Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Chimichurri

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Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri

When it comes to roasted squash, I'm all about big flavors. Give me all the spices and herbs. This adobo acorn squash is the perfect example. The squash is roasted in a great mix of spices and finished with one of my favorite herb sauces. Perfect as a side or add a cup of pinto beans or chickpeas to make it lunch.

Acorn Squash or Bust (not really)

One of my favorite sections in the grocery store is the section that houses winter squash. Some stores have the standard: butternut, spaghetti, and acorn while other stores branch out with red kuri, blue hubbard, and delicata. I love them all for many different reasons and honestly, acorn is usually towards the bottom of this list.

However, acorn works really well for recipes like this adobo squash. I find that acorn, when not overcooked, holds it's texture well. The flavor is mild enough to support a bit of character in pairings. And, it's one of the easier squashes to find at regular grocery stores. However, if I were to sub it for something else, I'd choose red kuri (because you don't have to peel) or butternut squash. You could also make this recipe with sweet potatoes!

Crispy Quinoa

Crispy quinoa is one of those items that is easy to do and can make a big impact on the overall texture of the dish. Over the years, I've changed the ratio of components in this recipe. Originally it started as a quinoa bowl with acorn squash but it's now become acorn squash with a smattering of quinoa. I like to make quinoa for dinner one night and find a way to use crispy quinoa in the next day's meal.

If, however, you don't want to mess with frying quinoa or you're not working with leftovers, a few toasted seeds will do. Swap the quinoa out for toasted pepitas or almonds.


Easily one of my favorite components, I make chimichurri quite regularly. It's a great way to use any leftover herbs you might have from your week of cooking. It's also a major reason why I grow oregano and Mexican oregano. Make a regular-sized batch and use on tacos, grain bowls, morning eggs, or as a finishing sauce for soups.

Make it Vegan

Finally, to make this recipe vegan, drop the yogurt and use either a tablespoon or two of olive oil. You could also swap in your favorite, non-flavored dairy yogurt or use a cashew cream. I like the coating the yogurt provides so I'd be more likely to go with the latter.

Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri

Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri
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Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Jalapeño Chimichurri

Spiced-roasted acorn squash tossed with crispy quinoa and chimichurri for a lovely side dish or simple vegan-friendly lunch.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup plain (whole milk yogurt)
Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Peel the acorn squash, cut in half, and remove seeds. Take each half and slice each half into 1/2" slices. Alternatively, cut into slices then cut off peel (either way works- just depends on preference). Place in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine spices, sucanat, salt, and pepper. Add the yogurt and give a good stir. Scrape the yogurt mix into the squash and toss until squash is well-coated. Place squash in a single layer on one to two parchment-covered sheet tray and roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes (depending on thickness of slice- they should be tender but not falling about).
  3. While squash is roasting, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add quinoa and stir until liquid has evaporated and quinoa is lightly browning and crisp, 2-4 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Make chimichurri according to directions then serve squash with quinoa and a few spoonfuls of chimichurri,
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes

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20 comments on “Adobo Acorn Squash, Crispy Quinoa, and Chimichurri”

  1. I can't wait to try this! I think the combination of spices and textures sounds heavenly ... and a nice departure from my usual ways of seasoning squash.

  2. I'm só not used to cooking with squash or pumpkin, I didn't grew up with it and in the Netherlands you don't have that much variation of types. And -weird enough- I thought I didn't liked it!
    But it turned out I do! So I'm trying them all out now and this recipe will definitely be on my list. It looks delicious, thank you Erin for sharing!

  3. Veggies over grains with a yummy sauce, this is my kind of comforting meal. I like to use chimichurri in tacos, or sometimes drizzle it over pan-crisped seitan. Or just eat it by the spoonful, whatever.

  4. I love adobo spices and flavors! I think that would work well on some super thin and crunchy sweet potato fries too! Totally not as healthy as this dish though.

  5. I am so into this!! I love the spice and the acorn squash with the crispy quinoa. Sounds awesome!

  6. This sounds like such a delicious dinner! I haven't eaten any squash yet this fall--definitely must fix that very soon. 🙂

  7. I made this tonight over a glass of my favorite sauvignon blanc. I used butternut squash and the adobo seasoning was the perfect combination of smoky, spicy, and sweet. I will definitely keep that spice mixture around for other recipes. The roasted adobo squash and the chimichurri were fantastic compliments to each other. The only thing that didn't work out as well for me was the quinoa. I didn't have cooked quinoa sitting around so that increased the amount of time that this took to make. When I went to sautee it, it just kind of stuck to the pan and didn't get very crispy. I may just skip this step in the future because I don't think it made a ton of difference.

    Overall though, the combination of flavors was absolutely delicious!

  8. Just got around to making this and it's very tasty! I added some chopped roasted pecans to the quinoa for a little protein boost and texture. Mild feta works well with this. Very delicious.

  9. I just made this dish for my family, which includes two teenage boys, and they love it. I used the sweet potatoes I had on hand and some pepitas on top. Yummy! Perfect meal for this snowy day.

  10. Can't wait to try this. I just saved it for a future weeknight meal. I love the sound of the jalapeno chimichurri. I love everything spicy!

  11. This is the second time I've made this...very delicious, one of my guy's favorite dishes. This time I mixed the spices directly with the yogurt and then coated the acorn squash, making it a bit easier to make sure every yummy piece of squash got all the spices. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  12. Such a delicious recipe. I made with sweet potatoes and served with a side salad. You can really make it your own. but this combination of the savory adobo seasoning with the sweetness of the squash, and the tangyness of the chimichurri is PERFECTO.

  13. Took a risk and used vegan mayo in place of yogurt - it worked great! Thank you!!


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

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