Roasted Squash Bowls With Quinoa Pilaf, Greens, and Pistachios

Use an acorn or baby dumpling squash as your “bowl” for this meal.


Makes four servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients for the squash:

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tbs. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced small
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1¾ cups water or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 6 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard or kale, in bite-size pieces
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare and cook the squashes: Slice the bottoms off so that the squashes will sit level on the sheet; cut off the rounded tops and scoop out the strings and seeds. Stir the olive oil, salt, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and red-pepper flakes together in a bowl, then use a brush to spread the spice mixture over the inside of the squashes. Place the squashes top side down on the prepared pan and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. (Check after 20 minutes by touching the top of a squash with your finger. Once it’s soft, remove the squashes from the oven and cover with foil until you’re ready to fill them.)
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under running cold water. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until soft, about three minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander, then stir in the quinoa. Stir in the stock and ¼ teaspoon salt; cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, and cranberries. Stir for 10 seconds, then add the Swiss chard and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the greens are tender, about three minutes for chard, five minutes for kale. Remove from the heat and stir in a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Assemble the dish: Spoon the quinoa mixture into the squash, then top each squash with a scoop of the greens. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve warm.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

MS, director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, is the author of several cookbooks, including The Healthy Mind Cookbook and Clean Soups (from which the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe was adapted). She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photos: Andrea DAgosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

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