Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash

January/February 2016

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With its pretty striped skin and uniform shape, delicata squash is a beautiful vessel for serving up this healthy quinoa stuffing. Serve this recipe as a stunning side dish or a vegetarian main with a big leafy green salad alongside.

Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Makes: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 stuffed squash each

Active Time:

Total Time:



  • 2 small delicata squash (12-14 ounces each), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  • 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leek (about 1 large), white and light green parts only
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. To prepare squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Season insides of squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and arrange cut-side down on the prepared pan. Bake the squash until the flesh is tender but the sides are not collapsing, 20 to 25 minutes total. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  3. To prepare stuffing: Meanwhile, combine 1 cup water, quinoa and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leek and the remaining 2 tablespoons water. Season with thyme, nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leek is tender but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in raisins during the last 2 minutes.
  5. Stir the quinoa, hazelnuts and parsley into the leek mixture. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash halves, firmly packing as need. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into slivers and distribute evenly over the tops.
  6. Bake the squash until the stuffing is heated through, about 15 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5 and refrigerate for up to 1 day; reheat in a 350°F oven.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.


Per serving: 305 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g total sugars; 7 g protein; 8 g fiber; 382 mg sodium; 762 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (341% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (26% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat

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