Quinoa “Stuffing” (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios)

November 25, 2013 by Ali

This quinoa stuffing recipe is healthy, easy, delicious, and perfect for Thanksgiving...or any time of year!

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Happy almost-Thanksgiving everyone!

I’m sure that most of you are way more organized than me and already have your meals planned down to the last detail. But just in case you’re running a little behind (like me!), or for those of you who may be looking for a healthier stuffing recipe (like me!), or, ahem, might not even be a huge fan of traditional stuffing (like me!), I have a last-minute winner of a recipe for you — Butternut Quinoa Stuffing.

Actually, there’s no “stuffing” involved with this tasty dish, as it is cooked 100% outside of the bird. It’s technically more of a “dressing”, if anything. But whatever you call it, this healthy and fabulously delicious quinoa is filled with so many of my favorite stuffing ingredients — roasted butternut squash, pistachios, cranberries, spinach, red onions, and more. And it can be ready to go in about 45 minutes, with only 15 minutes of prep time. And it’s gluten free. And vegetarian. And vegan. So basically just about anyone at your Thanksgiving meal can happily dive in.

Did I convince you yet??

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Ok, let’s talk about how easy it is to prepare.

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Here are all of the ingredients you need. Fresh, very healthy, and scrumptious.

(Although if you like to cook your quinoa in veggie or chicken broth — as I recommend in my tutorial on how to cook quinoa — be sure to add those in too. Or you can just cook quinoa in water.)

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Simply chop up a butternut squash and a red onion. Toss them with some cloves of garlic in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast them until they are nice and cooked. Your home is going to smell a-mazing.

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Meanwhile, cook a batch of quinoa, seasoned with orange zest. You can use any color of quinoa — white, red, black, or multicolored. I went with red for this recipe since it seemed Thanksgivingish. (Yes, that’s a word.)

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Then chop up a bunch of fresh spinach (or any greens — kale, arugula, etc.), and toss it with the roasted veggies, cooked quinoa, pistachios and cranberries. Then season with extra salt and pepper if need be.

And people — that’s it! I told you it was easy!


Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

And holy moly, is it tasty.

And healthy!

Quinoa is naturally packed with protein. But add in all of those pistachios, fresh spinach, squash, and even the dried cranberries, and lemme assure you — you won’t need to feel guilty going back for seconds of this fresh stuffing. So, so, so much healthier than its traditional counterpart.

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Perfect for Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year you are looking for a delicious and healthy meal. Enjoy!

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan

Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios (Quinoa “Stuffing”)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 4-6 servings


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (see tutorial for cutting a butternut squash)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, with peel still on
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil (or any high-heat oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups roughly-chopped fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss butternut squash, onion, and garlic cloves (with peel still on) until they are evenly coated with oil. Spread then out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and cooked and the edges begin to slightly brown. Remove and set aside. Discard the garlic peels.

Meanwhile, stir together quinoa, broth (or water), and orange zest, and cook according to package instructions. (Or you can follow my tutorial for how to cook quinoa.) When cooked, set aside.

Add the cooked veggies, quinoa, spinach, cranberries and pistachios to a large mixing bowl, and gently toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if need be. Serve warm.

Recipe inspired by With Style And Grace. My friend Lisa has an amazing quinoa stuffing version there with sweet potatoes -- be sure to check it out!

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

Quinoa 'Stuffing' (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios) | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan


filed in Entrees, Thanksgiving

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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15 thoughts on “Quinoa “Stuffing” (Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pistachios)

  1. thank you so much for sharing this recipe! it was the perfect dish to make for our thanksgiving gathering, and i can’t wait til everyone else gets excited over the colors like i did while i was making it! :)

    - christine

  2. Oh my, this looks bursting with flavor and so vivid :)

    - Nutmeg Nanny

  3. Lovely colours! My boyfriend is a coeliac so we eat a lot of quinoa. Can’t wait to give it a go!

    - Beth Young

  4. I love this riff on traditional stuffing. Quinoa is where it’s at! Have a great Thanksgiving!

    - Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina

  5. Such a great side dish that everyone can enjoy! Gorgeous colors!

    - Gaby

  6. So gorgeous, I love all of the colors! I’m not a huge fan of traditional stuffing, I would definitely prefer this on my table!

    - Tracey

  7. gorgy mcGorgy! Love this. So great seeing you this weekend! Hope your Thanksgiving is rad-tacular.

    - dana

  8. Fist pump for gluten free stuffings!! This is gorgeous – love the fresh spinach at the end!

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  9. Whoa! That is scarily similar to the super salad I just made a few days ago! Great minds think alike huh! If this is as good as that was (which I am sure it will be with butternut squash) then I will definitely enjoy this. Lots of superfoods to sustain intense training, and repair damage….once I start running again that is :)

    - Tina Muir

  10. Love this twist on traditional stuffing! You’re a genius! :)

    - Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective

  11. This is my kind of stuffing! Happy Thanksgiving my friend! xo

    - Maria

  12. Girrrrrl, this recipe rocks!! Love this idea!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  13. Absolutely gorgeous, Ali!! This is my kind of stuffing. I have never been big on the traditional stuffing, but this I know I would love! So pretty, healthy and it has some of my favorite foods!

    - Tieghan