Delicious, healthy stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, cranberries, pecans and feta cheese. An easy, satisfying vegetarian recipe that is perfect for fall!
The pumpkin season is officially open and I’m beyond excited about the idea of playing with this wonderful ingredient throughout the fall and winter months. I hope you are ready too! To me, pumpkins make any dish very comforting and satisfying, which is just perfect for the cooler months ahead of us. Pumpkins are so versatile, comforting, working equally well in sweet and savory recipes… they are everything!
In order to set you in the mood for pumpkins too, find below my top 5 pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche
- The Best Pumpkin Bread
- Red Lentil Dhal with Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnut
- Pumpkin and Walnut Tartines with Blue Cheese
- Classic American Pumpkin Pie
Today’s recipe is a savory one. It’s a wonderful vegetarian recipe, extremely simple to prepare and bursting with fall flavors. In order to prepare it with a minimum amount of effort, I recommend you use butternut squash as I did myself here. Butternut squash are easy to handle, not too hard to slice, don’t necessarily require that you peel their skin off (unlike many other pumpkins) and have a generous flesh. Depending on their size, a half butternut squash can be a serving for one person or for two, and is best served with a side of greens.
I have been willing to share with you stuffed pumpkin for quite some time. I like the idea that it makes a generous and satisfying dish to share, while still being relatively quick and easy to prepare. In this recipe we roast the pumpkin halves in the oven with a little bit of olive oil. I recommend you also make some cuts in the flesh using a sharp knife in order to make it tender throughout. Once the halves are baked and slightly cooled, scoop out the flesh, living a border around the sides. You will then use it in the stuffing.
Made with quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa as I find it pretty but any type would do), the stuffing is ridiculously simple, bursting with fall flavors, and also very forgiving. Here I simply combined three of my favorite fall ingredients (pumpkins, pecans and cranberries) with some feta cheese. I also chose a very basic seasoning, leaving warm spices aside for once (I usually love to spice up my dishes).
For alternative stuffing ideas, you may want to add or replace some of the ingredients with chestnuts, mushrooms, pomegranate, kale, hazelnuts, chickpeas, blue cheese, replace quinoa with brown lentils… The options are endless for stuffed pumpkins and that’s the beauty of them, you can never get tired. One other idea I recommend you try is to prepare a sauce with warm goat cheese to drizzle over the pumpkin just before serving. Heaven. So play around and find your way to perfect the best stuffed pumpkins.
Twice baked, these roasted pumpkin halves are really soft, tender and exactly what you need to bring you comfort for dinner. A little tip to spare you some time: prepare the stuffing in advance and use leftovers in a salad or to make lunchboxes during the week. As for now, let’s discover the recipe together. Bon appétit!
- 1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
- 4 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 cup (170g) quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
- 1½ cup (360 ml) water
- 1 cup (100g) cranberries, dried or fresh
- ¾ cup (95g) pecans
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- ½ lemon, juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup (150g) feta cheese, crumbled
- Fresh cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the butternut squash halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
- While the squash is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and melt the onions until translucent. Add the quinoa, cover with water and port to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then add the cranberries and pecans.
- In a small ball, mix the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour into the quinoa and stir well.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a ½-inch (1,5 cm) thick border around the sides and a ¾-inch (2 cm) border along the bottom. Mix the flesh with the quinoa filling.
- Stuff the quinoa filling into the squash halves, then bake at 375°F (190°C) until hot, about 10 additional minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese, cilantro, and serve warm.