Elegant and Delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash

delicious stuffed acorn squash

Your whole family is sure to love this gluten-free stuffed acorn squash recipe with quinoa cranberry stuffing! Read on for this delicious recipe from Nita Jain of Taaza Table.

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Feeling Thankful for Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the bounty of the harvest season with family and heartwarming food.  Whether you are following a vegan lifestyle or trying to add a flavorful side dish to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, your family will love this beautiful dish!

Health Benefits of Squash

We often think of Thanksgiving as an indulgent time, but this side dish is packed with delicious vitamins and minerals. Acorn squash is very high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.  Even though it has a slightly sweet taste, it has zero grams of sugar, making it a perfect option for those following a low-sugar lifestyle.

So enjoy this stuffed and savory dish during the holidays, or throughout the year. 

delicious stuffed acorn squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa, Kale, and Cranberry

An elegant and delicious acorn squash dish that will add charm to any fall weekend!
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 243 kcal


  • 2 acorn squash
  • sea salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 4 kale leaves chopped; discard stems
  • 1/3 cup sweet dried cranberry
  • 1/3 cup roasted silvered almonds
  • 1 head garlic chopped
  • 1 cup leeks chopped (wash thoroughly)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp parlsey
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp organic tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic finely shopped
  • 3 tbsp water


Squash Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut side of the acorn squash into halves carefully using a serrated knife. Trim the ends off with the knife making sure not to make a hole in the squash. This will stabilize the squash to stand straight and not fall in the oven.
  • Using a small spoon, scoop up and remove the seeds and pulp. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper on the squash and using a fork put fork marks within the squash for faster baking.
  • Add the acorn squashes on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until “fork tender”. Remove from oven and let them rest on the side.


  • Take 1 cup quinoa with 1.5 cups water, salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook it on low temperature until water evaporates after about 15-20 minutes.
  • Open the cover and let it cool. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add the leeks, garlic and sauté for few minutes until translucent. Add the chopped kale and let it wilt a little. Add the cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper. Give it a mix and keep it aside.
  • Add all the ingredients of tahini dressing (Tahini, maple syrup, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, 3 tbsp cold water, salt and pepper to taste) in a small blender and blend everything until smooth which will create the dressing.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • To assemble and serve, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop and place the quinoa, kale and cranberry filling in all the scooped center of the squashes.
  • Place the acorn squashes in the oven for 5-7 minutes until everything is heated evenly and the quinoa is a little toasted on top.
  • Garnish them with toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, and tahini dressing. Enjoy!


Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 222mgPotassium: 906mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 4689IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 163mgIron: 3mg
Keyword side dish, vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Stuffed Acorn Squash Cooking Tips

We bake these mini squashes in the oven until they become fork tender. The stuffing is made with protein-rich quinoa, vibrant green kale, and sweet dried cranberries – you will love how the heavenly scents of this dish fill the kitchen reminding you of the holiday season.

To garnish these pretty squash halves, add crunchy roasted almonds, ruby red pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of sweet and savory tahini dressing. This step is a fantastic way to involve the family and kids in the preparation of this meal. When you involve your kids in the process, even if they’re just sprinkling the olive oil, they’re often more likely to eat the finished meal. 

It is an elegant and delicious acorn squash dish that will add charm to your holiday menu or brighten up any fall weekend!  Happy Holidays to you!

Other Acorn Squash Recipe Ideas

As much as we love this recipe, there are other ways you can add variety to acorn squash. You can serve it as a side dish or a main meal. 

If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can stuff your squash with ground beef, sausage, and onion for a hearty blend of flavor.

If you like a savory/sweet combination, try stuffing the acorn squash with Italian sausage, apples, and goat cheese. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar for a sweeter glaze.

You can also just keep things simple by cutting the acorn squash in half. Then drizzle it in extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook cut side down on the baking sheet, and enjoy! This roasted squash might not be as filling as the stuffed acorn squash varieties. But sometimes simplicity is exactly what you need.

What’s your favorite acorn squash recipe? 

Nita Jain, Taaza Table

Meet Nita

My name is Nita and I am passionate about creating whole grain, plant-based, vegan recipes for everyone to enjoy. The word “Taaza” means “Fresh,” and my table is always topped with food that is healthy, organic, tasty, and above all, fresh. I am Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through The Center of Nutrition Studies at Cornell University.

Originally from India and raised a vegetarian, cooking quality food has always been a passion of mine. Traveling to new lands and relocating to the United States exposed me to a variety of new and exotic cuisines, aromatic spices, superfoods, and more.

Food has the power to transform lives and improve health when the ingredients are pure and the recipe is right. My mission is to share the recipes and experiences which saved me, so that others may uncover the potential of the “taaza” lifestyle in their own health journeys. Read more of Nita’s delicious recipes at Taaza Table or follow her on Instagram @taazatable

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