Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa Cranberries and Kale
Over the weekend, I traveled to Park City, Utah, where I was surrounded by a group of the most inspiring women. I arrived excited and hungry, and I departed nourished. And I don’t mean “fiber bar” nourished, or even “super food smoothie” nourished. I mean, deep-down in your heart, fills you to the brim, Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, and Kale nourished.
As you will see, stuffed-butternut-squash nourished is very nourished indeed.
When Maria and Heidi invited me to join them for a weekend blogging retreat in Park City, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough. I’ve looked up to these two women since I began blogging. Yes, their websites and recipes are absolutely beautiful, but what I admire most is their beauty of character and the generosity with which they share their time and talents with the blogging community.
All of the bloggers who were present (every single one of whom I aspire to be a bit more like) shared openly with each other. We talked about our goals, our struggles, and offered one another encouragement and advice.
And we ATE. Oh my goodness. If you followed along on Instagram (#BBRetreat) or Snapchat (wellplated) for even a hot second, you would have inevitably caught some of the feasting that transpired.
As go the weekdays that follow weekends in which copious quantities eating occur, so goes my menu for the next few days. I have plans for lots of healthy dinners involving oodles of fall veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.
First up: Healthy Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, Chickpeas, and Kale.
This vegetarian stuffed butternut squash recipe is a shining example of the sort of healthy, but cozy fare I crave after weekends away from home. It’s packed with all of the nourishing ingredients my body is craving, but it still leaves me feeling warm, toasty, and satisfied in a way that salad alone does not.
Yes, I love the combination of cranberries and kale with the butternut squash, and we know I’m obsessed with chickpeas, but what truly makes this stuffed butternut squash recipe shine is the orange zest. The fresh zest does a happy little dance with the caramel-y squash, and it makes the recipe taste vibrant and alive.
My other favorite part of this Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe is its reheatability. We ate half of the recipe for dinner, then I devoured the leftovers for lunch later in the week.
Wishing you all a nourishing mid-week boost of the coziest, yummiest, stuffed butternut squash-iest kind!
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Kale, Cranberries, and Chickpeas
Delicious, healthy Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, Kale, and Chickpeas. An easy, satisfying vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for fall!
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 2 medium butternut squash, about 2 1/2 pounds each
- 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 kosher salt (plus additional for roasting squash)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (plus additional for roasting squash)
- 1 (15 ounce) can low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Zest of 1 orange, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
- Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Serving Size: 1 stuffed half (without cheese)
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 387
- Total Fat: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 265mg
- Carbohydrates: 79g
- Fiber: 17g
- Sugar: 11g
- Protein: 13g
If you like this Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, and Kale, don’t miss these other satisfying vegetarian recipes!