of the roasted acorn squash.
Each scoop of roasted acorn squash includes a bite of that delicious Mediterranean quinoa filling.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED ACORN SQUASH?
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
HOW DO YOU MAKE MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED ACORN SQUASH?
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Microwave the acorn squash for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin. This makes it easier to cut the squash in half.
Cut in half from the tip to the bottom stem.
Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard.
Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet with the hollow whole facing up.
Use your hands or a brush and rub 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the 4 halves of the squash.
Sprinkle sea salt and pepper along with 1/2 teaspoon of za’atar over the squash.
Flip the squash over on the baking sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the flesh is soft and the squash is tender.
While the squash is cooking cook the quinoa.
Let the quinoa cool and then add it to a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the dried cranberries, pine nuts, chickpeas, green onions, parsley, chives, mint and set aside.
In a mason jar or small bowl whisk together the 1 remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika and the remaining 1 teaspoon of za’atar.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir well.
Once the squash is done remove from the oven. Add a scoop of the quinoa mixture to each squash evenly distributing it among the four halves.
TIPS FOR MAKING MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED SQUASH
- HOW TO SOFTEN ACORN SQUASH? Before cutting the acorn squash it really helps to microwave it for around 3 minutes. This helps to soften the flesh making it easier to cut.
- IS THE SKIN SAFE TO EAT? If you are wondering if the skin is safe to eat once the acorn squash is soft and roasted the answer is yes, but for those who prefer it skin-free, the meat separates from the peel easily. The skin is actually very healthy and contains fiber and antioxidants.
- HOW DO I KNOW IF AN ACORN SQUASH IS RIPE? The way to know if an acorn squash is ripe is when the squash is a dark green color. The part that was in contact with the ground changes from yellow to orange. The rind of the squash also becomes hard which is how you know it is ripe.
- CAN I EAT THE SEEDS? Yes the seeds are safe to eat and are great roasted. After you have your squash open, use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. To learn how to roast the seeds check out this post
HOW CAN I MODIFY THE STUFFING IN THIS ACORN SQUASH?
CHEESE: Cheese is a really nice addition to the stuffing. Some great options are goat cheese, feta cheese or Parmesan cheese.
NUTS: I added pine nuts to the filling which can be skipped if you don’t like them. You could also sub in pecans, silvered almonds or cashews.
VEGETABLES: Vegetables can be a nice addition to the filling. Some that I like are cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, artichokes or roasted red peppers.
DRIED FRUIT: I love the sweetness that dried fruit adds. Some nice options are figs, apricots, raisins or dates.
GRAIN: I like quinoa in this filling but other great options are brown rice, wild rice, bulgur wheat, couscous, farro, sorghum or amaranth.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH STUFFED SQUASH?
This Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is great as a meal but also nice as a side dish to seafood, chicken or steak. Here are some favorites of mine.
If you want to add feta or goat cheese you can mix that in to the quinoa mixture. You can quickly melt the cheese with the quinoa mixture by placing the stuffed acorn squash back in the oven for 5 minutes. This works great with all kinds of ingredients added in like raising, figs, apricots, vegetables, mushroom or greens. I also like to sometimes use lentils. Other grain options to use are bulgur, rice, couscous or wild rice.
While the squash is cooking cook the quinoa.
If you want to add feta or goat cheese you can mix that in to the quinoa mixture. You can quickly melt the cheese with the quinoa mixture by placing the stuffed acorn squash back in the oven for 5 minutes.
This works great with all kinds of ingredients added in like raising, figs, apricots, vegetables, mushroom or greens. I also like to sometimes use lentils.
Other grain options to use are bulgur, rice, couscous or wild rice.