Quinoa with Acorn Squash, Apples and Walnuts

This protein-packed quinoa dish full creamy acorn squash, crunchy apples and toasted walnuts is naturally gluten free and vegan.

Acorn Squash Quinoa with Apples and Walnuts - The Lemon BowlIf you’re looking for an easy make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish or simply want to incorporate more meatless meals into your weekly menu, this quinoa dish is for you!

Packed with juicy apples, roasted acorn squash and toasted walnuts, it is bursting with flavor and contrasting textures. Parsley, scallions and lemon juice add freshness and bright flavors to bring everything together.

Acorn Squash Slices - The Lemon BowlJust one side dish serving provides over 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. This recipe also happens to be 100% gluten free and vegan which is perfect if you’re entertaining a crowd and need a few options for guests with food allergies or dietary preferences.

In this busy time of year filled with so many indulgent and and decadent dishes, it is always nice to have at least least one guilt-free option you can feel good about serving your friends and family.

Your fork is waiting.

Quinoa with Acorn Squash, Apples and Walnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This protein-packed quinoa dish full creamy acorn squash, crunchy apples and toasted walnuts is naturally gluten free and vegan.
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 6
  • 1 acorn squash, seeded and cut in cubes (skin-on)
  • ¼ cup olive oil - divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt - divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper - divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa - prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 apple - cored and diced
  • ½ cup scallions - minced
  • ¼ cup parsley - minced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts - toasted
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place acorn cubes in a resealable plastic bag and coat with half of the olive oil, salt and pepper (2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.) Seal bag and shake well to combine.
  3. Scatter squash on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until softened.
  4. While squash is baking, combine cooked quinoa, diced apple, scallions and parsley in a large bowl.
  5. Toast walnuts in a dry pan for 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until they smell toasted. Add to bowl with quinoa.
  6. Add cooked squash to the quinoa and dress with lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper (2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.) Toss well and season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Can be made up to 1 day in advance.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 281 Fat: 14.8 g Saturated fat: 1.7 g Unsaturated fat: 13.1 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 33.3 g Sugar: 3.2 g Sodium: 395 mg Fiber: 4.6 g Protein: 6.3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

For more delicious side dish ideas for the holiday season, check out these other recipes created to celebrate the Food Network’s #FallFest!

Feed Me Phoebe: Swiss Chard Gratin
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: 16 Clean Eating Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Nancy’s Vodka Cranberries
Weelicious: Maple Roast Vegetables
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Easy Mushroom-Chile Risotto
Red or Green: Schezwan Green Beans
Domesticate Me: Sweet Potato Gratin with Pancetta, Parmesan and Sage
Virtually Homemade: Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Purple Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
The Sensitive Epicure: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Rosemary
The Heritage Cook: Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables
Food For My Family: Honey-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine
Dishin & Dishes: Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Devour: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides
Taste With The Eyes: A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: 10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides

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    • Liz DellaCroce says

      We don’t make it often enough. Every time I do I want to have it every single day – haha. So healthy and satisfying. Now I want it right now! :)

  1. says

    I love quinoa and make it often. I’ve never sliced my acorn squash into it but have used it as a bowl stuffed with a quinoa mix and made it a vegetarian one pot meal. I will have to try your version now. Nice blog.


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