Main, Pasta & Grains, Vegetarian
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Southwestern Baked Acorn Squash

I have always had a colleague or two in my career who have been avid CSA fans and would bring some extra veggies/fruits they couldn’t use to distribute at work.  If you don’t know what a CSA is, check out- .  In a nutshell it’s a farm to table system where you get super fresh seasonal veggies & fruits while supporting local farmers.  I was always intrigued but hadn’t tried it before because you do have to be willing to try vegetables you probably wouldn’t get on your own volition.  I felt like I would be better off going to a farmers market, but my issue with that was always timing.  I would never get out of work early enough to get to a market before it closed or even just have the good stuff available.  This is why a CSA or similar type of delivery system intrigued me. I did some research and while there are a lot of options in the DC area, I decided to try Washington’s Green Grocer (not quite a CSA but similar).  What I love about them is they have a multitude of box options from large to extra small (single) and you can specify organic, local or mixed (a mix of organic & local).  They also tell you what you’ll be getting in advance so you can replace something you really really don’t want with something you would much rather have.  Finally my favorite part- you don’t have to commit to a delivery schedule.  I use the on-demand option because we travel every so often or have weeks where we are expecting to go out more.  It’s also amazing that they deliver right to your door, no muss no fuss.  I’m very happy with this system so far.  It has forced me to try new recipes and also get over my “I don’t like X vegetable” issue all at once. 

Southwestern Baked Acorn Squash

Speaking of vegetables I don’t like-  I have never on my own bought sweet veggies and by that I mean things like sweet potatoes, ripe plantains, pumpkins etc.  I like my veggies savory and absorb savory flavors well.  Thanks to my most recent box however, I had to get over that.  I received two acorn squashes.  I didn’t remember what an acorn squash tastes like, but I sensed that this would be in the sweet vegetable category after looking up recipes that all involved sweet-enhancing seasonings like cinnamon & brown sugar. 

So I decided to go another route and make this squash a vehicle of savory goodness and the first thing that came to mind was Southwestern flavors!  You can’t go wrong with a filling made out of quinoa, peppers, beans and cheese!!  I still tasted the sweetness of the squash but it surprisingly didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would!  I highly recommend this recipe to all taste buds, oh and try not to skimp on getting the optional guacamole- it truly kicks this dish up several notches!

Southwestern Baked Acorn Squash
Serves 2
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 1 Acorn Squash
  2. 1 cup cooked quinoa, not seasoned
  3. 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  4. 1 14 ounce can of black beans, drained & rinsed
  5. 1/2 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  6. 1/2 cup of mexican blend shredded cheese
  7. 2 tbsp of coconut oil, divided
  8. 1/2 of a lime
  9. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  10. 1 tsp cumin
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Store-bought Guacamole* (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and place the rack in the middle.
  2. With an extremely sturdy knife and chopping board, cut the acorn squash in half. This does require a lot of strength and care, so please be careful because you can seriously hurt yourself! I used a serrated knife to slowly saw into the squash and a sharp santoku knife to finish cutting.
  3. Remove & discard the seeds from both halves of the squash.
  4. Using a brush, apply 1 tbsp of oil total on the cut (yellow) parts of the squash.
  5. Sprinkle a pinch of salt all over the cut side of the squash
  6. On a baking pan, pour about 1/4 inch of water and place the acorn squash on the pan cut-side up.
  7. Place the baking pan in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven. You want the yellow parts to be soft but not burned/dried (you can use a fork gently to make sure the edges are soft).
  8. While the squash bakes, you can prepare the filling.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium sauce pan and saute the onion for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the bell pepper and saute for another 2 minutes and until onion is translucent.
  11. Add the cumin & cayenne pepper and saute for 30 seconds.
  12. Add the black beans, quinoa and add salt to your taste. Mix well for about a minute.
  13. Squeeze 1/2 of the lime into the sauce pan, and add the cilantro. Mix well and remove from heat.
  14. Once the acorn squash is done baking, remove the pan from oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes (keep the squash on the baking pan).
  15. Add a generous heap of the black bean & quinoa filling into each half of the squash (a little overflowing even).
  16. Sprinkle the tops of the filling with the shredded cheese.
  17. Switch your oven setting to broil and place the baking pan with the filled acorn squash halves into the oven and broil for 2 minutes (until cheese has melted).
  18. Serve immediately- a dollop of guacamole on top is highly recommended!
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Adapted from Simply Recipes
The Full-time Foodie


  1. Melissa says

    Have this cooking right now. Here in the PacNorWest our last week of our (true) CSA was pretty much all squash all day so I’ve been desperate for some new ways to use it and this is delicious and unique. I’m souped out! We miss WGG from our time in DC. What a fantastic service they provide!

    • Hi Melissa, Thanks so much for stopping by and so happy to hear you’re trying this out! Did it turn out well? Anything you’d recommend changing? And WGG is pretty terrific indeed! I actually have heard some folks complain about CSA’s giving too many of the same veggies and not enough variety. Perhaps that’s where WGG works better since they source from different farms. Hope you can find something similar out in your neck of the woods!

      • Melissa says

        It was AMAZING. I used chipotle powder instead of cayenne (mostly because I got tired of looking for the cayenne and the chipotle was already in my hand) but didn’t change anything else. We had extra filling so I used the surplus tonight in two sweet dumpling squash. My husband loves it, too!

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