the main course

Quinoa & Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Make the most of seasonal acorn squash with this colorful and hearty meal that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. The nuttiness of quinoa combined with the earthy flavors of acorn squash and fresh feta make for the perfect winter meal.

Recipe and photos by Dafna Ben-Zeev of Freshly Dafna


  • 4 small acorn squash, about 1 lb or so each
  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped    
  • 1 c quinoa
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • feta for topping, optional


1. Heat oven to 425°F.

2. Prepare acorn squash by cutting the pointy tip and stem off each end (so they will sit up for serving) and then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash hollow side up on the baking sheet and brush or massage 1 tbsp of oil into the flesh of each squash. Sprinkle all the squash with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp total). 

3. Place acorn squash in the oven and bake until insides are fork tender, about 20 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, make the quinoa. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat in a medium pot and saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often. 

5. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Then add the kale, sun dried tomatoes, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and broth. Stir again. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, turn off heat and let sit covered for 5 more minutes. Then remove the lid, fluff quinoa mix with a fork, and taste adding salt if necessary. 

6. When ready to serve place a generous scoop of quinoa in each acorn squash and top it off with crumbled feta if you like. 

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • This can really be made with any smallish squash such as delicata or a sugar pie pumpkin, just adjust baking time to ensure the inside is cooked.
  • Enjoy with a side of miso roasted Brussels sprouts.


  • krista
    November 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    how many servings does this recipe make?

  • Janie Paleschic
    February 11, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    I, too, would like to know how many servings this is. I’m going to cut it down to serve two. Do I cook on or two squash?

    • Imperfect
      February 16, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      Depending on how hungry you are, we suggest just using one squash and you each can have half a stuffed squash! 💚


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