fall meal: quinoa-stuffed acorn squash

No it's not pumpkin, but yes, I still consider this an autumn-ish meal.

I am fully on team squash right now, especially roasted acorn squash. However, as far as meals go, acorn squash on its own is not too substantial. Enter quinoa, all-around super food and the perfect addition to a roasted squash.

I made this about a week ago and no joke, it's now in heavy rotation for lunches as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I (obsessively) do.

1 acorn squash
1/2 cup quinoa
1 apple **
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tbs butter
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
pure maple syrup or balsamic vinegar (to dribble over)
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350
Cut and de-seed the acorn squash, placing it cut side down in several inches of water in a baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until very soft.
Mix brown sugar, paprika and allspice together in a small bowl. 
After 45 minutes, remove from oven and turn acorn squash over. Dot the insides of the both squash halves with butter. Sprinkle brown sugar-spice mixture over butter and return the squash to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until the butter and sugar have caramelized.

quinoa + apple:
Cook quinoa-- bring 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Fluff with fork.

Core and chop apple roughly, sautee until soft in coconut oil. Stir in to quinoa.

Spoon quinoa and apple mixture into acorn squash, mixing into the butter and squash. Drizzle with just a small amount of maple syrup for a sweeter dish or balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Salt and pepper might sound weird with a sweeter dish, but I think it's a nice juxtaposition against the sweetness of the brown sugar and maple.

** if you don't want to add apple, you could go more savory with sausage stirred into the quinoa, or onions or garlic or a host of other things; the options are endless.


xo, erika

p.s. also. I just discovered something new and fantastic that I thought would be worth mentioning. All of my life, I thought I hated syrup. Turns out I hate the fakey syrup that is not really syrup but corn syrup with flavoring. True, actually-from-the-trees syrup is a whole different matter and I find myself putting it on everything completely Elf-style. I've mixed it with vinegar and dijon for a salad dressing, stirried into baked goods... it's crazy, I tell you. And if you're still with Mrs. Butterworth, I highly suggest ending that relationship and getting yourself a bottle of the real stuff.


  1. Can I share a secret? I am not a quinoa fan. Like at all. But I love squash and apple and you make me want to give it a second chance. That dressing sounds amazing. I just picked up some maple syrup which, is also amazing because I have never ever done that. However, tis the season and all this magic called for some to bake with.

  2. years ago we had a salad with maple syrup viniagrette at an inn in VT. the Bob Newhart Show Inn. :) it was delish.. and we took the recipe home. Gina still makes it. yummers.

  3. Yum! I have to try this one :) I rarely do warm quinoa dishes, but this one sounds so good and perfect for fall!

  4. I have been eating so much squash the past few weeks! I need to try this - looks amazing.


oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
i read every comment and would love to respond to you as well! if you have a question for me-- make sure your email is linked to your blogger account so I can get back to you or leave your email so I can get in touch! (see how to do so here!)

Theme created by Andrea Mehner Designs