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Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing
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The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family.

The small size of acorn squash makes it the perfect vehicle for grain-based stuffings infused with the flavors of fall. There are about a thousand different ways to stuff a squash, but this mushroom and grain stuffed version is a great start for busy weeknight dinners.

It’s that easy: Utilizing frozen grains is a win-win as it saves about 30 minutes of prep time. Explore the options in the freezer case at the grocery store and don’t overlook seasoned packs with veggies already in there. It couldn’t be easier!

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing


  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeds scooped
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella or crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, minced
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen quinoa, brown rice or farro, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pepitas or toasted sunflower seeds
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drizzle the halved squash with 1 Tbsp. oil, salt and pepper and bake on a sheet pan, cut-side-up, in the preheated oven until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. While the squash cooks, dice the onion, mince the garlic, chop the pepper, slice the mushrooms and mince the parsley on a large cutting board in separate piles.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until it begins to soften. Stir in the garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms give up their liquid and the onions are browned and tender, about 4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the parsley and mint. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed.
  6. Stir the quinoa, vinegar and half of the pepitas into the skillet and taste again, adjusting with more salt, pepper or vinegar as needed.
  7. Spoon the hot quinoa mixture into the cooked acorn squash and garnish with the remaining pepitas. Serve hot.

Variation: Feel free to sub out brown rice, farro or white rice for the quinoa or and cook your own grains if you have the time.

In the glass: Pour a glass of your favorite Chardonnay to go with this buttery, nutty dish.

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

Carla Snyder

By Carla Snyder

Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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