New recipe post for you guys today! This one took no time at all to become a seasonal favorite this year.
Acorn Squash and Apple Quinoa Bake
Serves 4 as a main meal or 6 as a side dish
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 acorn squashes
- 2 apples, cored and sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1/3 cup raw pecans
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: greens of choice! Kale, chard, spinach, etc. If using greens, you will also need 2 cloves of minced garlic.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice each acorn squash in half by starting on one side of the stem and cutting straight through the squash until your knife stops meeting resistance and you’ve cut through the middle. Pull the two halves apart with your hands, then scoop out all the seeds with a spoon. Rub the squash halves with a little extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place the squash halves face down on the sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. You can tell if the acorn squash is tender if you can easily push down on the top of the squash without any resistance.
- While the acorn squash is roasting, cook your quinoa. Combine the uncooked quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat when done, and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- If using greens, remove from stems and chop. Heat the minced garlic for one minute in olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the chopped greens and cook until they begin to wilt.
- When squash is done, take them out of the oven and let cool. Scoop out the flesh, discard the skin, and give the squash a rough chop. Don’t worry if the squash becomes slightly mashed. Place in a large mixing bowl and combine with the cooked quinoa, greens, pecans, apples, and cranberries. Sprinkle with cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
- Transfer the entire mixture to an 8×8 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for fifteen minutes at 400 degrees F.
If this dish doesn’t scream fall, I don’t know what does! The apples, the squash, the pecans, the dried cranberries – the flavors just all go so perfectly well together. The colors too. Doesn’t this dish look so… November?
I love that even though you give the squash a rough chop when preparing this dish, it basically gets mashed up when you mix all the ingredients together. The texture of it contrasts nicely with the crunch of the pecans and apples. The quinoa adds a nice source of protein to this meal or side, and the cinnamon is the key ingredient that brings everything together.
We’ve had this dish for an easy dinner, but it also makes for a great make ahead lunch. I think it would also be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving table if you are looking for something different to make this year!
Readers, let’s chat! Has anyone made any yummy acorn squash recipes this season? What foods or flavors just scream November to you?
For some other F&F fall squash recipes, check out: