Quinoa gets an autumnal makeover as the filling for the melt-in-your-mouth Delicata squash, and the spice combo evokes all the best fall flavors. A hint of cinnamon and maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness while the toasted nuts provide a little crunch. The filling would make an excellent gluten-free Thanksgiving stuffing alternative on its own! As written, though, this recipe is a surprisingly satisfying and filling dinner any old time of year.
Nutty Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1/2-1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- A couple grinds of fresh pepper
- Dash cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (I used a mix of hazelnuts and walnuts)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 delicata squash, split lengthwise, with the seeds and stringy bits scooped out
- A little extra vegan butter or coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 425˚ and fill an 8″ x 8″ (or 9″ x 9″, depending on the size of your squash) baking pan with a thin layer of water.
- Melt the vegan butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the spices and maple syrup and stir so that the onion and celery are coated. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, toasted nuts, dried cranberries, and the onion and celery mixture. Scoop into the cored Delicata squash and pack tightly. The filling can come up over the edge a little bit, but not too far. You’ll have extra, but that’s okay. Dot the filling with a little coconut oil or vegan butter. Place the squash halves in the prepared pan, add the remaining filling to a small baking dish, and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the Delicata squash is browned on top and is pierced easily with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before eating. Drizzle with a little extra maple syrup if you’re feeling indulgent!