Quinoa, Feta and Pistachio-Stuffed Acorn Squash


Inspired by a recipe in Meatless from Martha Stewart and company, I added some things that just seemed natural to add like lemon, garlic and a hint of onion in the form of chives for a bigger punch of flavor.

Any list of superfoods will typically contain quinoa and nuts.  However, winter squash such as acorn shouldn’t be considered the shabby relative; it’s high in vitamin C which is just what a person needs during the winter months to fend off the cold virus.  I like to buy acorn squash that has a “flash” of orange on it; it always seems to be the perfect ripeness.

Although I frequently cook quinoa for clients, I’ve found it challenging to get it “just right” by following the package instructions. Most have you rinse it (to remove the bitter coating known as saponin), add to boiling water, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. My result was generally undercooked quinoa with water remaining in the pot.

The method I’ve found that works better is to leave the cover off while it’s simmering so I can watch it. After about 12-15 minutes when much of the water has been absorbed or cooked out and the “germ” begins to appear, I then cover and let it stand off the heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Quinoa is cooked when the germ has been fully released and it’s fluffy and tender.

If you’d rather not go to the trouble, fully cooked quinoa is now available in the freezer section near the vegetables at many grocery stores. Couscous or orzo may be substituted for the quinoa.  Serve with sauteed greens or a green salad as part of a vegetarian meal.

You can visit Carol Borchardt’s website, A Cookbook Obsession, for more of her delicious recipes and wonderful blog posts.

Here is a link to her Facebook page. 

Mediterranean Diet: Acorn Squash stuffed with Quinoa, Feta and Pistachio

Quinoa, Feta and Pistachio-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Carol Borchardt
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 334 kcal


  • 2 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush cut side of squash with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring water, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 12-15 minutes or until almost the water is almost absorbed and the germ is just beginning to appear.
  • Cover, remove from heat and let stand 10-15 minutes or until cooked and fluffy. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add parsley, chives, feta cheese, pistachios and salt and black pepper to taste. Divide filling among squash and serve immediately.


Calories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 9gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 154mgPotassium: 1066mgFiber: 7gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1533IUVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 4mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Carol Borchardt
Carol Borchardt is a life-long passionate cook whose background in the culinary arts began with instruction from her mother, a prize-winning cook who developed original recipes while feeding their large family. The farm-to-table, free-range and wild-caught concepts so important today aren't new to Carol--that was her family's way of life on their picturesque central Wisconsin farm. Carol loves to create original recipes just as her mother did. Five of her original recipes are in The Fresh Market and Friends 25th Anniversary Cookbook. Her column “Dinner For Two,” which includes a recipe and her photography appears on a biweekly basis in The Commercial Appeal’s Food Section . She shares many more creative recipes at her blog, A Cookbook Obsession.


  1. Tamara December 11, 2022 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    This was fantastic! I used delicate instead of acorn and it was great.

  2. Marybeth Judy November 25, 2018 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this very tasty recipe. I was looking for it earlier in my recipe shelf and voila! I see it here!

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