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Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed acorn squash with cranberry, pecans and quinoa then drizzled with a simple goat cheese or feta crema. Perfect for vegetarians at Thanksgiving, or anytime you're looking for a healthy plant based meal or side.

Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Keyword quinoa stuffed acorn squash, stuffed acorn squash, vegetarian, vegetarian side dish, vegetarian stuffed acorn squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 393 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • For the acorn squash:
  • 2 medium acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 4 teaspoons virgin melted coconut oil (or sub melted butter)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • cinnamon
  • For the quinoa:
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
  • For the crema:
  • 2 ounces goat cheese or feta crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons warm water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon brown or coconut sugar to each squash half; use your hands to rub into the flesh of the squash, even on the top (but not on the skin). Sprinkle each squash half with a little bit of cinnamon. Place flesh side down on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until squash is just fork tender.

  3. While the squash roasts, you can make the quinoa. Add quinoa, water and thyme sprigs to a large pot and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for exactly 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork. Remove thyme sprigs from quinoa and discard.

  4. Next stir in coconut oil, orange juice, honey, turmeric and salt and stir to combine. Fold in dried cranberries and chopped pecans.

  5. Once acorn squash is done roasting, evenly stuff each squash with quinoa. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. While the squash is baking again, make the goat cheese or feta drizzle: Add feta or goat cheese crumbles, honey, apple cider vinegar and water to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Drizzle evenly over each squash half. Serves 4, 1 squash half each.

Recipe Notes

If you want to save time, you can make the squash and quinoa a day ahead of time. Once ready to serve, simply reheat in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until warm and then make the crema and drizzle on top.

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Amount Per Serving (1 squash half)
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 7.4g46%
Carbohydrates 58.7g20%
Fiber 9.8g41%
Sugar 17.5g19%
Protein 7.8g16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.