Roasted Delicata Squash with Moroccan Quinoa

Every year I’m a bit reluctant to say goodbye to summer and all its abundance - tomatoes! corn! zucchini! basil! - but once October rolls around, I’m finally ready to embrace all the winter squash, root vegetables, and warming spices that arrive each autumn. This recipe makes a truly beautiful fall side dish or vegetarian entree, featuring roasted winter squash stuffed with bright flavors thanks to heaps of citrus, fresh, herbs, and plump pomegranates. While I hesitate to play favorites, delicata squash miiiight just be my favorite variety of winter squash, because of its super sweet flesh and (bonus!) edible outer skin. If you don’t have access to delicata squash, acorn or kabocha squash make great substitutes.


Delicata Squash with Moroccan Quinoa

prep time: 25 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 70 mins


2 delicata squash (or substitute with acorn squash)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup quinoa

1 yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ cup diced feta cheese, plus more for garnish

½ cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the cut sides of the squash and season with salt + pepper.
  3. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the squash over and continue cooking, cut side up, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife,  about 10 to 15 minutes longer (timing will depend on the size of your squash). Remove the squash from the oven and let cool slightly.
  4. While the squash roasts, in a medium saucepan bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and steam quinoa for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a wide bowl.
  5. While the squash and quinoa are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide saute pan. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat slightly and add the minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped kale and juice of 1 lemon, and saute until the leaves collapse, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove this mixture from the heat and add it to the bowl of cooked quinoa.
  6. Add the chopped mint, cilantro, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, feta, and pomegranates to the bowl of quinoa and toss until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Divide the quinoa mixture among the cavities of the roasted squash. (You will likely have extra quinoa leftover... it makes a great salad the next day). Garnish with an extra sprinkle of feta and pomegranates. Serve and enjoy!
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