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a slice of stuffed squash on a blue plate with a sliver fork to the side

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe makes a beautiful and delicious side dish or vegetarian main. Made with a gluten-free quinoa stuffing, lentils add even more plant-based protein and cheese is optional but delicious. If you're looking for a vegetarian side dish or just a fun way to eat squash, this vegetarian stuffed squash is the one!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Stuffed squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 252kcal


  • 1 large acorn squash or two smaller squash
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup cooked lentils I use Puy or beluga lentils
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted


  • Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  • Split your squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
  • Rub the squash with a bit of oil, and place the squash cut side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 - 20 min, until just barely tender.
  • While squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing.
  • Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil, and sauté the onions and celery for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Remove from the heat.
  • Combine quinoa, lentils, onions and celery, cheese, tomato paste, and sunflower seeds to a large bowl, and give everything a good stir to combine.
  • When the squash is just becoming tender remove from the oven and cool slightly, just until you can handle it.
  • Spoon the filling in and press firmly in with your hands, making a mound of stuffing over the squash.
  • Return the squash to the sheet pan (or use a baking dish if your squash is tippy), stuffing side up, and return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Squash is ready when it is fully tender and the stuffing is nice and crispy on top.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • The squash can be par-roasted a day or two in advance and stuffed before baking.
  • Stuffed squash can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days and baked from cold - just add 10 minutes to the second roasting time. 
  • Leftover stuffing can be baked in a buttered ramekin, kept in the fridge for 3-5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 786mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg