These stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, mushrooms and spinach are a gluten-free and vegetarian dish that’s hearty and filling and full of flavor!
I've had such a great holiday weekend that I'm kinda wishing I was on holiday break already!
My brother and his family came up and if seeing my daughter's sheer JOY at hanging out with her older girl cousin wasn't enough to make any heart happy, I don't know what is. 💕
We all went bowling, we had drinks and dinner, we visited my Dad's recent building site and his new office (he's an architect) and went to lunch before they had to head back home.
Way too short of a visit, and it seriously left me wanting for just more time, but I'm also so thankful to have spent a day with them and to have our kids so connected.
M and I also went to see the Nutcracker performance and it was as much fun watching her be into it as it was to see the actual ballet. I will make this an annual tradition for as long as she's into it!
But we're mostly here for the food, right?!
Today’s recipe for these stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, mushrooms and spinach works for me on so many levels.
It’s great for the fall and winter because, hey, squash season!
I’ve already shared my butternut squash black bean quinoa burgers and butternut squash apple soup this year and my kale and butternut squash mac and cheese is also a favorite. Oh, and this sausage stuffed butternut squash with spinach is a great cozy dinner, too.
It’s also great for a holiday table because it’s got such a fun presentation and while it’s pretty easy to make, it sure seems fancy and worthy of a special occasion. ❤️
Stuffed butternut squash with quinoa and veggies is hearty, filling and you can make as many as you like if you’ve got a crowd. 👍
AND… these are gonna be a great option for the New Year when you want to lighten up a bit. Plus they are vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
They also feature my beloved spinach + mushroom combination. 💕
And of course, you know I’ve got the toppings going on! We’ve got warm toasted walnuts, tart and sweet dried cranberries and salty Parmesan cheese.
So much flavor! Not to mention the great colors and textures running throughout these stuffed squash!
Notes on this stuffed butternut squash with quinoa:
- I prefer to use spinach because it wilts quickly, but you could use kale or Swiss chard for a heartier green if you prefer.
- Don’t skip the toppings! Feel free to substitute another nut, cheese or dried fruit, but these really bring the dish to another level.
- You know I’m lazy so I did put the walnuts on top when it went back in to bake. This works to toast them while the rest of the squash finishes but you must watch it very carefully and maybe pull it out early so the nuts don’t burn.
Also, here's an FAQ I wanted to answer:
How do you prep a butternut squash?
First, slice off the stem and the bottom end of the squash, so that both sides are flat.
Slice the squash in half vertically using a very sharp knife. Remove the seeds from the bottom half with a spoon and discard. (Or, save the seeds and roast them!)
Since we are roasting then stuffing our squash, we don’t need to peel the outer skin or do any additional cutting. It’s ready to pop in the oven.
However, when you scoop out the inner part of the cooked butternut squash, to be able to stuff it, you’ll be left with some extra.
Ways to use extra butternut squash:
- You may have enough to make my butternut squash black bean quinoa burgers.
- Add some butter and seasonings and have a mashed squash as a side dish another day.
- Reheat the leftover squash in a skillet, add some spinach and cook up a fried egg to go on top for a savory breakfast option. 👌
So whether for the holidays, for the celebration of the squash harvest or for a healthy new year dish, I hope you’ll give these quinoa-stuffed butternut squash a try. I think you’re going to love them!
- 1 medium butternut squash
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 3-4 packed cups baby spinach
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or hard Italian cheese), divided
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped (and lightly toasted, if desired)
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Carefully cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet at 425 for 40-50 minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are softened and have given up their moisture, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the spinach for 1-2 minutes, just until wilted. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Combine the quinoa and veggie mixture and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Mix and season to taste with extra salt and pepper.
- Once the butternut squash is cooked, let cool for a few minutes and then scoop out the inside section of the butternut squash flesh, leaving a ½-inch border all the way around. Reserve extra squash for another recipe (see notes).
- Drizzle the squash with remaining teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Fill each squash with the quinoa and veggie mixture, mounding it up a bit on each one.
- Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until everything is warmed through.
- Top each squash half with the dried cranberries, walnuts and remaining Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
I prefer to use spinach because it wilts quickly, but you could use kale for a heartier green if you prefer.
Don’t skip the toppings! Feel free to substitute another nut, cheese or dried fruit, but these really bring the dish to another level.
When you scoop out the inner part of the cooked butternut squash, you’ll be left with some extra. You may have enough to use for my butternut squash black bean quinoa burgers or you can just add some butter and seasonings to it and have a mashed squash side dish another day. I’ve also warmed it through in a skillet, added some spinach and made a fried egg to go on top for a savory breakfast. 👌
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 662Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 556mgFiber: 14gSugar: 16gProtein: 26g