MAKE: Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa and Chicken

The perfect way to use the acorn squash that's been sitting on your kitchen counter for weeks.

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

I bought a few gorgeous acorn squash at the market and then they sat in my pull-out pantry … for, like, three weeks. I was frozen in indecision, and maybe feeling a little lazy. But eventually, I buckled down to whip up this recipe, filled with healthy (and gluten-free!) grains and lean protein, that checks off all the important meal boxes: light, delicious and downright drool-worthy.

The good news is, though, if you never stop feeling lazy, acorn squash has an even sweeter flavor than butternut and with some salt and coconut oil, it’s quite special on its own. In fact, you can eat it just like you would a sweet potato.

But if the cooking mood does strike you, the recipe below is sure to satisfy.

Recipe: Under-400-Calorie Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4 to 6

3 acorn squash, cut in half vertically (stem up), seeds removed
Salt and pepper
2 c. chopped rotisserie chicken
1 c. cooked quinoa (1/2 c. uncooked)
½ of a peeled, grated Granny Smith apple
1/4 c. Craisins, optional
1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Fresh Parsley

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Spray squash with cooking spray (or rub with 1 tbsp. olive oil) and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes. *Alternately, microwave cut squash for 5 minutes and then roast for 15 minutes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chicken, quinoa, apple, craisins (if using), and 1/2 c. grated cheese.
4. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Let cook until smells nutty and is golden brown. Remove from heat.
5. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and pepper. Pour over chicken mixture and toss to combine.
6. Fill cavities of cooked squash with mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Top with parsley and serve.

Per serving (accounting for six servings): 398 calories, 13.5 grams fat, 7.1 grams saturated fat, 376 milligrams sodium, 1049 milligrams potassium, 48 grams carbs, 5.7 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugar, 24 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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