Recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa

Quinoa-stuffed Acorn Squash

makes 2 servings


  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients image

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the squash in half (crosswise) and scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Acorn Squash image

Place both halves in a baking pan (insides facing up), and pour hot water in the pan to reach about 1/4 or halfway up the squash. Add 1/2 Tablespoon butter to the center of each squash and season with salt and pepper. Loosely cover the pan with foil and bake the squash for about 45 minutes.

With about 15 minutes left, prepare the quinoa according to packaged instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push the onion to the side of the pan then add in the meat and brown for about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts, cranberries, and cooked quinoa.

Remove the squash from the oven and transfer to a plate. If any liquid has built up in the squash, pour it out. After that’s done, scoop out about 1/4 of the cooked squash (use a fork so it’s shredded a little) and add that to the quinoa and meat mixture (which is still in the skillet at this time).

Stir the onion, meat, quinoa, and shredded squash until it’s well mixed. After everything is combined, then scoop the mixture into the center of the acorn squash and top with some Parmesan cheese..

Serve the stuffed acorn squash with a side of vegetables and enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brussels

I was a little nervous to try this recipe considering I’d never had acorn squash before, but I quickly became in love with this dish. It was surprisingly delicious and I have little doubt you’ll thoroughly enjoy it this fall season!

About the Author

By , on Oct 31, 2012
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of

How to Become Rich e-Course

Budgeting 101


  1. Angie says:

    This recipe came at just the right time. I planned to make acorn squash stuffed with quinoa for dinner tonight, but had to look up a recipe online. I procrastinated by going to Money Saving Mom, found your site, and then found this recipe. I swear this is the first time procrastinating paid off. I will have to omit the ground beef though because that wasn’t in my plan.

  2. CF says:

    Yummy recipe! Brian and I started exploring squash recipes last winter and we’re going to continue to do so this winter.

  3. That looks so delicious. Acorn squash is one of my favorite foods, but I haven’t tried doing anything too fancy with it. I usually just throw in some butter and brown sugar. I might have to try being more adventurous!

  4. This is exactly what I needed…I have two acorn squashes just sitting on my counter waiting to be transformed into a delicious dinner. Thanks for the recipe recommendation!

  5. Looks great. I just bought quinoa, and was planning to buy acorn squash the next time at the store. I tend to cook it once each year, in the fall. That said, I was thinking about looking for a new recipe – as the prior one I had was simply acorn squash with brown sugar and butter. Also good, but not really a full meal.

  6. This looks so good to me! It’s funny; I’m on the phone with my picky sister and asked her if she would ever consider trying this dish and she said definitely not! She’s a big baby about trying new foods, and she’s almost 30!

  7. Hey Andy.. I would certainly try this out. What I love is the cranberries as it adds that sweetness festive twist to the recipe just what it will need with the savoury flavours. Mr.CBB

  8. Great fall recipe. Thanks.

  9. Eddie says:

    As delicious as it looks, I wish I liked squash. Just not my forte.

  10. I love my squash slowly simmered with soy sauce and mirin mixture, but this looks yummy. Perhaps I would substitute ground beef with little bacon bits and a bit more quinoa.

  11. Now I am starving! We just tried a recipe for pumpkin ravioli, but we apparently stink at making pasta. This looks way easier for us and sounds delicious!

    • Andy says:

      We’ve yet to try making our own pasta but we will be making spaghetti noodles with some squash type thing here in the near future!

  12. Yum! that looks delicious. If only I could convince my spouse that squash is delicious.

  13. I agree, acorn squash is surprisingly tasty, especially when prepared well. This recipe looks to be a real nutritional powerhouse–I’ll definitely try it, sans the meat, and report back!

  14. Modest Money says:

    I know I keep saying this but I think I might give this one a try. I like that it’s not a lot of ingredients since you normally have a full counter full of stuff that I don’t normally buy. I would just want to substitute walnut for something else.

  15. Looks great! But is it fulfilling? Loved squash growing up in SC but I never had acorn squash before what would you compare the taste to?

    • Andy says:

      I’m not sure I can compare it to something…hmmm. Have you had butternut squash? It tastes about the same as that and they all smell like pumpkins! The dish was quite filling; what you see in the picture is what we ate and I was full!

  16. Im going to go the opposite route. My wife has actually fixed this before and it will be the last time I eat it. 🙂 Not for me.

    • Andy says:

      LOL. Sometimes it’s simply the way it was prepared…I know I’ve had some recipes where something was disgusting and when you try to make it a different way it tastes totally different.

  17. Michelle says:

    Looks yummy yet again!

  18. My wife just harvested a bunch of acorn squash, I’ll have to pass this on to her.

  19. I just ate breakfast, and you still made me hungry:)

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