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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberries

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale, and Cranberries—This healthy side dish is perfect for fall and pretty enough for any holiday.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberries | 31Daily.com

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What I Love About Stuffed Acorn Squash

I can’t tell you how much I love acorn squash. It’s like a rite of fall passage. The weather turns chilly, I’m baking acorn squash. Come Thanksgiving, I’m baking acorn squash. The red and green of this dish also makes it a candidate for Christmas dinner too.

By the way, I’ve always called this squash an acorn squash, but it’s also known as a winter squash, pepper squash, or Des Moines squash.

It’s indigenous to North America and was introduced to European settlers by Native Americans. Which is why I also love to serve it at Thanksgiving.

This dish is beautiful, delicious, and easy to prepare. Healthy, flavorful… with all the colors of the season.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients

You will find ingredient measurements in the recipe card below, but here is a quick view of what you need to make this delicious side dish:

  • Baked acorn squashes, halved with seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • Quinoa
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Kale with stems removed and chopped
  • Aromatics: Minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper
  • Orange juice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or Feta

RELATED: More 31 Daily Ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas →

How to Meal Prep Stuffed Acorn Squash

This dish bakes in the oven for 10 minutes; the prep work requires most of the time commitment. To speed up the process, consider these meal prep steps:

  1. Bake the acorn squash ahead: Half the squash, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake in a 425 degree F oven until soft; about 45 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to make the dish.
  2. Precook the quinoa: If you have a pressure cooker handy, see this post, How to Perfectly Cook 1 Minute Instant Pot Quinoa. Otherwise, you can cook it on the stovetop. Bring the broth (measurements in the recipe card below) to a boil, add the quinoa, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for another 15 minutes.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberries | 31Daily.com

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberries | 31Daily.com

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberries

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Kale, and Cranberries is a healthy side dish perfect for fall and pretty enough for any holiday.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 serevings
Author: Stephanie Wilson


  • 2 baked acorn squash halved with seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 15-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • grated Parmesan cheese or Feta


Baking Acorn Squash

  • If your acorn squash isn't already cooked, place halved squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a 425 ℉ oven until the squash is tender, about 45 minutes.

Cooking Quinoa

  • Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 16 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Acorn Squash Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment for easy cleanup.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Over medium heat, add the chopped kale and saute until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Cook for an additional 30 seconds; stir in orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
  • Stuff the quinoa mixture into the four acorn squashes. Return to the oven and bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4062IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: stuffed acorn squash

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