Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Green Chilies & Warm Spices

Fall is ALMOST officially here (Tuesday, to be exact). I’ve already started using fall ingredients such as pumpkin, winter squashes, honey crisp apples, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and all that good stuff. SO GOOD. Seriously. I think this will help me get through my watermelon withdrawals (still have a few melons left, win!). I love love LOVE fall – everything about it. From the cooler nights, the beautiful foliage, sweaters, scarves, blankets, onesies, flannels, boots, to pumpkin EVERYTHING…, it’s by far my favourite season. Hands down.

I love it. So so much. It’s just really comforting. I’m starting to loose count of how many different squashes I have went through already, and it’s not even officially fall yet (hey, next week!). With the cooler days and even cooler nights…it’s perfectly acceptable anyways. No complaints here.

This recipe was taken and adapted with some slight modifications from the amazing Half Baked Baked Harvest (check her out, she’s a genius!). I absolutely love Tieghan’s blog and Instagram; her food photography is unreal! This dish is absolutely amazing, it’s slightly sweet with a nice warmth from the chilies and chili powders. I think you’ll like it just as much as we did.

You can easily add shredded chicken to this, if that’s your thing. Or, make it vegan by removing the cheese and butter (or use vegan alternatives such as daiya and Earth Balance).


1 acorn squash, halved and seeded

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 can green chilies

2 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt (or taste)

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp dried parsley (with extra for garnish)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp hot chili powder (or to taste)

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp minced arugula

1/2 cup old cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit.

2. Cut the acorn squash in half, length wise. Use a spoon to remove the “guts” and seeds.

3. Brush the sides of the squash with melted butter. Allow the remaining butter to pool inside of the squash.

4. Dust squash with sea salt, black pepper and brown sugar.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes (or until the skin of the squash is tender).

6. While the squash is cooking, in a medium sized mixing bowl, combine EVOO, lime juice, garlic, green chilies, arugula, parsley, cumin, chili powder, hot chili powder, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon until ingredients are combined.

7. Cook the quinoa in about 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked. Strain and set aside.

8. Meanwhile, use a medium sized sauce pan to brown the bread crumbs. Create a base with 2 tbsp of butter and brown sugar to taste. Heat the bread crumbs until they are browned.

9. Add the quinoa to the green chili wet mix.

10. Stuff the acorn halves with quinoa/green chili mix. Top with shredded cheese and browned bread crumbs.

11. Bake the squash for an additional 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and toast the bread crumbs.

12. Garnish with dried parsley.

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