Baked buttercup squash stuffed with kale, quinoa, mushrooms, almonds, and cranberries.

Vegetarian Stuffed Buttercup Squash Recipe

This buttercup squash stuffed with quinoa, mushrooms, kale, and cranberries is an impressive and delicious side or vegetarian entree for all your festivities.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 297kcal
Author Jas


  • 1 buttercup squash about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 8 oz crimini baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large leaves kale stem removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine or water
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds coarsely chopped
  • 2 stems fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2-3 oz. feta cheese optional


  • Cut a hole on top of the squash, shaping a lid by inserting your knife on an angle. Discard seeds and loose fibers. Rub the inside with some oil. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place quinoa in a saucepan and cover with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat immediately and let gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions, mushrooms, and kale until soft, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes. When the liquid is almost evaporated, add cranberries, almonds, and parsley. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the flavors.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add the crumbled feta cheese and toss to combine. Fill the buttercup squash with the quinoa stuffing.
  • Place the squash on a baking sheet. Replace the lid on top and bake for about an hour, depending on the oven and on the size and type of the squash. Check the squash flesh with a knife from time to time and stir around the stuffing with a spoon.
  • The squash is ready when skin is browned and bubbly and the flesh is soft. Garnish with parsley and feta.


~ Free Tip ~
  • You can use any size and type of winter squash or pumpkins for this recipe, just remember to adjust the baking time and the amount of ingredients.
  •  Use pumpkin seeds instead of almonds for a nut-free alternative.
  • You can use fresh or frozen cranberries instead of dried.
  • Stuff the squash with wild rice and sausage.
  • Substitute kale with spinach.


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 1072mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4545IU | Vitamin C: 47.9mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 2.7mg