Santa Fe-Inspired Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

The recent celebration of  El Dia de los Muertos has us reminiscing about New Mexico and wondering when in the heck we will have time for a trip.

On our last trip, I had a beautiful stuffed acorn squash with brown rice, black bean chili, red sauce, and cojita at Harry’s Roadhouse in Santa Fe.    I always feel nostalgic for Santa Fe and Taos in the fall.   I love it there this time of year.   (I love it there during all the seasons though.)

I really wanted to try to capture the New Mexican influence of that simple stuffed squash meal at Harry’s to help us with our New Mexico blues.    And, I wanted to make it a bit healthier.    Instead of brown rice, I used quinoa, added some kale, and threw in some chili spice.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Kale, and Dried Tomatoes

Roast the Squash
4 acorn squashes (or do I like did and use only one knowing there will be a lot of stuffing leftover for lunches.)
4 T. olive oil
2 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wash acorn squash and then slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.   Place squash halves in a baking dish.

Drizzle the squash with olive oil.   Mix together chili powder and cumin and sprinkle over squash.    Season with fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until done.

Prepare Stuffing
1 c. quinoa
1/2 c. dried tomatoes, julienned or chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. raw baby kale, chopped
1 t. red wine vinegar
4 oz. crumbled feta

Cook quinoa according to directions on package.   As soon as it is cooked, stir in the dried tomatoes and black beans.  Let set while other ingredients are prepared.

In a large sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add kale and sauté until it start to soften, about 5 minutes more.   Stir in red wine vinegar.

Remove from heat and toss with the quinoa mixture  in a medium bowl.   Stir in feta.

Stuff each squash half with 3/4 to 1 cup of stuffing, mounding it up a bit.    Return squash to oven for about five minutes more until stuffing is reheated and feta gets nice and soft.


I loved this vegetarian meal.   The Hubs?   He said it was good but wasn’t his favorite.   I would eat this every week!

(The leftover stuffing is good for a light lunch.   It is also good wrapped in a tortilla or stuffed in a pita.)

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