Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa Cranberries and Kale

Delicious, healthy Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, Kale, and Chickpeas. An easy, satisfying vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for Christmas Dinner!

This vegetarian stuffed butternut squash recipe is a shining example of healthy but cosy fare. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients.

YIELD: Serves 4

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 1 hour

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (about 6 lightly packed cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus additional for roasting squash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (plus additional for roasting squash)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Zest of 1 orange, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the  oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. While the squash is baking, place the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 30 additional seconds, until is fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
  4. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Reserve the flesh for another use (or if you don’t mind a super duper stuffed squash, mix it in with the rest of the filling). Stuff the kale quinoa filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 10 additional minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve warm.

IDEAS TO USE THE LEFTOVER SQUASH:

  • Mash with parmesan and olive oil for a quick, healthy side.
  • Lightly scrape off the outer layer with the salt and pepper (this removes the savory-ness), puree, then try swapping it for all or part of the pumpkin puree in any of these recipes.
  • Add it to smoothies. Try the squash, a frozen banana, cinnamon, and dates. YUM!
  • Store leftover stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven, covered, until hot (about 20-30 minutes) or gently in the microwave.
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