This recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Honeynut Squash is hearty, satisfying, vegan, and gluten-free! It works well as a main course for the holidays but is an equally tasty weekday lunch. Also delicious with butternut!
What is honeynut squash?
Honeynut squash is a winter squash variety made from a crossbreed of butternut and buttercup squashes. It has a similar oblong bell shape to butternut squash but is about half the size. Additionally, its interior flesh is softer and sweeter. It has a dark tan skin and a fleshy pulp with seeds that are scraped out prior to baking, It contains two to three times more beta-carotene than butternut squash, making it an excellent addition to any winter table! It can be roasted, sautéed, puréed, made into soup/stews, and can even work well in desserts as a substitute for pumpkin puree (like in a vegan pumpkin pie).
In today’s recipe, we are taking advantage of roasting to caramelize the natural sugars present in the squash and to create a perfectly soft texture.
Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
- 2 honeynut squash (can substitute small butternut or acorn squash, see notes)
- Olive oil, used throughout
- Salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 shallot, grated or minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
- 1-2 cups chopped kale
- Juice of 1/2 large lemon
- 1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- Parsley for garnishing, optional
How to Make Quinoa Stuffed Honeynut Squash
1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. Carefully slice the tops off of each honeynut squash, then cut down the center to halve. Using a fork, scoop out the seeds (which can be roasted if you’d like). Drizzle olive oil across each half, add some salt and pepper, and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until soft. If you are using a larger squash like a butternut, this will likely take longer (up to 50 minutes).
3. While squash is roasting, prepare quinoa by rinsing and adding to a skillet with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a low/medium heat to simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
4. Next, sauté shallot in 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir to ensure it does not burn. Add in minced garlic, a pinch more salt, and dried herbs, cooking for one more minute. Add kale with 1/4 cup water, to steam it slightly (covering with a lid for a minute or so can help this process). Remove from heat and add lemon juice, pecan pieces, and reserved quinoa. Stir to combine, tasting to add more salt or lemon juice as necessary to make it taste nice and fresh!
5. Stir in pomegranate arils. Taking each honeynut half, stuff with quinoa salad mixture. You may have some left over (just reserve for a salad topping). Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve warm!
Tips for Roasting Winter Squash + Suggested Temperatures and Times
- Wash the exterior of the squash prior to baking. It is edible! More detail on that is listed below.
- When roasting in halves, be sure to slice evenly down the middle. This will ensure each side cooks evenly and will be done at a similar time. Feel free to reserve the seeds for roasting.
- If you’re working with a particularly large squash, do not be afraid to slice it into smaller pieces. Cubed squash is just as tasty as whole planks and can be done much more quickly!
|Type of Squash (cut in half)||Roasting Time in Oven||Temperature|
|Acorn||50-60 minutes||425 degrees F|
|Butternut||30-40 minutes||400 degrees F|
|Delicata||30-40 minutes||350 degrees F|
|Honeynut||25-35 minutes||415 degrees F|
|Kabocha||45-60 minutes||400 degrees F|
|Spaghetti squash||45-60 minutes||400 degrees F|
FYI- As a time saver, you can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave as well!
Can you eat the skin of butternut or honeynut squash?
Yes. What matters is that the squash is cooked long enough to soften fully. Be sure to follow the guidelines above and check your squash for visual indicators of doneness (browning, easily pierced texture, and toasty smells).
More Ways to Customize this Recipe
- If you do not have quinoa on hand, feel free to substitute another grain or seed such as millet, rice, farro or couscous.
- Swap the pecans for walnuts, almonds, or pepitas.
- Any dark leafy green could be added in place of kale.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for quinoa stuffed honeynut squash! For more vegan and gluten-free winter squash recipes, try one of these next:Print