Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa and Chickpeas Medley

Lately I have been reading  a lot of squash recipes on the blogs and that made me cook this lovely showy gourd. When I actually went for grocery shopping I could not decide which squash to choose. They were in all shapes and colors…. just kidding, I saw only 3 types of shapes and colors. I picked up acorn squash as it seemed just the right size for our small family.
Right after coming home I started looking for recipes. I wanted to cook my squash with another fall ingredient, cranberries; which I madly love for their sweet & sour taste as well as for the color. I googled ‘squash recipes with cranberries’. Every single recipe I checked on the first page was kind of on sweeter side. I have grown up eating squash with a sweet, savory and sour flour. However, after some search I fell for Adam and Joanne’s recipe at Inspired  Punjabis, usually cook squash with fennel and fenugreek seeds and also, tamarind and jaggery. Inspired by Adam and Joanne’s recipe and combining my indian flavors I came up with the following recipe to go with quinoa and chickpea medley. 


Ingredients for roasting squash:
1 acorn squash, 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 cup dry cranberries, 1tsp crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste, few pieces of walnuts, ground allspice
Ingredients for Chickpeas medley:
1 can of chickpeas, 1/2 red pepper chopped, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 2 cups tightly packed chopped spinach, 1 tbsp minced ginger and garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onion, 3-4 green chillies chopped, 2 tbsp olive oil
Ingredients for cooking quinoa:
1 cup quinoa, 1.75 cups water, 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper
Mix cranberries, fennel seeds, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl. Put it aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8′ square baking pan with wet parchment paper.

Cut the acorn squash in quarters. Scoop out the seeds. Pierce each quarter using a fork or toothpick without going all through.

Place the squash quarters in the prepared pan. Mix olive oil the remaining 2 tbsp lemon juice and brown sugar. Brush this mixture on the squash. Also sprinkle some salt, pepper and all spice powder.

Roast the squash uncovered, until tender but not completely done; approx 35 minutes.


Rinse the quinoa really well in a sieve.

Place it in a saucepan with water salt and black pepper. Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking , heat oil in a skillet.

Add chopped, ginger and garlic. Fry till light brown.

Add chopped red pepper, chopped tomatoes and chopped spinach, cooking each of them for two minutes before adding the next one. Finally add chopped green chillies, chickpeas and salt.

Stir it nicely and remove from heat. By now the squash would be 90% cooked.

Remove the pan with squash from oven and divide the cranberry mixture evenly among them. Put some walnuts on top and roast it again for 10 -15 minutes.

After 18- 20 minutes remove quinoa from heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Heat a small pan with 1/4 cup or less oil in it.

Cut 1/4 of an onion in thin slices. Toss with 1 tsp cornstarch and a pinch of salt.

Fry the onions in hot oil until nicely golden brown.

Fluff quinoa with fork. Remove the squash quarters from the oven.



Serve lovely warm squash with quinoa and chickpeas medley.

Note: I used whole fennel seeds in this recipe but next time I will crush them before using for easy biting.


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  • comment-avatar
    Kiran @ December 4, 2011 (6:59 pm)

    I love quinoa and chickpeas. I’ve never tried roasting acorn squash before — a must try!

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    Shannon December 4, 2011 (7:55 pm)

    Yum – this looks right up my alley – I’m a recent fan of quinoa and I LOVE chickpeas!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Ann December 4, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    What a GREAT recipe! I’ve served quinoa and squash together, but not separately – and the addition of chickpeas sounds delicious! Bright, colorful and delicious! Thanks!

  • comment-avatar
    Shannon @ JustAsDelish December 5, 2011 (3:27 am)

    what an interesting combination of squash with walnuts, anyway i love walnuts with anything 🙂 i haven’t tried cooking savoury with quinoa yet, now you got me intrigued.

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    Tina December 5, 2011 (5:38 am)

    The topping you put on the squash does make for a great flavor enhancement-definitely something that I would love to try. Also, you did pair it with a wonderfully seasoned grain. You are definitely eating good Neetu-yum!

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    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen December 5, 2011 (5:58 am)

    I happen to have a couple of acorn squash and this looks simply delicious – thank you for visiting my blog and I’m so glad to visit yours – I’m following you and looking forward to more great recipes 🙂
    Mary x

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    Mary December 5, 2011 (6:04 am)

    What a lovely creation. It looks and sounds delicious. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier entries. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back.I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

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    Nava.K December 5, 2011 (6:06 am)

    Really amazing Bel and love the way you have paired the squash.

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    Kiri W. December 5, 2011 (6:34 am)

    Mmmm, I never thought to use chickpeas with my acorn squash, and they’re definitely one of my favorite beans ever 🙂 Looks amazing!

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    Balvinder ( Neetu) December 5, 2011 (8:41 am)

    Thanks everyone.
    I was roasting squash for first time so I wanted to pair this with the food which we all love to eat.

  • comment-avatar
    Cucina49 December 5, 2011 (11:29 am)

    That top photo is just gorgeous, with the quinoa cake and the chickpeas around it. This looks awesome!

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    Cookin' Cowgirl December 5, 2011 (1:03 pm)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! 🙂
    Your beautiful acorn squash looks really tasty!! Well done!

  • comment-avatar
    Sandra December 5, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    Very interesting your recipe,and I can imagine the flavor!! Nicely done!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Vicki Bensinger December 5, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    This looks so good and comforting on a cold winters day. I love the colors and it’s so healthy. That’s the best part. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

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    Torviewtoronto December 5, 2011 (6:08 pm)

    delicious quinoa wonderfully done

  • comment-avatar
    Lizzy December 5, 2011 (6:25 pm)

    Oh, gosh, this looks SO yummy! I love the squash filling as much as I love quinoa 🙂

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    Christine's Pantry December 5, 2011 (8:49 pm)

    Lovely creation. Sounds good.

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    Nami | Just One Cookbook December 6, 2011 (1:53 am)

    I’ve been seeing so many squash recipes too and now your roasted acorn squash. It looks delicious and this looks like a very nice meal with quinoa and chickpeas!

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    Jay December 6, 2011 (3:40 am)

    yummmy..yummm….very interesting recipe..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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    Parsley Sage December 6, 2011 (7:17 am)

    That sounds lovely! Nice use of squash and the quinoa filling sounds amazing 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Julie December 6, 2011 (5:11 pm)

    Very unique n flavorful recipe…

  • comment-avatar
    harpreet December 6, 2011 (6:12 pm)

    Wow! didi it is an amazing recipe and I must say what a great effort. I went through the recipes and they all look and sound delicious. Whenever I get the time I am going to try them for sure as you have done all the hardwork for us. Through your recipes we get to know the ingredients which we would not use in our daily lives otherwise. Thanks didi for sharing such wonderful recipes with us.

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    Loveforfood December 7, 2011 (6:53 am)

    Looks very yummy.

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    Spicie Foodie December 7, 2011 (8:02 am)

    Acorn squash has been on my list of squashes to try, soon I hope to find one. Your dish is making my mouth water. So yummy looking! Thanks for sharing.

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    Santosh Bangar December 7, 2011 (9:28 am)

    wow nice presentation looking tempting