Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Orange Fig Sauce

It’s blustery! I can’t get over how perfectly fallish it is. Down south we never got many fall days–just a hint of one here and there–but it seems like wind and chilly weather and beautiful skies have settled in the mountains.

On Sunday I went for a short little tromp up Buffalo Mountain in Floyd County. Up there on the ridge the world is a lot clearer and cooler than here in the valley. The sky was an intense deep blue and the wind was whipping me around, the valley perfectly green and stretching for miles–I could have stayed on top for hours, if not for the elderly ladies who seemed to take over the crest. They were cute, but kinda loud.

Every day I’m more and more amazed at how much I love it here. Maybe not the town so much, but the whole area. Every time I hop in my car and drive somewhere it’s like I’m on vacation–everything is new, even when it isn’t. Even though I go the same places every day, it feels like a new experience each time. And what’s not to love about mountains and good people and a crazy amount of small-scale organic farms constantly pushing beautiful, fresh produce into my hands? I have 10 lbs of apples chilling on my counter right now. I can’t wait to tear into them.

Along with apples, however, it’s squash season too. And on Saturday when it rained all day and was chilly and wet and I just wanted to snug up into some blankets and sleep the afternoon away (which I did, actually), I also wanted to roast my way to contentment. Quinoa stuffed acorn squash, anyone? I used the squash as a vessel for whatever I had lying around–quinoa, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, kale from the backyard (I’m going to weep when the kale is gone, but word on the street is I have in on a winter supplier, hooray!), fresh figs, and orange juice. Oh, and the acorn squash of course. All I did was cut it in half, roast it, cook some quinoa, caramelize some onions, saute the kale, and mix the stuffing together with Ricki’s orange fig sauce. Then I popped it back in the oven and let it bake for a little while longer–heaven in a squash.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash
1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 c quinoa, cooked
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

4 leaves of kale, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil

6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 recipe Ricki’s Orange-Fig Sauce

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut-side-up in a baking dish and drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil on top of the halves. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to coat all the flesh. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top. Roast for 45 minutes or until the squash begins to get tender. Once tender, set aside but leave oven on.

Meanwhile, caramelize the onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil over low heat–this will take 30-35 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onion. Once caramelize, set aside.

In the pan that you caramelized the onion in, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the kale, saute until tender, 3-5 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the quinoa, caramelized onions, kale, and sun dried tomatoes. Add 1/2 the recipe of the orange-fig sauce. Toss to coat everything. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash halves, cover with two small pieces of aluminum foil, and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then drizzle with the remaining orange-fig sauce.

Serves 2.

20 Responses to “Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Orange Fig Sauce”
  1. Becky says:

    Ooh that looks fantastical! It felt pretty Fall-like here today, but you’re so right…overall, it feels like it goes straight from sweltering to freezing around here!

  2. renae says:

    The photos in this post are phenomenal; especially the first one. Also, the squash looks completely amazing.

  3. Your photos are stellar! The caterpillar looks scary and cute at the same time :)

  4. laura says:

    autumn in the mountains is going to be gorgeous! *jealous*

  5. taleoftwovegans says:

    Oh my goodness, that looks amazing! I am seriously regretting not buying any acorn squash now…
    Love the furry caterpillar friend too! ;)

  6. Beautiful photos as always, Jes! We must be in-synch because I had quinoa stuffed acorn squash just yesterday. Yours looks so yummy with all the saucy goodness! :-)

  7. JennShaggy says:

    Thanks, Jes :)

    Two girls can only dream. I miss it so much.

    Gosh your photography looks gorgeous.

  8. Ricki says:

    Such a stunning setting! No wonder you like fall. ;) And the squash seems a perfect meal for the season. The photos are gorgeous!

  9. Diann says:

    Wow, that squash looks perfectly fall-ish and totally delicious! It’s still pretty warm here, but I’m looking forward to cool weather foods. I’ll have to bookmark this recipe. What a great Thanksgiving dish!

  10. jessy says:

    i always stuff my acorn squash with wild rice, but i’m gonna have to try it with quinoa – and i loooooove that you used ricki’s fig sauce. i have yet to give it a whirl and now i know what i need to try it with. your stuffed squash is perfect for welcoming fall! i’m so glad you’re enjoying the ‘noke and all that it (and the surrounding area) has to offer!

    i can’t wait to see what you do with all those apples! oh,and i would love to brainstorm some gluten-free ideas with you sometime too, Jes (although i’ve gotta admit that more often than not gluten-free baked goods intimidate the hell outta me. ah ha ha!)!

  11. Beatrice says:

    I’ve been wanting to do something with acorn squash — this looks amazing!

  12. taleoftwovegans says:

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve tried and disliked stuffed acorn squash before, but your recipe looks really tasty. I’ll have to give it another go! :) -Eve

  13. melisser says:

    What a gorgeous view! That squash looks phenomenal!

  14. JennyBakes says:

    This looks amazing and I always need something new to try with quinoa!

  15. Mama Veg says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful view.

  16. DaviMack says:

    Sounds delicious! An amazing little caterpillar, too! :)

  17. Barbara says:

    That is definitely a fall meal fit for a rainy day, Jes. I will have to try that with one of my butternuts. (I still have kale, too, thank the gardening goddess!) Is that red quinoa you used?

  18. what a beautiful and simple recipe.

  19. eileen says:

    That squash looks perfect and fall-oriented and totally delicious. I’m so jealous!

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