Stuffed Butternut Squash: a seasonal vegetarian dish to make during cold seasons

Total time: 70 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
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By Cookist

If you're looking for a healthy, comforting vegetarian dish to serve this fall and winter, stuffed butternut squash is the perfect recipe for you. Roasted stuffed butternut squash has the best of both worlds. It's savory and sweet, packed with tender, nutritious quinoa, kale, chickpeas, and dried cranberries.

Quinoa-stuffed butternut squash is a fabulous main dish that also works as a side. This dish is amazing for the holidays – it's as beautiful to look at as it's delicious to eat. Make it any time during squash season for a simple vegetarian dish that everyone will love.

Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash Ingredients

To make this phenomenal dish, you'll need two medium-sized butternut squash. Look for squash that is around 2 ½ pounds.

For the stuffing, you'll need chickpeas, kale, dried cranberries, and quinoa.

Vegetable broth is a must for infusing the quinoa with loads of flavor.

Orange zest and orange juice add a lovely brightness to the dish, while oregano and garlic bring a deliciously savory, herby element.

As a finishing touch, you'll need some cheese. This recipe calls for parmesan, but use your favorite!

How to Make Stuffed Butternut Squash

It's super easy to prep and make this stuffed butternut squash recipe. It only takes about an hour to make, so it's a great recipe when you have a little extra time on your hands and want to serve up an incredible dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Preparing and Roasting the Butternut Squash

To prep the squash for cooking, start by slicing them in half lengthwise, then scooping out the seeds. Leave the skin on, and brush both the inside and outside of the squash halves with olive oil. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then bake for 45 to 55 minutes at 425F. Take them out of the oven when fork tender, and let them cool slightly.

Preparing the Stuffing

While the squash is in the oven, prepare the stuffing. Boil your broth in a pot, then add the quinoa and bring the mixture back to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the broth. Pop a lid on the pot and take it off the heat. Leave the quinoa for 15 minutes, then fluff it.

Sauté the kale in a skillet until it wilts, then lower the heat and mix in the garlic and oregano. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, then mix in the chickpeas, orange zest and juice, quinoa, and cranberries. Season everything with salt and pepper.

Stuffing and Baking the Butternut Squash

Scoop out most of the squash flesh – leave about 1/2-inch or so around the borders. Stuff the squash halves with the kale mixture, then bake it for 10 minutes at 375F. Take the squash out of the oven and generously sprinkle it with cheese, then serve.


Tips for Making Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash

Use the scooped-out squash for another recipe, or mix it into the kale quinoa mixture. Leftover squash is phenomenal in soups, smoothies, or as a substitute for pumpkin in your favorite baking recipes.

Bake your squash until it's fork-tender.

Stuffed Butternut Squash Variation Ideas

Use couscous, rice, or amaranth instead of quinoa.

Any leafy green works great in this recipe. Collard greens, spinach, and chard are delicious or try a mixture of your go-to greens.

Instead of parmesan, try a different cheese like goat cheese, feta, cheddar, or blue cheese.

Use acorn, kabocha, or delicata squash instead of butternut squash.

Add crumbled bacon, sausage, ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey for an extra-hearty, comforting dish.

Jazz up your stuffed squash with spices. Try paprika, cayenne, taco seasoning, Old Bay, Creole seasoning, or your favorite spice blend.

Instead of dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried figs, and dates are all incredible in this recipe.


What to Serve with Quinoa-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Quinoa-stuffed butternut squash is fabulous as a main dish or a side dish in the fall. If you're enjoying it as a main dish, serve it with sides like roasted vegetables, dinner rolls, mac and cheese, cornbread, stuffed mushrooms, or baked beans.

As a side dish, stuffed butternut squash is amazing with pork chops, pot roast, roast chicken, roast turkey, steak, and lamb chops.

How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Butternut Squash

Store leftover stuffed squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the microwave or bake it at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes until completely warmed through.

More Recipes You'll Like

medium butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
Extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 to 3 tsp
3/4 cup
Vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups
kale, chopped, stems removed
1 bunch
Garlic, minced
2 to 3 cloves
Dried oregano
1 tsp
kosher salt and pepper to taste
chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can
orange, zested
Fresh orange juice
1 tbsp
Dried cranberries
1/3 cup
grated parmesan cheese, for garnish


Preheat your oven to 425F. Set the squash halves cut side up on a baking tray, then remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until fork tender, then remove from oven. Lower the oven heat to 375F.

While the squash is cooking, boil vegetable broth in a pot. Stir in quinoa, and let the mixture come back to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or most of the broth has been absorbed. Take the pot off the heat. Cover with a lid and leave for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook the kale over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until wilted. Turn the heat to medium-low.

Stir in garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.

Add in orange zest and quinoa.

Stir in chickpeas.

Pour in orange juice.

Add dried cranberries.

Making sure to leave about a ½-inch thick border of squash around the edges, scoop out the squash.

Stuff the squash halves with the quinoa-kale mixture.

Bake for 10 minutes. Garnish with cheese.

Serve and enjoy stuffed butternut squash.


Use low-sodium broth and low-sodium chickpeas to reduce the salt in this dish.

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