Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash

Entreés, Recipes

Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash | nutritionstripped.comI’m taking a break from the holiday sweet recipes today by sharing with you all one of my favorite entrees I make regularly, Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash. I’m sprucing this staple dinner of mine up for the holidays by adding some special ingredients I think you’ll love. It’s perfect for the holiday table because of it’s beautiful presentation, but it’s also great to make anytime of year for one or two!

This recipe is by far one of my favorites I have up my sleeve (or should I say in the kitchen?), it’s satisfying, delicious, gluten free, and vegan friendly. You can easily cater this dish to your needs and add in or replace something you may not be too keen on, but there’s one ingredient you can’t skimp on, sumac! The citrus components in this recipe not only come from fresh lemon, which I love putting in quinoa, but my all time favorite citrus-y spice, sumac.

Sumac (sue-mack) is an incredibly gorgeous crimson spice cultivated from the sumac flower/”drupes” and is used mostly in Middle Eastern cuisines, Turkish, Arab, and Iranian cuisines (salad/meat flavoring, in hummus, on kebabs, and in seasoning mixes respectively). Sumac is naturally bright, citrusy, and fragrant and is perfect for adding a little zest to any meal. I also love sprinkling a little sumac on top of my Massaged Kale Salads to add a bit more lemony flavor.

Pilaf technically involves rice, but I choose to use quinoa to boost the fiber, plant protein, and I adore the texture far more than rice. This is a play on traditional pilaf as I still use dried fruits in the form of cranberries, and nuts/seeds in the form of mineral rich pumpkin seeds. As a whole, this recipe is high in fiber, plant proteins, healthy fats, and good-for-you carbohydrates.

Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash | Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash | nutritionstripped.comCitrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash |

Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
A delicious gluten free entree filled with plant protein from citrus and sumac infused quinoa, stuffed into soft acorn squash.
  • QUINOA //
  • 1 cup quinoa, multi colored
  • 1½ cups filtered water (may add additional if needed to cook the quinoa)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ heaping teaspoon ground sumac
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tablespoon zest of lemon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop the seeds out of the center creating a "bowl"
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil into each center of the two halves of the squash.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft.
  7. QUINOA //
  8. Rinse thoroughly until water is clear.
  9. Bring water to a boil and add quinoa, cook for 20 minutes (you may need to add additional water in as needed).
  10. You'll know when the quinoa is done when it's fluffy and the sprout "tails" come out.
  11. Fluff with a fork until light and fluffy.
  12. In a large bowl, combine quinoa with all remaining ingredients (spices, olive oil, seeds, cranberries, lemon, etc.).
  13. ASSEMBLY //
  14. Stuff the acorn squash with the quinoa and pack in until each acorn squash halve is full (you will have leftover quinoa- I serve this on the side).
  15. Drizzle the top of the stuffed acorn squash with olive oil (just a bit!) and top with fresh sprig of rosemary.
  16. Bake again for 10 minutes or until the top of the quinoa is a bit crisp and golden brown.
  17. Serve with additional quinoa on the side.
  18. Enjoy!

TIP // keep as leftovers for the week, next days lunch or dinner by storing in a tupperware container so the acorn squash stays upright!

Citrus Quinoa Pilaf Stuffed Acorn Squash |

Be sure to “SAVE” this recipe in your Recipe Box for later safekeeping or until the holiday! I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I LOVE it! Have you all ever used sumac before? Share below your ideas so I can try them out as well! Be sure to stay tuned next week for a whole week devoted to sweet healthy treats!

Have a beautiful day and weekend everyone!

xo McKel

Share your thoughts

  • Terri

    This looks wonderful! I’ve never used sumac, and Im going to look for it at the stores in my area- but if I can’t find it, is there any appropriate substitute?


See what wellness looks like #IRL

follow @nutritionstripped

Looking for something? Let's find it!

Terms & Conditions

Photography, recipe, and content Policy

All content is copyright of Nutrition Stripped and shall not be copied, replicated, or duplicated. Please be courteous, respectful, and refrain from using it as your own. You may share a recipe or image only by contacting, referring, or directly linking back to Nutrition Stripped.

Photography and Recipe Policy 
We’re extremely flattered when asked to publish NS photography on a website or blog. We ask that if you’d like to share a recipe, photography, or content, you must get permission from the team first. Please keep in mind that all written content, photography, recipes, and general writing are copyrighted materials which have been a labor of love in the production of and have worked very hard to produce it.

Nutrition Stripped policy is as follows if you want to do the following:
To promote a recipe or photograph from my site You may post one photo as long as you give a direct link back to the post where you found the photograph/material including in the content a mention of McKel Hill, MS, RD from Nutrition Stripped. You may not republish the recipe itself. To use my photography for promotion other than sharing my original works you must request permission beforehand, a simple email will do. You may not republish my recipe or multiple recipes without direct permission. We occasionally allow other websites to post my recipes; which is decided at my discretion on a case-by-case basis and mostly with those we have an agreement with for example with my blog writing contributions. Please uphold the standards of the U.S. copyright laws for recipes and mycopyright policy.


