alex thomopoulos

Gluten Free Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pesto

As I have started consume less and less meat in my diet, I am constantly looking for delicious, filling and healthy meal options.
This recipe is BEYOND delicious, I have began serving it to my friends and family and have received nothing but rave reviews. It’s incredible how tasty and delicious vegetables can be if you cook them right.

This recipe can be totally adapted to your tastes as well, use any and every vegetable that suits your fancy. My trick is to cook on a relatively high heat so the vegetables get nice caramelization. Make sure to season with a touch of salt and pepper every step to ensure maximum flavor as well. When you cook your quinoa, cook it a few minutes under what the package says, you want the quinoa to still have some bite to it.

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This is a great dish to serve to a crowd too! Easy to prep, and you can hold them for at least a whole day! For best results tho, I would roast off the acorn squash before you want to serve it but can be done up to a few hours before.  You can easily make the quinoa veggie mixture up to 2 days in advance!

I hope enjoy this as much as I do!

Print Recipe

Gluten Free Stuffed Acorn Squash

(serves 4)
  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the filling
  • 1 leek, light green part only, halved and sliced and rinsed well
  • 1 cup of sliced baby portabello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • handful of chopped kale or spinach
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each squash so that the squash will have a sturdy base. Drizzle olive oil over the squash, sprinkle salt and pepper over the top and rub it all over. Place the squash flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake until golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn them right side up and set aside.
  2. For the filling: In a large skillet heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat, add leeks and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in sliced mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms get a bit of color on them. Add in zucchini, broccoli, garlic and bell pepper, sprinkle everything with a good pinch of salt  and cook for another 5-6 minutes stirring every minute or so.
  3. Once the vegetables are nice and tender toss in a hand full of spinach and let the heat from the vegetables naturally wilt the spinach, while maintaining it’s vibrant green color. Transfer the filling into a large bowl bowl and add in cooked quinoa. Mix well to combine. Taste for seasoning.
  4. For the pesto: combine the parsley, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until it’s a smooth paste. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper in and with the machine running slowly stream in the olive oil. Turn machine off and transfer to a small bowl.
  5. To assemble: Spoon the filling into each cooked acorn squash.  You have the option to top with a cheese of your choice or leave it plain.  Turn your broiler on and place the squash on to a sheet tray, place the sheet tray in the middle of your oven. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the top gets some color and the cheese is melted.
  6. To serve: drizzle ample amount of your pesto on top and dig in!

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