Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

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Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash on a white plate with a black background.

This vegetarian stuffed butternut squash is filled with a savory stuffing made with Brussels sprouts, quinoa, olives, and feta. An elegant side dish, but hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian and gluten free main dish.

Post originally published December 2014; updated April 2024.

As soon as the weather turns colder, I start reaching for heartier veggies like Brussels sprouts and butternut squash for meals. This vegetarian stuffed butternut squash recipe has my seasonal favorites plus quinoa, feta, and olives.

Although this veggie stuffed butternut squash has quite a few steps – it is totally worth it for the end result! There’s no need to peel the butternut, so that saves you some prep work. Otherwise, you just make the filling while the squash bakes and it comes together quickly after that.

And if you’re looking for more vegan squash recipes, be sure to check out my butternut squash and red pepper soup or my chickpea and butternut squash curry.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash

  • Butternut Squash: try to pick a butternut squash on the larger side so you have room for the stuffing.
  • Quinoa: high in fiber and plant-based protein – quinoa is a great option for this filled butternut squash recipe.
  • Vegetable Broth: rather than chicken broth, you’ll use vegetable broth to cook the quinoa for this vegetarian stuffed butternut squash recipe.
  • Brussels Sprouts: this seasonal vegetable makes the perfect addition to the savory filling for this vegetarian squash recipe.
  • Olives: since there’s no meat in this stuffing, the olives add some salty, umami flavor. If you aren’t a fan of olives, you can skip them.
  • Sage: we love the savory flavor of fresh sage in the stuffing. Instead of sage, you can also use rosemary, thyme, or oregano.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: the balsamic brightens everything up and pairs well with the Brussels sprouts.
  • Feta: adds some salty flavor and creamy texture to this filling. You can also substitute with a vegetarian parmesan or goat cheese.

Variations and Substitutions

Add Fruit or Nuts: add dried cranberries for a sweet-savory version of the filling for this quinoa stuffed butternut squash. You could also add some chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans.

Add Sausage: a lot of recipes call for sausage in the butternut squash filling. To keep this recipe vegetarian-friendly, try a vegan sausage. (I would add 1-2 sausage links.) The vegan apple sage sausage from Field Roast is my go-to for this stuffed squash.

Use a Different Grain: don’t have quinoa or not a fan of the flavor? Swap out the quinoa for another whole grain like brown rice, farro, or barley.

Make it Vegan: use vegan butter and omit the feta or use a plant-based feta cheese instead to make a vegan stuffed butternut squash dish.

Stuffed Butternut Squash on a white plate with a yellow napkin.

How to Make Stuffed Butternut Squash

Bake the Squash: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.

Make the Quinoa: In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Set aside.

Make the filling: Add the brussels sprouts to a food processor and process until finely chopped/shredded. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, sage, and brussels sprouts. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until brussels sprouts begin to brown and onion is translucent. Combine the quinoa, sprout mixture, olives, balsamic, and feta.

Assemble: Scoop out the flesh of the butternut, leaving about 1/3-1/2 inch of pulp in the skin. In a small bowl, mash the scooped out squash well and then add the the quinoa. Stir until combined. Spoon quinoa mixture into the hollowed out portion of the butternut squash. Bake for another 10 minutes and serve.

Storage and Make Ahead Tips

Fridge: store leftover stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container in the first for up to 3 days.

Freezer: store the stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.

Recipe FAQs

Do you peel the butternut squash before baking?

Unlike most baked butternut squash recipes, you don’t need to peel the squash for this recipe! It’s always such a pain to peel so it’s nice that you can leave it on for this one.

Can you eat the skin on a stuffed butternut squash?

Yes, although most people scoop the flesh of the butternut squash out of the skin when serving – you can eat the skin if you’d like!

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Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash

Created by: Deborah Murphy

Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Turkey isn’t the only food that can be stuffed. Try this vegetarian version of stuffed butternut squash filled with seasoned quinoa and brussels sprouts.

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

  • Brush cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.

  • In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Set aside.

  • Put the brussels sprouts in a food processor and process until finely chopped/shredded.

  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, sage, and brussels sprouts. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until brussels sprouts begin to brown and onion is translucent.

  • Combine the quinoa, sprout mixture, olives, balsamic, and feta.

  • Scoop out the flesh of the butternut, leaving about 1/3-1/2 inch of pulp in the skin. In a small bowl, mash the scooped out squash well and then add the the quinoa. Stir until combined.

  • Spoon quinoa mixture into the hollowed out portion of the butternut squash. Bake for another 10 minutes and serve.

Notes

Fridge: store leftover stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container in the first for up to 3 days. Freezer: store the stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 355mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4.5g

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