Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing

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This quinoa stuffing is loaded with butternut squash, mushrooms and herbs. It’s a healthy, savory gluten-free side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table.

I love Thanksgiving! I love the traditional dishes that are usually on the table, but if you know me, you know I like putting a healthy spin on the classics as well. I had the idea to try a quinoa stuffing and came up with this recipe that gives traditional stuffing a run for its money! This dish has all of the traditional flavors of the stuffing you’re used to, just no bread or gluten.

Wood spoon scooping a serving of quinoa stuffing.

I will say that this dish is definitely for the modern Thanksgiving table. For one, I’m not sure how well this dish would work for actually stuffing a turkey (probably not great!). And secondly, traditional stuffing lovers (like my husband) might be a little sad if you don’t make the real deal stuffing for them as well. BUT if you’re looking for a gluten-free stuffing idea or just a unique (and healthy!) dish to serve at your Thanksgiving table this year, this is the recipe for you!

Bowl and wooden spoon with quinoa stuffing made with cranberries and butternut squash.

Ingredients Needed for Quinoa Stuffing

  • vegetables – yellow onion, garlic cloves, celery, butternut squash, baby bella mushrooms
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth or bone broth
  • butter – vegan or regular butter works
  • seasonings and spices – bay leaf, fresh sage, dried thyme, dried parsley, sea salt and pepper
  • pecans
  • dried cranberries or cherries
Celery and butternut squash being sauteed in a pan.

How to Make Quinoa Stuffing

Cook quinoa – Add quinoa, water and bay leaf into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

Cook veggies – Sauté the onion, garlic and celery with butter in a large skillet. Stir in mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Add butternut squash, broth, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to the pan. Cover and let mixture cook for 5 minutes, then remove the top and simmer for another 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the butternut squash is cooked through and the broth is mostly evaporated.

Combine mixtures – Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and top with the veggie mixture and dried cranberries. Stir to combine and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Bake – Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and top with the chopped pecans. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes or until the pecans are golden brown and toasted.

Skillet with mushrooms, butternut squash and celery cooking in the pan.

How to Prep Quinoa Stuffing in Advance

This is the perfect dish to prep in advance! If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or just want to meal prep a delicious dish, this is for you. To prep this in advance, simply make the quinoa mixture and vegetable mixture ahead of time and then store in separate airtight containers.

When you’re ready to bake and serve the quinoa stuffing, combine the quinoa and vegetable mixture with the dried cranberries. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and top with the chopped pecans. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes or until the pecans are golden brown and toasted.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have any leftover quinoa stuffing, let it cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Casserole dish with baked quinoa stuffing topped with pecans.

More Healthy Side Dishes to Try:

Quinoa Stuffing

4 from 5 votes
This quinoa stuffing is loaded with butternut squash, mushrooms and herbs. It’s a healthy, savory gluten-free side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table.
Bowl and wooden spoon with quinoa stuffing made with cranberries and butternut squash.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon vegan butter, regular butter works too
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth or bone broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • more sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook quinoa: Add quinoa, water and bay leaf into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove bay leaf.
  • Cook veggies: Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic and celery and sauté until onion is fragrant and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add butternut squash, broth, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to the pan. Cover and let mixture cook for about 5 minutes, then remove top and simmer for another 10 minutes, allowing most of the broth to evaporate. You’ll know it’s done when the butternut squash is cooked through and fork tender. Remove from heat.
  • Mix Everything Together: Add cooked quinoa into a large bowl and top with cooked veggie mixture and dried cranberries to the quinoa. Stir to combine, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Bake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer mixture into a 9×13 baking dish, top with chopped pecans and bake for 20 minutes or until pecans are golden brown and toasted. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 374kcal Carbohydrates: 56g Protein: 12g Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 674mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 9g
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa stuffing

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    25 comments
    1. Nicole Z
      December 11, 2020 AT 7:53 am

      5 stars
      I am in love with this recipe. I’ve been meaning to review it for a while now but every time I open the website I just end up making it again. Personally I make it with a little less water so the quinoa is more grainy than sticky like stuffing. However, you can’t go wrong with this recipe that’s how good it is. The flavor is AMAZING!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 12, 2020 AT 12:50 am

        Oh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Nicole. I’m so glad you’re loving this recipe! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. It means the world to me. 🙂

    2. Carol
      November 21, 2020 AT 12:16 am

      2 stars
      This recipe sounds great. Could I use fresh cranberries?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 21, 2020 AT 6:50 pm

        Hey Carol – I haven’t tried it, but I bet fresh cranberries would work! Let me know if you try it. 🙂

    3. Sharon
      November 20, 2020 AT 9:30 am

      5 stars
      This was so delicious, we are using it for Thanksgiving this year. My only change was that I used 1/2tsp of pepper and it was spicy enough for us. I love your recipes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2020 AT 12:45 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you enjoyed this stuffing, Sharon. I appreciate you making it and coming back to leave a comment + star rating. <3

    4. Lindsay
      November 9, 2020 AT 10:30 am

      5 stars
      Delish!!

    5. Maggie
      November 4, 2020 AT 7:57 pm

      5 stars
      Wow, so good. Traditional stuffing is my absolute favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving so I am very impressed with how much this dish compares! 2/2 on the EBF recipes within 1 day-we had your slow cooker apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast this morning. Too hard to decide which I liked better. Loving all these fall recipes, thanks Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 4, 2020 AT 8:31 pm

        Ahh yay!! This makes me so happy to hear, Maggie. I’m so glad you loved this dish. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

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