This vegetarian and gluten-free Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash makes the perfect weeknight dinner recipe. Not only does delicata squash taste amazing roasted and filled with quinoa & vegetables, but you can actually eat the whole squash. That's right, the skin is edible too!
*Recipe originally shared January 2019 and updated October 2021*
There is nothing quite like squash in the Fall! Delicata squash tastes great cooked any way, but roasting it and filling it with this quinoa vegetable and cheese filling is definitely my favorite way to enjoy it!
- Vegetable broth: I used store bought broth from Pacific Foods, but homemade vegetable broth is another great option.
- Delicata Squash: This recipe works best when using a longer and thinner delicata squash that isn't bent.
- Diced tomatoes: I used canned diced tomatoes, but fresh tomatoes can also be subbed 1:1.
- Cheese: This recipe can be made vegetarian with a 3 three Mexican blend or make this stuffed squash vegan by using a vegan cheese blend.
How to make stuffed delicata squash
This recipe can essentially be broken down into 3 major steps:
Roast the delicata squash
First, slice the delicata squash in half and scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds before baking. However, don't throw away those seeds!
It's totally optional, but you can actually roast the seeds and add them to the filling or even save them for later to use as a topping for soups or salads.
Once you've scooped out the stringy flesh, season the squash with salt and pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes until the skin is easily piercable. It should not be fully cooked at this point, but it should be about 90% cooked and much softer.
Cook the quinoa vegetable filling
This step involves adding all the ingredients (except the cheese) to a pot and cooking for 15-20 minutes. The best part about this step is you just need one pot to cook the veggies & quinoa!
Once the delicata squash filling is cooked, mix in the shredded cheese.
If you want to keep the dish vegan, simply skip the cheese or replace it with vegan cheese for an easy swap.
Stuff the squash and roast
As a final step, add the filling into the delicata squash boats and pile it high!
After that, bake the stuffed delicata squash for another 10 minutes so everything gets nice and crispy. I like mine topped with avocado, cilantro, and some fresh lime juice!
FAQ & Tips:
Definitely! The filling is actually already oil-free, so the only oil you would omit is brushing the squash with oil before roasting. This helps to caramelize the squash and add flavor but can be skipped if you would like.
Definitely! Just swap the Mexican cheese blend for any vegan cheese or make your own homemade vegan cheese and mix it into the quinoa filling before roasting.
Yes! That is why I love this recipe so much. The delicata squash serves as a bowl AND it's edible.
This dish is super filling and full of healthy ingredients- but ultimately the definition of "healthy" is up to you.
In addition to tasting great, delicata squash contains loads of Vitamin A, C, and Fiber.
In fact, a lot of the nutrition from this recipe comes from the powerhouse ingredient of quinoa added to this recipe! It's one of my favorite ingredients to eat as a vegetarian because it is a complete protein (meaning it contains all the 9 essential amino acids that we have to get from our diet).
This stuffed delicata squash can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend separating the delicata squash between layers of parchment paper or tin foil to prevent them from smushing together.
This baked delicata squash recipe also freezes! Simply store it between sheets of parchment paper in a closed container to prevent it from freezing together. It will keep frozen for up to 1 month.
A few hours before eating, place it in the fridge or on the counter to defrost. Then, reheat the stuffed delicata squash in the oven at 200F until warmed throughout, or reheat in the microwave!
I hope you all love this healthy, gluten-free, & seasonal Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash recipe. Enjoy!
More comforting vegetarian dinner recipes you will love:
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Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash
- 2 medium delicata squash sliced in half, with seeds and stringy flesh removed
- 1 Tablespoon oil *to coat the delicata, can be replaced with cooking spray
- ½ cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ red onion diced, about 1 cup
- 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes about half of a 14 oz can
- 1 green pepper diced, about 1.5 cups
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- salt & pepper to taste I used ½ teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon pepper for the filling, more for seasoning the squash
- 1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend *use vegan cheese to make this recipe vegan
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- While the oven is preheating, slice the delicata squash in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and stringy flesh from the inside. Discard the stringy flesh, but save the seeds for roasting!
- Next, season the inside of each squash with oil or cooking spray, salt, and pepper. Spray a large baking sheet with additional cooking spray. Then, place the squash on the tray with the seasoned size down. Next, add to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until the skin is easily pierceable and the inside is soft and tender.
- While the squash is roasting, cook the filling. Chop your onions and peppers and add them to a pot with the dried quinoa, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and seasoning.
- Cook the filling over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until all the broth has been soaked up and the quinoa is cooked. Remove the cooked filling from the heat and stir in the cup of shredded cheese.
- Pull out the roasted squash from the oven and flip over so the seasoned inside is now facing up. Fill each squash with ¼ of the filling. Then, add the squash back to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes to crisp everything up.
- Remove from the oven and top with your choice of toppings!
- Squash will keep in a closed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month and can be reheated in the oven at 200F or in a microwave.
- If you add toppings fresh avocado, cilantro, and lime juice are all great choices!
- To make this dish oil-free, just skip the step of coating the squash with oil before roasting
- To make this dish vegan omit the cheese or sub 1:1 with any vegan cheese blend.