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 sweetness, while the toasted nuts provide a little crunch. Of course, 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 of 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˚F and fill an 8x8 (or 9x9, 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.
- Mix the quinoa, toasted nuts, dried cranberries, and the onion and celery mixture in a large bowl. 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 bit of coconut oil or vegan butter. Place the squash halves in the prepared pan, add the remaining filling to a small baking dish, and place it 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!