Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Stuffing

I went back and forth about what to write here today. Do I talk about all the stuff that's going on in our lives... the work, the house projects, our upcoming travels? Do I talk about the presidential election? Or the weather, which has been pretty fall-like recently (though today it's in the 70s and feels like summer... what's the deal with that)? I'm a little too tired to talk about any of these things, so I'm going to stick with this recipe (I'm sure you'll hear more from me about all of those other topics later on). This is one of those recipes that just popped up out of nowhere. I usually neglect winter squash when we get it from our food-coop, but for some reason I decided to put in the oven immediately. I made a mad rush to see what we had to pair with it and, thankfully, found all the ingredients for a quick filling. This is one of those dishes that makes the house smell wonderful, with those sweet, nutty aromas from the baking squash and the scent of sautéed onion and garlic and rosemary simmering on the stove. I'd forgotten just how delicious roasted squash can be. It's a recipe I'll be returning to again quite a few times this winter. 

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Stuffing

2 servings

For the roasted acorn squash
1 acorn squash, tops trimmed and the squash cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
Olive oil

For the Quinoa Stuffing
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb white button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon
Olive oil
Black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub squash with olive oil and season generously with salt. Place, cut side down, on the pan bake for 30 minutes, until fork tender and golden brown. 

While the squash is roasting, prepare the quinoa. Add the veggie broth to a pot and bring to a boil.  Stir in the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer until all the veggie broth has been absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, chopped celery, and chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add quinoa to the mixing bowl with the cooked vegetables. Stir to combine. Add dried cranberries, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.  

Spoon filling into the cut side of the acorn squash.