Hearty quinoa that has been studded with the flavors of Mediterranean Cuisine, is stuffed inside tenderly baked acorn squash for a filling gluten free meal that is packed with nutrition. There is something about the change of season that excites me, regardless of whatever season it is.
Part of it is that I love to break out the clothes for each season. Boots and scarves in the fall, and light, airy dresses in the spring, and flip flops in the summer. But another big part of my love for each new season, is that I love to change up my recipes to feature the fresh produce of the season.
Walking into the farmer’s market lately, it is filled with hearty squashes, pumpkin, and late blooming tomatoes. Oh, how I love squash! I look forward each year to the squash harvest. They lend so perfectly to sweet and savory dishes and I just can’t get enough of the different varieties.
The last trip to the market, I loaded up on acorn squash and some heirloom tomatoes. The original plan was to make some BLTs with tomatoes and just roast the squash in slices to serve along side the sandwiches….but then inspiration hit for stuffed squash and I went that route.
And while BLTs and roasted squash are both FABULOUS, you will be happy I changed up my plan and am bringing you Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.
This dish came together quite simply, but packs so much flavor and nutrition into each bite, it nearly blows your tastebuds away. While the squash roasted, I simmered quinoa with feta chicken sausage, kalamata olives, banana peppers, and oregano. After the quinoa was cooked, I stirred in fresh baby kale (spinach would work as well), feta, and the diced heirloom tomatoes.
To finish off the dish, I drizzled the squash with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and stuffed each squash with the mixture. And roasted in the oven for a few more minutes to bring the dish together.
Now grab a fork, and dig into the latest harvest that your farmer’s market has to offer. Your taste buds will thank you!
- 4 small acorn squah, scrubbed, cut in half and seeded
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 2 links chicken feta sausage, diced into ½ inch pieces
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
- ¼ cup banana pepper slices
- 1 large heirloom tomato, diced and seeded
- 1 cup chopped baby kale (or spinach)
- ¼ cup- ½ cup feta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- Roast squash halves that have been seasoned with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until fork tender.
- In the meantime, bring the chicken stock, quinoa, garlic, oregano, sausage, olives, and banana peppers to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add in the kale, tomato, and feta into cooked quinoa and stir well. Season with salt and pepper if needed (remember olives and feta are very salty!)
- Once squash is roasted, fill each cavity with the quinoa mixture. I scooped the leftover quinoa, around the squash in the baking dish. Drizzle with a the remaining olive oil, and return to oven for 10-15 minutes.