Make this Stuffed Acorn Squash as an Autumnal classic recipe! So quick to prepare in either the air fryer or oven, and the quinoa stuffing is easy, filling, and delightfully nutritious.
Packed with Fall flavors, this dish will impress family and guests during the holiday season and beyond! Serve as a main course or as a hearty side for a holiday spread.
💚 Why You'll Love This Recipe
This air fryer acorn squash is so easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients! It's also perfect to serve for vegetarian and vegan diets. Packed with veggies, this healthy dish is loaded with flavor.
Plus, it's so easy to make right in your air fryer! Yummy and seasonal squash acts as a hearty base for a delicious quinoa stuffing. Kale adds even more nutrients and fiber. This is a filling and comforting dish that's ideal for the fall!
Can't get enough quinoa? Make this Foolproof Instant Pot Quinoa as a side dish or add some protein to make a quick and satisfying meal.
🧂 Ingredients Needed
- acorn squash - a mild squash with a fibrous texture and a subtly sweet and nutty taste.
- vegetable broth - adds some flavor to your quinoa.
- quinoa - provides a filling and nutritious stuffing for your squash.
- red onion - adds a bite of onion flavor that pairs well with the milder flavors of the squash and quinoa.
- garlic - to expand the flavor profile and add some pungent garlicky flavor.
- sage - this herb contributes lots of bold flavor which is slightly minty and musky in nature.
- kale - for an even more filling and healthy meal.
- toasted squash seeds - an optional topping that diversifies the textures of your air fryer acorn squash and adds a nice crunch.
- Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the insides.
- Air fry the squash halves facedown at 320 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- Turn over the squash and air fry an additional 5-10 minutes, until tender.
- Bring vegetable broth to a boil and add quinoa, then cook 12-15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid.
- Saute red onion with a drizzle of oil until soft.
- Add garlic and sage, then sautee another minute or so.
- Toss in the shredded kale and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper if desired.
- Stir the quinoa mixture into the cooked quinoa.
- Mix the quinoa stuffing well.
- Stuff the squash halves with quinoa filling, then air fry 5 more minutes.
Absolutely, the skin is completely edible! Be sure to clean the squash before preparing it, as there can sometimes be remnants of dirt or other contaminants on the outside of your squash.
This is a delicious meal all on its own, but for some additional sides I recommend a salad of your choosing. You could also serve it with pesto or hummus.
Roasting or baking in the oven are popular options, and the air fryer produces similar results. You can also chop it up and add it to a squash soup or stew, but you'll want to bake or air fry it a bit first so it's nice and tender!
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- This recipe can easily be scaled for 2-3 corn squashes by doubling or tripling the filling ingredients.
- 1 acorn squash should feed about 2 to 4 people, so adjust as needed.
- Top your air fryer acorn squash with toasted pumpkin seeds or toasted squash seeds. You can also use pomegranate seeds for a burst of sweetness.
- Another great topping is Parmesan cheese, but of course you'll want to use dairy-free cheese to keep this dish vegan.
- This recipe can also be prepared in the oven if you don't have an air fryer. Instructions are included in the recipe card!
📌 Air fryer acorn squash is a delicious autumnal meal that's chock full of nutritional value. Filling, hearty, and comforting, it also makes a great addition to any holiday meal spread!
💡 Substitutions and Variations
- This recipe can be made with just about any variety of squash. Butternut squash is another great option!
- Fresh sage will offer the most authentic autumnal flavor, but 1 tablespoon of dried sage can be used instead.
- If you don't have sage, you can also use thyme, either fresh or dried, in approximately the same measurement.
- Brown rice can be used instead of quinoa. Just be sure to adjust cooking time and amount of vegetable stock.
🥫 Storage and Reheating
To store any leftovers, I recommend keeping leftover squash and leftover filling in separate containers. Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, pop the squash and the filling back in the air fryer and cook until heated through. You may also be able to use the microwave, but it could potentially ruin the texture of the squash.
I don't recommend freezing your leftovers.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
If you like, you can make the filling ahead of time, as it will keep and reheat better than the squash. Then simply air fryer the squash halves and add the stuffing!
🍴 What To Serve With This Dish
If you want to add a side dish, I recommend going with something easy to make! Pair your acorn squash with Garlic Butter Microwave Broccoli or Oven Fried Crispy Green Beans for a super healthy combo, or try it with Easy Air Fryer Broccoli. If you're making this for the holidays, serve it alongside a delicious Christmas Salad for a super festive meal!
✔️ More Squash Recipes You'll Love
- Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup - A hearty soup that's great to eat to warm yourself from the inside out during the winter months!
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Apples - This sweet and savory side is great for a comforting meal around the holidays.
- Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter - Another delicious squash and sage pairing, this recipe includes homemade squash gnocchi.
- Sauteed Yellow Squash - Love and Lemons brings us this simple but tasty veggie side dish!
Air Fryer Acorn Squash
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📋 Recipe Card
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 Air Fryer (or use your oven -see details in the instructions)
- 1 acorn squash (about 600-700 g / 21-25 oz)
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- 2 ounces quinoa
- ½ red onion, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 cup kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon toasted squash seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh.1 acorn squash (about 600-700 g / 21-25 oz)
- Put the squash halves in the air fryer face down and cook at 320 degrees F for 15 minutes (or roast in a 350 degree F preheated oven on a baking sheet).
- After the 15 minutes, flip them over and air fry (or roast) for another 5-10 minutes until perfectly tender.
- While the squash is cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil and add the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.¾ cup vegetable stock, 2 ounces quinoa
- Pour a splash of oil into a frying pan heat over medium heat. Saute the red onion until softened.½ red onion, finely chopped
- Add the garlic and sage and saute for a minute.2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- Then add shredded kale and cook for another minute or two until wilted. Season with a little salt and ground black pepper.1 cup kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped, salt and pepper to taste
- Once the quinoa has finished stir in the kale mix until well combined.
- Fill the squash halves with the quinoa stuffing and put back in the air fryer (or oven) for a final 5 minutes.
- Top with toasted squash seeds or pumpkin seeds and optionally, parmesan cheese (vegan for dairy free) and/or pomegranate seeds.1 tablespoon toasted squash seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Squashes are in season during autumn and you could make this with butternut squash instead. Just adjust the cook time to make sure the squash is cooked the whole way through.
- Sage is an autumnal herb that’s great for the holidays. It’s best to use fresh sage, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried sage if desired. Or substitute fresh thyme or dried thyme.
- You can substitute brown rice for the quinoa, but adjust the amount of vegetable stock and cooking time accordingly.
- Store the squash and filling separately in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 3 days. This recipe doesn't freeze well.
- Easily scale this recipe for 2 or 3 acorn squashes by doubling or tripling the rest of the ingredients for the filling as appropriate.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.