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!
- 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
- 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, 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).