This comforting quinoa-stuffed acorn squash recipe is delicious with roast chicken and sautéed kale. It can also be served with a simple side salad and a glass of wine for something lighter. Your meat-loving family and *mostly* vegetarian friends alike will love this recipe.
We love cooking our grains (or in this case, pseudograins) in Brodo. It adds a satisfying depth of flavor and a boost of nutrition that takes grains from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s also just as easy as cooking them in water.
You can absolutely make this stuffed acorn squash recipe day-of but it’s also a great way to use up any leftover quinoa (assuming you cooked it in Brodo, of course!).
Yield: 4 servings
2 medium acorn squash (about 2 pounds each)
Olive oil, as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper
¼ cup raw pecans, for serving (optional)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4)
⅓ cup packed cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, reserving some as a garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup lightly packed chopped lacinato or curly kale leaves
*1 cup quinoa, cooked in Brodo (we prefer Signature Hearth or Organic Chicken)
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
⅓ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the stems from the squash if present. Carefully cut each squash in half. Scoop out and compost the seeds (or save them to roast later!), and place the squash halves on a sheet pan, cut-side up. (You may want to trim the bottom of the squash halves slightly so they don’t wobble on the pan and spill the quinoa later). Brush each squash generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, if using the pecans, heat a large skillet slicked with olive oil over medium. Add the pecans and toast, tossing often, until the nuts are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board to cool. Once cooled, coarsely chop them, sprinkle lightly with salt, then set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-low. Add the shallots and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the kale and cook, tossing, just until it begins to wilt.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add the cooked quinoa and nutmeg. Stir briefly and cook until the quinoa is slightly toasted. Add the wine and cook, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until about half the liquid has evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Using a small spoon, gently scrape about 3 heaping tablespoons of flesh from the cavity of each squash (you should have about 1 cup altogether) and add it to the quinoa, along with the Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix thoroughly until combined, breaking up any chunks of squash.
- Divide the quinoa mixture among the squash halves, filling each one to the top. (Depending on the size of the squash cavities, you may need to slightly heap the filling.) Return the sheet pan to the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and starting to brown on top.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans (optional) and parsley, and serve hot.
*If making recipe day-of, cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup Brodo. Bring to a boil with a pinch of salt and simmer for about 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Some people prefer to soak their quinoa in water for 2+ hours to reduce the phytic acid, and then reducing the Brodo accordingly to account for the water. We prefer to use sprouted quinoa to reduce the number of steps while minimizing the phytic acid – which also allows us to use a whole 1-cup pouch of Brodo.