Acorn squash is a favorite of mine – partially for the flavor and partially for the fact that the squash itself becomes the bowl that you can eat out of! I have an old stuffed squash recipe on the blog, and thought it was time to add one filled with nutrient dense plant protein and fall flavors. Enter this vegan stuffed acorn squash! I filled it with some of the best plant proteins and flavors. Read on to learn more and get the recipe for a quinoa, kale and tempeh stuffed squash with maple mustard vinaigrette!
While I stuffed acorn squash the first time around, you can use any variety for your stuffed squash! This is also delicious as a stuffed delicata squash, especially if you want a larger filling to squash ratio. Delicata squash is a bit smaller, but you could use both sides as one serving. Kabocha, honey nut, and spaghetti squash all work, too! The great thing about the former though, is that acorn squash has edible skin, as does delicata. You just need to roast the squash long enough so that it has a tender texture!
You’ll definitely get great nutrient benefits from winter squash, too! All winter squash provide antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene that converts to vitamin A. You’ll also get some Vitamin C, fiber and other anti-inflammatory compounds in any squash you choose.
I’ve been chatting a lot about whether plant protein is adequate lately. Protein from plants is adequate for health and performance as well as satisfying taste and texture at meals – you just need to choose the right foods! Many vegan stuffed acorn squash recipes look delicious, but are lacking in protein. This tempeh stuffed squash is a complete meal!
In this stuffed squash recipe, you get high quality plant protein from tempeh and quinoa, and a bit more from the pistachio topping and kale. While you won’t get a full serving in this recipe, one ounce of pistachios has 6 grams of protein and a cup of cooked kale provides 2 grams of protein.
Haven’t had tempeh before? Tempeh is made from soy, like tofu, but it’s fermented in it’s processing and has a more crumbly texture that pleases meat eaters. Tim much prefers tempeh over tofu most of the time! If you’re still unsure, check out this miso ginger tempeh sheet pan dinner, and buffalo tempeh sandwich.
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 ⅓ tbsp olive or avocado oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 package tempeh (8 ounces)
- 2 cups kale chopped
- 2 tbsp shelled pistachios chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F. After carefully cutting the top and bottom ends of the squash off, halve and remove seeds.
- Brush or rub 1 tsp of olive oil onto the flesh of each squash half before placing face down on a baking sheet and baking for 30-35 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, cook your quinoa according to package instructions if you do not have it prepped already. Use roughly 1 cup of dry quinoa.
- While the quinoa and squash are cooking, mince the garlic, chop the kale, and crumble the tempeh.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium sautee pan before adding garlic and stirring. Then, add the crumbled tempeh and kale. Stir and cover, letting cook for 3-4 minutes before stirring again, cooking an additional 3-4 minutes before leaving covered and turning off the heat.
- As the quinoa and squash finishing cooking, whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- Add quinoa and vinaigrette to the pan with the tempeh mixture and stir well.
- Once squash are done cooking, add each to their own plate and divide the quinoa and tempeh mixture between them.