Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa Pilaf

by Erin

Stuff your acorn squashes with a little bit of everything, including quinoa, dried cranberries, broccoli, almonds, and pepitas. Or substitute with things you have on hand.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pepita & Cranbery Quinoa Pilaf 1

Lately, as I have been spending the majority of my free time traveling on the weekends and painting/packing on weeknights, cooking dinner has been pretty low on the priority list since we often are not getting home before 9 pm. I’ve thrown together random leftovers, ordered pizza, and picked up fast food more often than ever. Let’s not even get into the last time I went to the gym (over a week which is rare for me). However, being that I have a fairly well stocked kitchen from the pantry to the freezer, I need to focus more attention on cooking with what I have in an effort to minimize what needs to be moved to the new house. One night when we didn’t paint at the new house but instead stayed at home and packed, I was able to throw together these acorn squashes stuffed with an array of things I already had on hand. With quinoa, broccoli, dried cranberries, and pepitas, these squashes are a savory kitchen sink recipe. I even got to use fresh sage from my indoor plant (that sadly suddenly died thereafter).

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pepita & Cranbery Quinoa Pilaf 2

Meanwhile, I recently heard through the blogger grapevine that Google is “rewarding” posts that are recipe only and do not contain stories or commentary because according to them readers want recipes, not stories. While I have no intention of keeping quiet and posting recipes only (because I do what I want!), I cannot say that I am shocked by this claim. I’ve already had more than one friend express their dislike of bloggers and their “stories” and their annoyance at having to scroll through several paragraphs and pictures before finally reaching the recipe. I think this phenomenon may be directed more towards the person who stumbles upon a blog’s recipe through Pinterest, Google, etc. and truly only wants the recipe. But for the readers and followers, most of the time you are here because of the stories! Granted, sometimes my stories may be mundane (such as today’s about how I am painting my life away) but it’s what’s going on in my life and is a little back story to the recipe I shared. So unless you protest, I will continue to let my fingers run free across the keyboard.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pepita & Cranbery Quinoa Pilaf 3

One year ago: Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

Two years ago: Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Four years ago: Breakfast Pizza

Five years ago: Baked Oatmeal


Serves 4


2 medium acorn squashes, cut in half length-wise and seeds removed

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth

1/2 finely chopped yellow onion

1 cup chopped broccoli

1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

1/4 cup roasted pepitas

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Brush the flesh of the squash with 1 teaspoon of olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on prepared baking sheet, and roast for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine quinoa and broth in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, place olive oil in medium skillet pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  5. When quinoa is done cooking, stir in onion mixture, almonds, pepitas, cranberries, and sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop about 1/2 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.

Source: Inspired by EA Stewart.


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Susan December 9, 2015 - 9:56 pm

Erin, these squash sound wonderful. I am thinking about possibly using a different squash because acorn squash has always been a bit bitter for me (just realized that as an IPA drinker, that shouldn’t bother me). So I will try it as is. I hope you don’t give up on the stories. It’s nice to know something about the person who posts recipes, especially when their taste in recipes is a good match for mine. I like having a human being on the other end of my recipes. I also like things like your Stitch Fix posts, once again because it gives some insight into who you are.

spiffycookie December 10, 2015 - 7:31 am

Funny because I do not actually enjoy most IPAs but I love acorn squash! Funny how our taste buds work sometimes. And don’t worry I fully intend on continuing with how things are now! I agree, I too like feeling like I am talking to humans and getting to know them, which is why I love that you comment so much!

Amy @ fearless homemaker December 9, 2015 - 2:57 pm

Oh, that’s really interesting about Google and their “rewarding” of posts without stories. Hmmmmm. I hope all the storytelling doesn’t stop as a result of it — I like reading them! And I love the looks of this squash! I’m planning on making a stuffed spaghetti squash for dinner this weekend, and this gives me some good ideas of what to stuff it with. =)

spiffycookie December 9, 2015 - 7:43 pm

I know! What’s the point of blogging if we are all going to just turn into Food Network? Meanwhile I’ve heard that websites such as All Recipes are gearing more towards the blogger story telling set up because it connects with people more. The grass is always greener…

Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel December 9, 2015 - 2:29 pm

Can you believe I’ve never had acorn squash before?! Must change that since I love butternut squash so much already. This looks like an awesome meal or side dish, Erin!!

spiffycookie December 9, 2015 - 7:54 pm

I actually can because I hadn’t until earlier this year! I definitely think you will like it though since you enjoy butternut squash already.


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