Italian Quinoa Stuffed Squash

quinoa squash 1

Happy Monday!  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine started with a twenty mile run on Saturday morning, but after that, I did a pretty good job of relaxing.  I ate pumpkin ice cream, went apple picking, and watched Syracuse football (lose).  Speaking of, it’s going to take me a long time to accept the fact that the Orange will be playing in the ACC in less than two years.  I think I’ll always love the Big East.

Oh, right.  You’re here for the food?  Okay.  I hope you guys don’t mind my sharing of recipes that don’t involve cups of sugar lately.  Baking is certainly still my forte in the kitchen, but I’m on a dinner kick right now, so I’m embracing it.

quinoa squash 2

You know how sooo many people get excited come September because pumpkin everything is everywhere?  I wish wish we could say the same of all winter squash.  Hey, what’s the plural of squash?  I like to think it’s squish or squeesh, but my guess is it’s probably something simple like squashes. 

I spotted a cute carnival squash at the store last week and grabbed two to make a fun dinner.  Since making quinoa eggplant lasagna, I’ve been enamored by all things quinoa.  I couldn’t seem to get the thought of a quinoa stuffed squash out of my mind, so I put it on the table.  Cheesy yet light, this savory dish is a keeper!

quinoa squash 3

Italian Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Quinoa cooked with ham, tomatoes, oregano and Italian cheeses is stuffed into roasted winter squash for a one-dish meal, bowl and all!  Substitute ham with pancetta or prosciutto for a tasty alternative, if desired.

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • 2 acorn or carnival squash
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large tomato, diced
  • 2 ounces roasted deli ham
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup Italian cheese blend (I use Sargento)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Microwave the squashes on high about 1 minute or until softened slightly.  Cut each squash in half; remove and discard the seeds.  Place cut-side down in a baking pan.  Bake about 45 minutes or until fork tender.  Turn squashes cut-side up to cool slightly before filling.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and kosher salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat to low.  Stir in the onion and tomato, then cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has absorbed.  Add the ham and oregano, and cook about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and fold in the cheese.  Spoon the quinoa into the cooked acorn squash halves.  Top with additional cheese, if desired.

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