Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing
Published Nov 02, 2020, Updated Nov 02, 2022
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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.
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!
Ingredients Needed for Quinoa Stuffing
- vegetables – yellow onion, garlic cloves, celery, butternut squash, baby bella mushrooms
- 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
- dried cranberries or cherries
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.
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.
More Healthy Side Dishes to Try:
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole (Vegan)
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole (GF, Vegan)
- 6-Ingredient Healthy Mashed Cauliflower (GF)
- Fall Harvest Spinach Salad (GF, Vegan)
- Crackling Cauliflower (GF, Vegan)
- Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad (GF)
- Brussels Sprout Chopped Salad (GF)
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes (GF)
- Sourdough Stuffing (Vegan)
Butternut Squash Recipes
- Butternut Squash Puree
- One Pan Tempeh Butternut Squash Bake
- Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- Butternut Squash Pancakes
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Be sure to check out all of the butternut squash recipes here on EBF!
- 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
- 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 information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I just made Stovetop stuffing for my Friendsgiving this weekend. This recipe would of been a lot healthier and wholesome!
Am I missing the amount of butternut squash in the list of ingredients? I don’t see it.
Hey Noreen – Sorry, I updated the post earlier this am because I noticed it was missing. It should now say 3 cups of butternut squash! 🙂
I dont see how much squash to use in the recipe….
Hey Michelle – Sorry, I updated the post earlier this am because I noticed it was missing. It should now say 3 cups of butternut squash! 🙂
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!
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. 🙂
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!
Ahh yay!! So glad you enjoyed this stuffing, Sharon. I appreciate you making it and coming back to leave a comment + star rating. <3
This recipe sounds great. Could I use fresh cranberries?
Hey Carol – I haven’t tried it, but I bet fresh cranberries would work! Let me know if you try it. 🙂
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!!
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. 🙂
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