Celebrate the harvest with this easy, but filling, entrée.
If you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner, you can’t go wrong with stuffed vegetables. In the summer we often eat stuffed zucchini. In the winter I find stuffing eggplant o be a cozy but satisfying meal. And autumn brings stuffed winter squash.
Acorn squash can be easily found at almost any grocery store. It’s a mild flavored vegetable, so works well for family members who aren’t crazy over squash. Adding a few more seasonal items like cranberries and walnuts make it even better.
Here I stuffed the squash with quinoa, making it a fantastic vegetarian entrée for either weeknight cooking or for the vegetarians attending your holiday feast. Omit the Parmesan topping and it is vegan. I rounded out the meal with another seasonal vegetable, Brussels sprouts.
Although the squash takes a while to cook, this whole recipe is super-easy to prepare. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand. You could use rice instead of quinoa (although the quinoa provides complete meatless protein), pecans instead of walnuts, increase the cranberries or add chopped apple.
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup red quinoa
- 1 cup water or broth
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds.
- Grease a baking pan. Place squash hollow side down in pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until squash is fork-tender.
- Meanwhile heat olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Sauté celery and shallot until soft. Add quinoa, water, cranberries, sugar, and walnuts. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and most of the water is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Carefully flip the squash. Stuff each with half of the stuffing mixture. Cover with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Return to oven and cook until heated through, 5-15 minutes.