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 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.
Spiced-roasted acorn squash tossed with crispy quinoa and chimichurri for a lovely side dish or simple vegan-friendly lunch.
1 acorn squash
1/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Make chimichurri according to directions then serve squash with quinoa and a few spoonfuls of chimichurri,
Keywords: roasted acorn squash, chimichurri, crispy quinoa