Last year I made Stuffed Acorn Squash, and the recipe won best main dish in the Virtual Vegan Potluck! I taught a two-part vegan Thanksgiving cooking class with my friend Jenna around the same time last year, and I wanted to share the recipe, but there were several people in attendance who were gluten-free. After the first night of the class I came home and devised a similar recipe that uses quinoa and chickpeas rather than breadcrumbs and vegan sausage. The class loved it and one person said it was too good to serve to her omnivore family!
Stuffed squash makes for a pretty presentation on your Thanksgiving table, and guests will love the fact that they each get their own half.
Quinoa Stuffed Squash
- 3 medium acorn or carnival squash halved and seeded
- 4 teaspoons neutral-flavored vegetable oil divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 6 ounces baby spinach chopped (or baby kale or arugula)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Brush the squash halves with about half of the vegetable oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash on it, cut-side down. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and tender.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the quinoa. Add the stock or water and quinoa a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
- In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the onion for about 5 minutes in the remaining oil, until translucent and fragrant. Add the garlic, celery, and spices and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the chickpeas, spinach and remaining salt and pepper and give it all a good stir. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, vegetables, pecans, and cranberries.
- Stuff the squash with the mixture and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated throughout.