[RECIPE] Citrus Quinoa Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash

Part 2 of last night’s dinner included acorn squash as the side.  I’ve recently fallen in love with acorn squash after making a soup with it and wanted to try out something new.

Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps and Citrus Quinoa Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash

Back in Chicago, my old roommate used to make this amazing couscous salad with a cinnamon lime dressing.  The combination seemed so odd to me, but it was absolutely addictive!  Since then, I’ve cut out gluten, but I’ll use quinoa occasionally to relive my love for couscous.  I’ve played around with the citrus and cinnamon combination a bit since and figured this would be a great excuse to whip that up again.

I roasted the acorn squash with a little butter (I know, not so Paleo – we still use butter occasionally in moderation) and cinnamon.  I made the quinoa salad separately and stuffed the squash with it.  Jesse loved it!  Here is the recipe for the stuff Acorn Squash:

Citrus Quinoa Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • 1 tbsp Butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Cucumber (chopped)
  • 1/2 Apple (chopped) – I used Fuji
  • 1/2 White Onion (chopped)
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Almonds
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon.  Brush the flesh with butter and sprinkle the cinnamon and cayenne over the squash evenly (flesh side).  Place on a baking sheet, flesh side up.  Bake for 40 minutes.

After you place the acorn squash in the oven, begin preparing the quinoa.  This recipe will make enough salad to stuff the acorn squash halves and have left overs (or more on the side).  You can double up the acorn squash recipe to make more and have plenty of salad to stuff with.  I like having some salad for left overs and didn’t have a need for more than 2 squash halves.

To make the quinoa, place the water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the quinoa, stir and cover while bringing it down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until all of the seeds appeared to have “popped”).  Set a timer to check for 15 minutes and begin to chop the ingredients going into the salad.

Chop the ingredients for the salad: cucumber, apple, onion, and cilantro.  Add these ingredients to a mixing bowl along with the almonds and dried cranberries.  Grab a smaller bowl to mix the “dressing” in.  Add the juice of 1 lime, one orange, your honey, cayenne, and cumin to the bowl.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Once the quinoa is done, fluff it and let it cool down a little before adding to the chopped salad ingredients.  Once it’s chilled, mix it in with the other salad ingredients.  Top with the sauce and continue to mix.

Check on the Acorn squash which should be just about down.  Once done, place each half on a plate and fill the hole with the quinoa salad.  There you have it!

Recipe by TheirWanderlust.com


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