The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of Julia of A Cedar Spoon.
Perfect for transitioning from summer to fall, this Mediterranean-inspired dish takes seasonal flavors and stuffs them inside 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!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 2 medium-size acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. Terranean za'atar, divided
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3-4 green onions, green and white parts chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp. chives, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Microwave the acorn squash for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin. This makes it easier to cut the squash in half.
- Cut the squash 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 hole facing up.
- Use your hands or a brush and rub 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the 4 squash halves.
- Sprinkle sea salt and pepper along with 1/2 tsp. of za’atar over the squash.
- Flip the squash over on the baking sheet and bake for 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, then add it to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the dried cranberries, pine nuts, chickpeas, green onions, parsley, chives and mint. Set aside.
- In a mason jar or small bowl, whisk together the 1 remaining Tbsp. of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika and the remaining 1 tsp. 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 half, evenly distributing it among the four halves.
- Serve warm.
- Feta or goat cheese is also delicious in 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.
- Additional ingredients such as raisins, figs, apricots, vegetables, mushrooms and greens are recommended.
- Other grain options to consider are lentils, bulgur, rice, couscous or wild rice.