Not Just for Decoration – Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash 

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
4 Min Read

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash 

By Joanna Barajas

For a long time I thought these squashes were just for decoration. They just look too cute to eat. 

But it turns out acorn squash is completely edible- skin, seeds and all. And eating them is great for your eye health, too.

A lot of people like to slice and roast them. But, because of their shape, they’re perfect for stuffing. Flavors like cranberries and sage go great with the squash. 

Try this recipe to turn your decoration into your next healthy meal!

Quinoa & Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4):

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 6-7 button mushrooms
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 dried apricots
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • 2 acorn squash
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. candied pecans (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Do this carefully. It may help to cut the stem off first. Place the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook for 40-50 minutes or very soft and tender. (Some juice may start to caramelize-thats a good indication its ready)
  3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Add vegetable broth and quinoa to a medium pot with lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetable broth is absorbed and the quinoa is soft. Turn off heat.
  4. Produce Prep- Rinse all the produce. Chop the scallions and celery. Slice mushrooms. Thinly slice the sage and parsley.
  5. Warm the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms first and cook a couple minutes, or just until they start to brown and soften. Then, add the scallions and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, pecans, parsley, and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the quinoa, ½ orange, juiced, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until quinoa starts to crisp a little, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside off the heat to keep warm.
  7. To Stuff the squash: Flip the squash over and transfer to a serving platter. Stuff the stuffing mixture into the squash and serve. Top with pomegranate seeds, parsley, and candied pecans, if using.

I hope you try this new recipe! Snap a picture and tag me @chefjoannas on instagram so I see how yours came out.

Chef Joanna is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and is a private chef for the stars. She also hosts pop up dinners and cooking classes inspired by her travels around the world. You can find more of her work at

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash 

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