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I think some of the first things that come to mind when fall starts are scarves, boots, pumpkin spice everything, and of course butternut squash. I came across the cutest squash while doing groceries that looked just like a mini butternut squash and knew I had to get some for a fantastic fall recipe! These squash are honeynut squash, a smaller, sweeter version of the butternut squash. As soon as I popped them in the oven to roast, the whole apartment filled up with a sweet autumn aroma, and I knew that buying these sweet little pots of gold had been a wonderful idea.
These stuffed honeynut squash are filled with a fragrant quinoa and pear stuffing and topped with a maple-balsamic drizzle. The sweetness of the pear perfectly complements the squash, and nutmeg, walnuts, and toasted sage add warm, earthy, holiday flavors.
The maple-balsamic drizzle is totally optional but strongly recommended! I love how the tangy balsamic vinegar plays with the deliciously sweet maple syrup.
As soon as I tried these stuffed honeynut squash I was amazed at how naturally sweet the squash were and how completely soft they became after roasting for only 20 minutes! These squash are the most candy-like vegetable I have ever tried; picky eaters rejoice because it will not feel like you are digging into a vegetable at all!
This recipe is perfect to serve as one of your Thanksgiving dishes, or when you have people over for a fall or winter dinner get together. It's simple to make and done in just over 30 minutes, although because of their beautiful presentation, it appears like they took you a lot longer!
Don't forget to let me know below in the comments if you try this recipe, or pin it for later! And I would love to see your recreations on Instagram @zenandzaatar!
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Stuffed Honeynut Squash with Quinoa & Pear Filling (Vegan, GF)
Sweet roasted honeynut squash stuffed with a quinoa & pear filling and topped with a maple-balsamic drizzle.
- 3 honeynut squash (or small butternut squash***)
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 pear, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp nutmeg
Maple-Balsamic Drizzle (Optional)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Discard insides or save for later use. Drizzle squash with 1 tbsp olive oil* and place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 mins, until tender. (If using butternut squash, this might take 35-40 mins.)
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil in a medium pot and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 12-15 mins, until liquid is absorbed.
- Sauté diced red onion and chopped sage in 1.5 tbsp olive oil** in a saucepan over medium high heat until fragrant. about 5 mins. Add cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts, diced pear, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook for 2-5 more mins and set aside.
- If desired, mix balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together for drizzle.
- Scoop spoonfuls of filling into the roasted honeynut squash. Top each squash generously, and serve the squash alongside extra stuffing. Drizzle squash with some maple-balsamic drizzle and serve immediately. Enjoy!
*For oil-free method, simply omit the oil, and poke some holes in the squash with a fork before baking. If you want the squash to be extra tender, slightly dampen or mist the squash halves before baking.
**For oil-free method, sauté the onion and sage in 2 tbsp of water instead, until the onion is soft and translucent.
***If using butternut squash, the servings will be double (serving 6 people instead of 3).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 657mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 11gSugar: 22gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although zenandzaatar.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Hi, Zena. This recipe was amazing. I found it because I was searching what I could do with a honeynut squash I bought on a whim. I'm so glad I tried it out. I made it again with delicata squash, and it was equally delicious. I also had to make some substitutions based on what spices I had in the house. Here is what I used:
instead of nutmeg and sage I used cardamom, a bit of oregano, and a dash of cinnamon
instead of maple-balsamic drizzle, I used a reduced balsamic glaze
This is going to be one of my go-to recipes from now on! Thanks!
Zena | Zena 'n Zaatar says
Thanks so much for sharing your results and alternatives!! That sounds delicious! I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe! <3
I bought honeynut squash at our local farmers market and stumbled on your blog when searching for revioes. It was absolutely delicious! Tastes like fall.
This was so amazing! Like the others I purchased honey nut squash and went searching for a recipe. I stumbled on this one and tried it and loved it! I didn’t have fresh sage so I substituted for rubbed sage in the spice cabinet. I will be making this again.
Really loved this recipe the first time I made it, and making it again tonight. We received honeynut squash in our "Hungry Harvest" box. Found this recipe and my husband and I were both impressed. Trying it out again tonight and hope the kids love it as well. Thank you for sharing!
Michele DiGirolamo says
Hi. Could this be made a day ahead and then reheated? It looks delicious. Thanks.
Zena | Zen and Zaatar says
Yes, that would work! Hope you love it!