Dig into autumn’s most savory flavors with this simple but delicious fall recipe. Individual squashes are the perfect single-serving containers for a baked medley of pecans, quinoa, and velvety squash.
Optional: Roast and salt the seeds for healthy snacking later.
Pecan and Quinoa-Stuffed Squash
2 small acorn squashes, 6” or less in diameter
½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil, plus more for coating baking sheets
2 stalks celery, minced
½ large onion, chopped
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
¾ cup pecan halves
Optional: dried cranberries for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat 2 baking sheets with vegetable or coconut oil. Cut each squash in half from the stem to the tip. Scoop out seeds and place cut-side down on the baking sheets. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring stock to a gentle boil and add quinoa, simmering until it is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
3. In a small sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté the celery, onion, and sage over medium heat until just softened. Stir in parsley, marjoram, pepper, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Remove from heat.
4. When the squash halves are cool, use a spoon to remove flesh, leaving a bit behind to keep skins from tearing. In a large bowl, mash flesh coarsely and set aside. Select 16 intact pecan halves for garnish, then use a food processor to grind the remaining pecans to powder. Add ground pecans, the sautéed mixture, and cooked quinoa to the squash in the bowl, and mix thoroughly. Stuff mixture into squash shells and top with reserved pecan halves.
5. Place in a casserole or baking dish large enough to hold all of the squash halves and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops feel firm to the touch. Top with dried cranberries if you’d like. Serve immediately and enjoy!