Quinoa Stuffed Squash Recipe, warm, healthy, and hearty for the Fall

by

Smells and Feels like Fall.

Winter squash come in many varieties and each store very well.   This simple recipe can be prepared ahead of time and served hot to your holiday guests. The squash can be cooked ahead of time, filling prepared, and refrigerate up to two days ahead.    Assemble, cook and serve.  Viola!

Ingredients

  • 4 (1-pound) golden nugget squashes
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 (4-ounce) links hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded 2% reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided

Preparation

1. Cut the top quarter off each squash; reserve tops. Discard seeds. Arrange squashes, cut sides down, in 2 (11 x 7-inch) baking dishes. Fill each dish with 1-inch of water; microwave 1 dish at HIGH 15 minutes. Remove dish; repeat with remaining dish. Cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon. Add carrot, onion, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 8 minutes or until carrot is tender.
4. Combine sausage, carrot mixture, quinoa, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Stuff about 1 cup quinoa mixture in each squash, and top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Arrange stuffed squashes in a broiler-safe baking dish, and place tops in dish. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven.
5. Preheat broiler to high.
6. Broil squashes 4 minutes or until cheese is golden.
* Recipe:  Cooking Light.