Gluten-free, Special Diets

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Loreto February 5, 2018

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Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, a great healthy alternative after a season of festive meals and some heavy calories. And the best part, it is delicious with a nice variety of texture and diverse flavors! I did make an error it was not a butternut squash it was a delicata squash that I used but butternut squash would be good also. I had a momentary brain fart which happens when too much is going on and not enough rest. A good time to be more healthy, and take good care of oneself.

Song of the day: “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, is a dish great for lunch but can also be a great serving for a weeknight supper, hosting a plethora of incredibly delicious flavors with a few surprises in the mix!



Quinoa to me is a super food, I am not just saying that because I enjoy it so much. It is a fact coming from nutritionists and doctors. Usually, after December and the beginning of the New Year people flock to the gym, New Year’s resolutions resound firmly and confidently in the air and people look for a healthier way to exist in a world of fast food and pre-made heavily preserved and processed foods with lack of outdoor engagement due to adverse weather conditions. I am not one for resolutions. I try to find my balance every day and hope that my body communicates to me when things are out of whack. I am not in the best shape of my life but I am also not in the worst shape. I do enjoy food, that is a given, I am a food blogger, but it is only that I enjoy preparing, creating, and delivering amazing meals that I would hope is very good for you. I believe that moderation is the key and sometimes we can shock the system with some junk food, but to keep it in check as the body will habitualize eating paterns and run in a different way that may not be beneficial to us. What I mean about that is, if you are always eating junk food, fast food, your body will crave it all the time and because it is not really packed with substantial nutrients it does not last long in your body hence the over bearing cravings all the time. When you take a healthier approach to living and eat very good quality meals with great ingredients, the cravings for the junk subside and you don’t have those out of swing food demands as the meal has done its job to fill you with a smaller portion. My only thing is it has to taste good and look good. I am just that type of person, I surround myself with beauty not only in the physicaal sense but also in the spiritual sense making sure me and my soul are traveling on the same path, the path to happiness!

I am not any stranger to those drastic measures to lose weight. Growing up I spent many an hour in weight watcher meetings and other fad diet crazes. I watched as my mom would only eat chicken breast cooked in a non-stick pan with no oil and just some garlic powder and pepper. A little side of salad and that was it. Did this diet work, yes for a time until our friend the mighty boredom came along and heavy binge sessions pounced on the will, and back those pounds came on with a vengeance. I don’t believe in that. I believe that being healthy is a state of balance between the mind, body, soul, and emotion. That being said to me, healthy, and cooking great delicious tasting meals is a way of life, that needs balance, and that balance is different for everyone. This depends on the type of work one does, how much exercise one is doing, and what type of stresses one is enduring, and a very important though, how well am I sleeping. Just as of late, I have spent many hours in hospitals between work and trying to keep life in balance. The unfortunate part is that sleep was deprived, meal times pretty scattered if not eaten at all, and the body craving energy food such as anything sugary and lots of coffee. The end result, not a very happy Loreto! So what are we going to do about it, we are not going to “try” to change. We are going to implement some strategies to help the change occur, and one to start with is to make more of this type of food hosting an incredible grain such as quinoa, and this recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

On the road to health with this Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash!

Did you know that quinoa was a grain used by the ancient Incas, yes it is true according to historians. Quinoa is derived from a seed of the quinoa plant, go figure, lol. This plant is connected to the spinach family, go figure again, lol. Today I am going to give you 10 good reasons why you may want to start eating quinoa.

  1. It contains more nutrients and antioxidants than any other grain hosting things such as B6, thiamin, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, minerals such as zinc, copper, magnesium folate. It also has antioxidants such as phytonutrients, quercetin, kaempferol great for those anti-inflammatory issues.
  2. Very high in complete protein having a rare amino acid called lysine.
  3. Promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
  4. Sustains healthy heart and blood vessel function thanks to magnesium.
  5. Reduces migraines due to the fact that it has riboflavin and B6 aiding in blood vessel expansion in the brain.
  6. Quinoa is gluten-free as it is considered a seed.
  7. Low in fat, containing essential fatty acids and omega 3 great for promoting fat burning and keeping you satisfied and full longer.
  8. Healthy digestion, and aiding in keeping things moving nicely along, if you know what I mean: “fibrous”, lol.
  9. Lessens the risk of heart disease and stroke, using its fiber to comb the walls of your arteries removing plaque from the walls.
  10. Energizing superfood. Did you know the Incan warriors ate quinoa giving them stamina, energy, strength and better muscle recovery, something I could use right now!

So now, knowing what we do about quinoa, let’s get to our recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash. Let’s get healthy!

