Pump up your servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains with these quinoa pilaf stuffed squash! It's a meal that is savory, sweet, and umami all in one. This dish makes for a wonderful side or entrée for the holidays.

Stuffed Squash With Quinoa Pilaf [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



  • 1 1/2 pounds squash, acorn or blue hubbard
  • 1/2 cup multi-colored quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup shallots or onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup red apple, seeded and chopped, 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 cup dinosaur kale, heavy ribs removed, sliced thinly (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 of a lemon rind, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries or dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, cleaned, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cleaned, sliced thinly


To Make the Squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a little neutral oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Cut the squash in half and place it cut side down in a pan to fit, cover with heavy foil and cook until softened, about 45 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if you like to create steam.

To Make the Pilaf:

  1. Cook the quinoa in 1 cup of filtered, boiling water and turmeric. Cover and reduce to a simmer until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. In a large skillet, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and raise heat to medium-high. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and apple and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Add the reserved 1 teaspoon olive oil, thinly sliced kale, and sauté for just 2 minutes until softened.
  4. Add salt, pepper, lemon rind, the reserved cooked quinoa, and cranberries. Stir up to incorporate all the flavors.
  5. Add the warmed pilaf into the warmed cavities of the squash, piling high.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 1190 | Total Carbs: 204 g | Total Fat: 29 g | Total Protein: 62 g | Total Sodium: 676 g | Total Sugar: 16 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.