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Curry Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

One of the things I look forward to in the fall is winter squash. This week at Trader Joe’s they had acorn squash, kabocha squash and butternut! Four of the squash beauties came home with me. The humble acorn squash is lovely on its own but sometimes I want something just a little more special. It becomes an elegant entree when oven roasted and stuffed with a delicious curry mixture.

Curry Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Nutmeg Notebook

I was inspired by a stuffed acorn squash recipe I saw in the Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook. I doubled the curry, added garbanzo beans and onions and deleted the dried fruit.  These changes gave it a protein and fiber boost and took it from a simple side dish to a delightful entree. We like it so much that I’ve made it several time since and I have even doubled the recipe. The leftovers heat up well and make for a quick heat and eat meal a day or two later. You know how I love leftovers!  It’s beautiful enough to serve company or it can be a special entree for the holidays.

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Nutmeg Notebook

If you don’t like curry – no worries I have a Mexican version that is just as delightful. Simply use cumin, chili powder, black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice.

Curry Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash & Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Nutmeg Notebook

Yesterday I roasted two acorn squash and made a recipe of each curry and Mexican. They reheat nicely and make for a lovely quick meal on a busy day. Add a simple side salad and your meal is complete.

Curry Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed*
  • 1/2 cup tri colored quinoa or whatever color you have
  • 1 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder or to taste**
  • 1 cup cooked low sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped – if your squash is large feel free to use more spinach
  • 2-4 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 tablespoons POM seeds – I used frozen ones that I let thaw out- Trader Joe’s sells them fresh in the produce section

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

*To make it easier to cut the squash in half, pierce it a few times with a sharp knife and place it in the microwave, heating on high for 4-5 minutes. It will soften the skin just enough to cut easily.

**Curry powder varies greatly in the amount of heat it has so use as much or as little as appeals to your taste buds.

Place prepared squash upside down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 30-40 minutes or until fork tender. The size of the squash will determine how long it needs to bake. I had one large acorn squash that took 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine quinoa, onion,vegetable broth, curry powder in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low cooking for 15 – 20 minutes or until all liquid evaporates.

When quinoa is cooked, add spinach, cilantro and garbanzo beans, stir to combine, put lid on pot and set aside until squash is ready.

When the acorn squash is fork tender, remove it from the oven, turn over and evenly divide stuffing mix in the cavity of each half. It will be really full! If your squash is smaller it might not hold all the stuffing so just put the extra along side the squash on the plate. Garnish with POM seeds. Serve hot.

Notes: Skip the curry powder and vary the type of beans and spices used – for instance black beans and cumin or white beans with Italian seasonings. Use double the spinach to bulk it up if you wish.

For the Mexican Quinoa Stuffing:

I used 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon Chile Chiptole  powder, 1 small Chiptole in Adobo sauce finely minced plus about 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce – its not salt free so you could use a jalapeno pepper instead. Use 1 cup black beans and 1/4 -1/2 c frozen corn, 1/4 c cilantro and 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Garnish with more fresh cilantro and salsa.

Yield: 2 servings

This recipe was inspired by the Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook.

Happy Healthy Cooking!

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question – I enjoy hearing from you.

What’s your favorite type of winter squash?

I love, love, love the kabocha squash! Its creamy and kind of sweet and you don’t have to peel it.


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  1. My first Cooking Video! » Nutmeg Notebook says:

    […] In the video I forgot to mention what I was going to do with the acorn squash I roasted. This is one of my favorite fall recipes. First of all I love acorn squash and the filling is to die for. This past weekend I made a double batch of the filling to take to a pot luck. Instead of stuffing a squash I roasted some delicata squash and diced it to add to the stuffing mixture. It turned out really good! Curry Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash. […]

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