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Squash season is in full swing and I’m loving experimenting with all the different varieties out there. One of my favorites is butternut squash. It’s vibrant orange color, the sweet taste, and the versatility of the flesh is just great to work with. You can mash it up or cube it and add it into most dishes. For this recipe, I decided to throw a twist and stuff it instead.
This dish is perfect to add for the vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) at the Thanksgiving or Holiday table. It’s rich and bold colors match the flavors that draw together the different fruits and veggies I’ve used.
Aside from being so flavorful, it is also extremely healthy. Here are a few benefits you will get from this dish:
- High in protein
- Good source of Fiber
- Good source of Iron
- Gluten Free
- Low in Fat
- Good source of Potassium and Magnesium
- Good source of Folate
- Good source of Vit. C and Vit. K
- High in Antioxidants
I know butternut squash is one of the harder squashes to chop but I have a trick! Heat the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes and it will soften up enough that you can chop the ends easily and scoop out the flesh also. I know putting a whole squash in the microwave might seem daunting, but trust me it works!
When I initially made this recipe, both the hubby and I found it a bit dry and realized right away that it needs a sauce or dressing to help it out. After going through a few options, I settled on a simple Apple Cider Vinaigrette. It has all the elements for the fall, doesn’t overpower the stuffing and gives you just enough of a pop in flavor. Most importantly, the stuffing doesn’t feel dry anymore!
So….. what are you waiting for? Try this out and make it a part of your holiday table or Sunday dinner! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you love this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!
Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 hour, 10 minutes
For the Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1/2 c dry quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
- 1 c low sodium veggie broth
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 c walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 c spinach
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 red apple, chopped
- 1/2 c pomegranate seeds, plus extra to garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp Avocado Oil, divided
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub with agave)
- 5 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat the butternut squash in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften it up. Trim the ends and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
- Use 1 Tbsp oil to coat both halves of the squash. Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Add 4 garlic cloves to each squash and make sure to coat them with the seasoning.
- Turn the squash upside down and roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, combine quinoa and veggie broth and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Reduce to medium heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Cover and let steam for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to use later.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium flame. Add in the onions, celery, and apples and saute until they have softened (5-6 minutes).
- Add in the garlic, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Saute for another minute to combine the flavors.
- Add in the spinach, walnuts and pomegranates and mix well.
- Remove from heat and add in cooked quinoa. Mix well.
- For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients into an airtight jar and shake vigorously to emulsify.
- When squash is ready, remove from oven and flip over gently. Scoop in the filling evenly into both craters. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil over both fillings and bake for an additional 10 minutes to give the stuffing a crispy, golden crust.
- Transfer squash to a serving platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with additional pomegranate seeds.
- Serve hot!
*To prep in advance, you can make the stuffing 1-2 days prior and reheat it once the squash is done cooking.
*Also garnish with feta to give a creamier taste.
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The equipment I used for this dish are: