This Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash is a healthy, delicious Autumn dinner or side dish. Vibrant Greek flavors, hearty quinoa, beans, and greens, with a crispy bread crumb topping and cheesy goodness to finish it all off.
I like to start my mornings off with a prayer. It’s not always the pious affair you might imagine though. Just this morning I hit my knees with the clear intention of leveling a few solid complaints at the universe.
It struck me, however, somewhere between arm folding and head bowing, that launching my petition to the Almighty with a list of grievances might not be my best move. So, I switched strategies, never mind omniscience, and rolled out a few thank-you’s first.
What happened next was unexpected. As I followed the old adage to count my many blessings and name them one by one, I found my list growing ever longer.
After only a few minutes of contemplating the things I have to be grateful for, the blessings and tender mercies sent my way, I no longer felt the need to present my grievances at the altar. I could see God’s hand in my life after all. I rose from my knees feeling both humbled and profoundly grateful.
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. G.K. Chesterton
This week, heading into this season of gratitude and thanksgiving, I am ready to count my many blessings with a more grateful heart. I’m also ready to eat a lot of delicious food on my favorite holiday of the year.
Let’s get started with Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash!
Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash
I enlisted the kids’ help with this stuffed acorn squash recipe, but there was some mom-strategy involved in that decision. See, my kids think they don’t like squash. I remain convinced that time will cure them of this blasphemy, so I continue making squash and attempt to convince them to take a bite or two just in case their taste buds have changed.
This time, I knew that if I invited them in to help me with the prep and cooking, it would be easier to get them to taste it. Esme and Eila scraped out all the seeds and pulp, and had fun doing it I might add.
They brushed the squash with butter and sprinkled salt and pepper. They chopped onions and measured out quinoa. They stirred breadcrumbs and melted butter in the microwave.
When the final timer buzzed and I pulled these gorgeous things out of the oven, the kids still remained skeptical. So skeptical in fact that I called my parents and invited them over to eat stuffed acorn squash with us because I thought I’d have way too much left over after the kids forced down their obligatory bites.
These Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash, however, might be the great squash neutralizers. As it turns out, the kids loved every single cheesy bite, even the squashy ones, and we didn’t even have enough for everyone after all. I wouldn’t have predicted it, but I was pleasantly surprised!
This stuffed acorn squash recipe, with quinoa and white beans, is hearty enough to be a vegetarian meal on its own. It also works well as a side dish and we’re using it in our Thanksgiving line up this year.
The recipe is simple, simple enough to get the kids involved in the kitchen too. The hardest part is getting those acorn squash cut open (try microwaving them for a few minutes first, I think that helps). Best of all, these look stunning when they’re finished, which as you well know if you’ve been reading this blog for long, prettiness earns lot’s of good recipe points for me.
And, though no one will really notice because these look so pretty and delicious, these are quite healthy too. That’s not really the point this time though, just a little something extra to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving my American friends, may you find many blessings in your life.
- 2 medium/large acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups chopped greens (spinach, chard leaves, kale)
- 1 (15 oz) can white beans, rinsed
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon butter, melted
- 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the insides of each squash with 2 tablespoons softened butter, then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place squash in a roasting pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until squash is tender.
- While the squash is cooking, add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion begins to soften and turn golden. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons water, tomato paste, and remaining salt and pepper to the onion mixture, stirring to combine well. Stir in the greens and cover for about 5 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Stir in the cooked quinoa, beans, olives, and feta crumbles. Cook over low heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and remaining teaspoon of melted butter. Stuff each roasted squash half with the quinoa mixture and top with the breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat broiler. Broil stuffed squash halves for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and breadcrumbs are browned.