Nutrition Stripped © 2016

Privacy Policy

Personal identification information
We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, subscribe to the newsletter, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may be asked for, as appropriate, name, email address. Users may, however, visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personally identification information, except that it may prevent them from engaging in certain Site related activities.

Non-personal identification information
We may collect non-personal identification information about Users whenever they interact with our Site. Non-personal identification information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about Users means of connection to our Site, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

Web browser cookies
Our Site may use “cookies” to enhance User experience. User’s web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Site may not function properly.

How we use collected information
Nutrition Stripped may collect and use Users personal information for the following purposes: To improve customer service, information you provide helps us respond to your customer service requests and support needs more efficiently. To personalize user experience, we may use information in the aggregate to understand how our Users as a group use the services and resources provided on our Site. To improve our Site, we may use feedback you provide to improve our products and services. To run a promotion, contest, survey or other Site feature. To send Users information they agreed to receive about topics we think will be of interest to them. To send periodic emails, we may use the email address to respond to their inquiries, questions, and/or other requests. If User decides to opt-in to our mailing list, they will receive emails that may include company news, updates, related product or service information, etc. If at any time the User would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How we protect your information
We adopt appropriate data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information and data stored on our Site. Sensitive and private data exchange between the Site and its Users happens over a SSL secured communication channel and is encrypted and protected with digital signatures.

Sharing your personal information
We do not sell, trade, or rent Users personal identification information to others. We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above. We may use third party service providers to help us operate our business and the Site or administer activities on our behalf, such as sending out newsletters or surveys. We may share your information with these third parties for those limited purposes provided that you have given us your permission.

Changes to this privacy policy
Nutrition Stripped has the discretion to update this privacy policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page and send you an email. We encourage Users to frequently check this page for any changes to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this privacy policy periodically and become aware of modifications.

Third party links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy and terms of service. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes. Privacy policy created by last modified on 7/31/13

We allow third party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our Web site.  These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

Disclosure Policy

Nutrition Stripped works with brands all over the globe that we can stand behind and that we know you’ll love too! Companies and brands will send me products to try or develop recipes with. Whenever I review or refer to a product that was provided to me, I will make it clear in the post, otherwise it is a product that I have purchased and will not necessarily mention in that post. 

Disclosure Policy
This policy is valid starting from 16 June 2013. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Nutrition Stripped. For questions about this blog, please contact Support [at] nutritirionstripped [dot] com.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

While this blog may be compensated for a review of a product or service, such compensation will never have an effect on the honest opinion that I present on this blog. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.

Questions? Please e-mail Support [at] nutritionstripped [dot] com or refer to the FTC’s ruling on blogger disclosure: FTC Rules on Sponsored Conversations

Release of Liability
Any item promoted/advertised/sponsored on this site that you choose to partake in is your decision and I am not liable for any problems that arise including, but not limited to: not receiving products, receiving broken or damaged goods, seeing an item you bought go on sale after you buy it, technical difficulties with sites that I link to. Furthermore, any information you submit to any external site is at your own risk.

Affiliate Discretion Notice

Nutrition Stripped is a participant of several affiliate programs which is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking directly to sources that Nutrition Stripped genuinely likes. If you click on any of those links, which are known as “affiliate links”, and make a purchase within a certain time frame, I’ll get a small commission. The commission is paid by the third parties, not by you! Affiliate links and resources earned help support my efforts here at Nutrition Stripped, thank you!

Need help? Support

T-shirt Size Chart

Size US Sizes UK Sizes AUS Sizes
Small (S) 2-4 32-34 6-8
Medium (M) 6-10 36-40 9-13
Large (L) 10-14 40-44 13-17


No worries, just shoot us a quick email at [email protected] with SHOP in the subject and let us know what size you’re looking for and we’ll set you up!

Avocado Love t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The boxy crop tee doesn’t show the tummy, just slightly when you raise your hands.

Matcha Matcha Matcha t-shirt is made with a durable 100% cotton blend. It runs a bit on the larger side, but shrinks an entire size due to the cotton.

Kale Made Me Do It t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves are purposefully a little loose, hanging off the shoulders giving room to move.

Good Food Good Vibes t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves have a deep scoop showing your side body more than a normal tank, great to show off a touch of your sports bra, lacy bra, or any tank underneath.

Each t-shirt is individually hand screen printed here in Nashville, TN by our friends Grand Palace Printing. Each design is printed multiple times to ensure quality color. A lot of love goes into making every single t-shirt, here’s how to take care of it when it gets to you:

+ Wash cold
+ Line dry or lay flat to dry to retain best color and size

Shop Support

Have questions about your order? Exchanges/returns, or just to share a testimonial of your experience with Nutrition Stripped? We’re happy to help answer any and all questions you might have. Please email us at [email protected].

Follow me on Snapchat

Send this to friend