Spinach, Mushroom, Quinoa and Pine Nut Stuffed Squash

kabocha squash

A friend of mine works at a pretty sweet job doing important things which I know nothing about. What I do know is that the cafeteria food is borderline gourmet and when he tells me what he eats for lunch I get very jealous. Then I steal the idea and try to make my own version. Keep in mind, I don’t actually get to sample this food he’s enjoying. I just get to imagine what it must taste like. It’s quite likely my version doesn’t even come close to looking/tasting the same as the original.

But, as long as it tastes good who really cares, right?

And trust me, it tastes good.

Why didn’t I just call this Stuffed Squash? Why did I have to give this such a stupid long name? Good question. I have no clue. But maybe because what if the next stuffed squash dish I make is different? Then what? Stuffed Squash II sounds lame.

I’d also like to discuss a bit more in depth about squashes and which squashes would work the best to stuff. (Because I’m obviously a nerd.)

I think the best squashes to stuff are round(ish) shaped winter squashes. You don’t want the squash to be too big because then it would throw off the squash-to-stuffing ratio. If you’ve got a giant garden zucchini that would work too with the seedy part scooped out and made into a ‘boat’. (Yes, I know zucchini is a summer squash.)

So, in summary, use acorn or kabocha squash. Or use whatever you have on hand and hope for the best. I wrote this recipe using kabocha squash.

stuffed squash

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spinach, Mushroom, Quinoa and Pine Nut Stuffed Squash
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 kabocha squash
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 3 -4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  3. Place squash on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until just barely fork tender. Do not overbake.
  5. In a medium saucepan bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  6. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until softened.
  7. Add mushrooms to the skillet and allow to cook until mushrooms are browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Add fresh spinach and cook until wilted.
  9. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
  10. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until just browned. Add to the spinach-mushroom mixture.
  11. Fold in cooked quinoa and check for seasonings.
  12. Stuff into squash halves and return to oven for 5-10 more minutes to finish cooking the squash.


  1. Megan says

    I used kale instead of spinach (I had it on hand) and left out the pine nuts. It was delicious! I can’t even tell I’m eating something gluten free and vegan…

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