For my stuffing, I sauteed some garlic, onion, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, always a great pairing with this super grain or seed whichever way you see it. The quinoa was an organic pre-washed brand found in the rice section of your organic market but also can be found at your local grocer, I imagine. If the packaging does not say pre-washed, then you will have to wash the quinoa. The best method is put it in a fine strainer and run cold water through it. To cook it, very simple. The ratio is one part quinoa to 2 parts water, a pinch of salt and that’s it. Bring the water to a boil, toss in the grain, let it simmer for a time, then cover and let sit for a bit. The final step using a fork to fluff it up. I always love this part. I am amazed at how light and fluffy it looks. I took it a step further and tossed it in the pan with all those delectable veggies and season with the usual S&P and I even splashed in some white truffle oil which adds such a nice depth of flavor to the mix.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

After cutting the delicata squash and scooping and cleaning the insides with a spoon creating a lovely edible bowl, I drizzle olive oil, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it. Now it’s ready for the quinoa stuffing. Boy, this mix really smells so good, let me have a taste, yum, lol. The only thing left to do is sprinkle with some grated Parmigiano and we are ready for the oven.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Man, can you ever smell that delicata squash roasting and the highlights of the quinoa coming through, it is making me so hungry! I love the way the top gets all crunchy and golden, and you can see those morsels of veggie jewels ready for the taking. The delicata squash has some nice caramelized edges, and check it with my fork it slides in so easily telling me it is done and now we can EAT!

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

I love the look of each slice and cradled in its bowl that lovely oh so delicate and light quinoa. The nutty sweet richness of the delicata squash lends itself nicely as a support to the stuffing. It is starchy, yet its velvety texture is a nice difference to that fibrous and al dente bit of the quinoa. I love how every once in a while a sauteed vegetable comes in, whether the sweetness of the peppers combined with that beautiful touch of soft onion, or the plump bits of mushroom, or juicy zucchini comes into to play. The cherry tomatoes add a nice acidity and richness. Then, out of nowhere, a surprise sultry element of white truffle just dances on our tongue with those delightful melted crispy Parmigiano bits bringing nothing but joy to our palate. There is something to say of that touch of white wine in the cooking stages, it always adds such a nice flavor to any sauteed vegetable. Some may wonder about the skin of the delicata squash and surprisingly it is tender and has a nice char about it. I believe that the skin holds a lot of nutrients and why waste that! The aroma lends itself nicely to lure you into the feast of health and poise. I can honestly say, an all-round spectacular recipe.

So let’s recap: this dish is healthy, packed with nutrients and antioxidants with a list of benefits too far and plentiful to mention again. The dish is beautiful with its color and presentation. Lastly, it is just plain and simple dam delicious if I say so myself, lol. If you are feeling that pull to get your life and health back in balance try this recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash. It may just start you on the right track!


Song of the day: “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, is a dish great for lunch but can also be a great serving for  weeknight supper, hosting a plethora of incredible delicious flavors with a few surprises in the mix!


  • 1 medium Delicata squash
  • 3/4 cup organic quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons evo oil
  • splash of white truffle oil
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 small red pepper diced
  • 1/2 small orange pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup mixed mushrooms, cut up (enoki, button top, portobellini)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • splash white wine
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Wash the Delicata squash and cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seed and pulp and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot bring water to a boil, and season with salt. Pour in quinoa and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and cover, let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork, set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan drizzle evo oil and bring to a medium to high heat.
  5. Toss in onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add in red and orange peppers, zucchini and continue sauteing for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add in cut up mushroom, and drizzle in white truffle oil for about 2-3 minutes. Pour in some white wine and add in tomatoes and cook until liquid dissipated on low heat, about 2 minutes.
  7. Toss in cooked quinoa and stir well incorporating all vegetables throughout, set aside.
  8. Rub some evo oil on the inside of the Delicata squash. Spoon quinoa and vegetable mixture into the squash halves. When halves are filled, sprinkle some black truffle cheese on top and place the Delicata squash on a parchment lined baking pan and place in a preheated 385° F and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife can go easily through the flesh of the squash.
  9. Take out of the oven and let cool for a bit.

Ready to serve.



  1. If you have the organic not prewashed quinoa, pour the grain into a fine strainer and run some cold water through it this will get the excess saponins on the outside of the grains. Or you can use what I bought pre-rinsed boxed organic quinoa.
  2. You can tell when the grain is cooked it gets translucent and the white germ forms a visible spiral on the exterior of the quinoa grain.
  3. You can use any kind of mushroom, choose your favorite.
  4. In the total cooking time I have accounted for the sauteing of the vegetables to be done while quinoa is cooking.
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Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

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  • Avatar
    Reply Kate February 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    What a beautiful entree! I can’t wait to try it. I haven’t yet made stuffed squash this winter and it is about time!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Hi Kate, thankyou. I have to tell you I made a bit of a mistake, the squash we used for this recipe was not a butternut squash it was a Delicata. I wrote down the wrong name when we were doing the recipe and I didn’t catch it til after it was posted. However bothj squashes can be used and I think personally they would be equally delicious. Now I have given you a choice Butternut or Delicata? You can decide. I would love to hear how you made out with this recipe.
      Thanks again!

