Sweet & Citrus Baked Acorn Squash


To me, summer is personified in foods that are sweet and citrusy. When I think of soaking up these last days of summer, my mind drifts to pool side book reading enjoying a strawberry popsicle. A hint of sweet, and a splash of tart. Although often times we attribute these flavors to dessert, I wanted to recreate them in a summer inspired and filling main course.


It’s a little bit surprising, but so so delicious. The ripened peach gives each bite a pop of sweet and the zested orange with it’s juices certainly give a zing of citrus. Scrumptious, melt in your mouth quinoa with velvety squash and a hint of spice in the background. We love this dish around these parts, and it makes the perfect summer dinner to celebrate what’s left of the season.



Sweet & Citrus Baked Acorn Squash

Yield: 4


  • 2 large acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large ripe peach, diced
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Juice from ½ an orange


  1. Preheat oven to 400 f
  2. Using a large chef knife, slice tops and ends off squash, just enough to create a flat surface for the squash to stand on a baking sheet. Cut down the middle horizontally. Scoop out the seeds from both sides with a spoon, drizzle some olive oil and a splash of water in the well that was created and flip upside down onto a baking sheet, being careful not to let water splash everywhere. Bake for 45 minutes.
  3. While the squash is baking, bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups chicken stock to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. It will be done when all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa seeds are uncoiled. This is the typical way to make quinoa, but be sure to double check your package instructions for cooking to make it according to the brand you are using.
  4. In a large pan, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Toss in your chopped carrots, celery, onions, garlic, some salt and pepper and a few dashes of chili powder. Once you’ve got a good sizzle going, turn the heat down to low and let everything sauté until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. When all the veggies have softened, add to the quinoa along with a generous teaspoon of salt, allspice and chili powder. Stir everything together and add peaches, orange zest and squeezed orange juice.
  6. When the squash is done baking, use a spatula to flip them over and fill each of the “bowls” with a generous amount of the quinoa stuffing. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm everything through.

What flavors remind you of summer?

All photos by Josh & Kimberly Barnes


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Natasha Red lives in Texas with her husband and baby girl. She inherited her love of cooking from watching her dad serve her family meals every night growing up. From early on, being in the kitchen has provided a creative outlet and a sense of calm at the end of a hard day. Natasha loves to see women boldly approach food, embracing it as a blessing to themselves and the people that fill their homes. Her blog is a personal recipe collection sprinkled with thoughts on motherhood, life as a family, natural living, and her passion for gathering people in her home, feeding their bellies and their hearts as well.

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  1. delicious! this sounds weird but I’ve been wanting to try and make something stuffed for awhile haha . . . like stuffed peppers . .. I might have to try this instead since I LOVE squash.

  2. I’ve never had acorn squash but this looks awesome! I’ll definitely be trying it soon! 🙂

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