I’m Jackie, a stay at home vegan mommy of one amazing little girl. My daughter, Zoey, is three years old, a huge Disney aficionado and Minnie Mouse super fan. She’s also the most amazing little helper in the kitchen that a mother could ask for, and so she is… my Minnie Chef.

Mushroom, Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Mushroom, Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Fall is finally here and with the season comes warm, earthy flavors and lots and lots of gourds! Fall is by far my favorite time of year--we've got a bunch of October birthdays in my family (mine included) and Halloween and Thanksgiving (hands down my favorite holidays--I mean, it's gotta be pretty obvious that I'd favor holidays that are all about food, right?).  

Then there's the pumpkin... Can we talk about pumpkin for a minute? Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Beer, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Smoothies...  Have I mentioned I'm a huge fan of all things pumpkin?  Ok, enough of the pumpkins...  But fall, I mean what's not to love about fall??  All I can say is be prepared to feast your eyes on lots of gourds, especially stuffed gourds! 

So, here's the first of many to come.  This stuffed acorn squash is a hearty, cozy meal seasoned with warm, nutty fall flavors.  This dish is amazing because it epitomizes comforting fall flavors, while being so healthy too.  And one more plus is that it’s served in the squash itself so it makes for a really cool presentation as a dish at a dinner party.

Servings Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
2 (meals) or 4 (sides) 15 mins. 30 mins. 45 mins.


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (approximately 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa)
  • 1 8 ounce package cremini mushrooms, cut into half inch cubes
  • ½ white onion, diced small
  • 2 cups packed kale, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • More salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions; or bring 2/3 cup of water to a boil and stir in 1/3 cup of quinoa.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, uncover, and fluff quinoa with a fork. 
  3. Season cooked quinoa with apple cider vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. 
  4. Cut acorn squash in half, place on a baking sheet, and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil amongst the 4 halves.  Lightly season each half with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the squash) until fork tender. 
  6. While the squash is cooking, heat a large pan over low to medium heat.  Once pan is hot, put 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan followed by the mushrooms and onions.  Season the mushrooms and onions with ¼ teaspoon of salt and  ¼ teaspoon black pepper.  Cook for approximately 7 minutes until onions are translucent and mushrooms have shrunk and are tender.
  7. Add kale and garlic to the pan along with coriander, nutmeg and pecans.  Cook until the kale has wilted, approximately three minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in quinoa. 
  8. Once the acorn squash are tender, remove them from the oven and carefully stuff them with filling using a spoon and a pair of tongs to hold them in place—don’t burn yourself!  Return them to the oven for 5 minutes, to give the top of the stuffing a nice crisp. 
  9. Serve and Enjoy! 
And one more because of my little hand model.

And one more because of my little hand model.

Toddler Tip:

Once you have cut open the acorn squash, let your toddler scoop out the seeds and stringy mess--preparing them for what's to come at Halloween! You can also let your toddler pick out the seeds and season them for roasting later.

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