  • Avatar
    Reply thesweetworldsite February 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

    This is such a good idea! I don’t know a lot of butternut squash recipes, so I’ll have to give this try! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Here is a recipe for calzones that I recently made and they were a great dinner. Hope you check these out and you enjoy them 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

      I have to apologise the squash I used was a delicata squash not a butternut but butternut squash would have been equally good. This is what happens when one is too tired, and over worked and stressed. Sorry again! Thank you for commenting!

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria Duggan February 5, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    We love quinoa and squash. What a great combo. This makes a great presentation, and the addition of all the veggies makes for a healthy meal too.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 7, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Thank you Gloria, I love sautéed or grilled vegetables with Quinoa. The combinations of textures and flavours are complimented by the richness and starchiness of the squash. A perfect match for a perfect meal!
      Have a wonderful day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Patti @Patty Cake's Pantry February 6, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I really need this recipe right now. I am exhausted from spending yesterday in the hospital while my #1 son had surgery. I need all of the nutrient dense foods I can get while I nurse him back to health. I love that you “accidentally” used a delicata squash because I have one lying on my counter. I don’t think I have the energy to run to the store. This looks amazing.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 7, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Thank you Patty, Nicoletta and I hope for a speedy recovery for your son and an abundance of health and joy to you. Yes sometimes those brain farts that we have turn out to be blessing and this one is just that and just what the doctor ordered for you at this time. I am amazed at the powerful nutrients of Quinoa and also the delicate squash. This dish exudes health and balance. Thank you for you wonderful comment and take care!

  • Avatar
    Reply TaraTeaspoon February 8, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I can only imagine the flavors that come out of this dish! This is something so fun to serve at a small dinner with friends, can’t wait to try!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Tara, yes just the presentation alone has the tastebuds intrigued, and it is so fun to eat too. I love how the quinoa holds its own in this dish and how every flavor is like a back up singer supporting the star of the show. Thank you for commenting really appreciate your time!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sharon Glascoe February 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    What a great meatless Monday dish. Full of good for you ingredients but full of delicious flavors.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 9, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you Sharon, yes it is a great dish for a meatless meal and so packed with nutrients and substantially filling, yet so so delicious.
      Have a great weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Analida's Ethnic Spoon February 9, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I think you reasons for adding quinoa to my diet hit the nail on the head. I need add this to our meal plan! Thanks for sharing!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      You are very welcome, it is such an amazing grain and has such an amazing texture. I would love to hear how you make out with the quinoa or even if you try this recipe.
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply FoodieGirlChicago February 10, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I love butternut squash but have not tried it stuffed yet. This looks like a great recipe to start with!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

      I am a fan of all squashes. They are so abundant in our parts and they are all so diverse and delicious especially stuffed with the quinoa and sauteed vegetables. I sure hope you get to try this one. Thanks a bunch for the comments.
      Have a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda Mason February 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    This sounds so delish – oh my goodness! And healthy!! I’m always looking for healthy foods and I love to eat squash outside of the fall months! Sounds delish and your photos are so beautiful!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way February 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    We love the Delicata squash — your mistake was a good one. We enjoy quinoa quite a few times each month. It is a great source of protein and it’s so good for us too. Your recipe is certainly a keeper.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 12, 2018 at 7:11 am

      Thank you Marisa. It is true what they say sometimes mistakes turn out to be amazing finds. I am so glad you enjoyed this one and that it made it to your keeper list. You are so right on all health counts of Quinoa is is an amazing grain!
      Have a great cook week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tamara Andersen (Beyond Mere Sustenance) February 11, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    All fall and winter I have looked for delicata squash, and been disappointed! It’s a beautiful squash! Your recipe looks fabulous!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 12, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Thank you Tamara, it is a beautiful squash the delicata, if you can’t find it be adventurous and try butternut or one of the other more fleshy squashes. I think it will work just the same. The flavors marry so well with all that happens when you saute a bunch of colorful veggies and in that nutty quinoa and all its goodness and we have a hit for any day of the week or weekend. Thank you commenting!
      Have a wonderful start to the week!

  • Avatar
    Reply February 12, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Healthy and delicious! I started to make quinoa more often now and your recipe looks amazing) Will try it soon)

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto February 12, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you Veronika, that is great that you use quinoa, it is such a great nutritious and delicious option.I love the way the quinoa complimented the squash and it is so beautiful in color and diverse texture. I think this one would be a great dinner party option maybe?
      have a great cooking week,

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