Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa

September 19, 2013 • Autumn, Main Dishes, Recipes, Seasons, Vegetarian

Weather: a crisp 39 degrees and lovely
What I’m listening to:
 Resta Con Me, Ludovico Einaudi

Now that zucchini is on its way out of season, being replaced by it’s larger, heftier, fall-colored cousins, I wanted to remind you of my easy Kitchen Tip for roasting squash whole in the oven. That’s what I did with this beautiful acorn squash – pierced it with a fork and set the entire squash on a baking sheet and into a hot oven. You can read all about this method on my Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup post from last fall.

IMG_8029While the squash was baking, I prepared a flavorful filling of red onions, jalapeños, black beans, corn, and cilantro, along with smoky cumin and the kick of chili powder, and tossed all of that with some freshly steamed quinoa.


When the squash was tender, I turned the oven up to broil, heaped big scoops of the filling into each squash half, and topped it with cheese. A couple minutes under the broiler until hot and melty, and a delicious, hearty-yet-meatless dinner was served. If I make this again, I may add a little chopped red bell pepper to the filling for a pop of red.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa

A hearty-yet-meatless fall dinner of acorn squash stuffed with spicy quinoa with black beans, corn, and cilantro and topped with melted cheese.

Yields: 2 servings

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned/drained)
  • 1 cup steamed quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated colby jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Pierce the acorn squash with a fork several times. Place the squash onto a sheet pan and roast whole until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before handling.

Increase oven temp to broil.

While the squash is cooling, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the onions and jalapenos for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the black beans, corn, and quinoa and heat through. Toss in the fresh cilantro and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed.

Slice the squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the halves with large scoops of the black bean and quinoa filling. Top with cheese and return to the oven on broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with additional cilantro and serve promptly.