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??
Ok, let’s talk about how easy it is to prepare.
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.)
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.
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.)
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!
And holy moly, is it tasty.
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.
Perfect for Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year you are looking for a delicious and healthy meal. Enjoy!
1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil (or any high-heat oil)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 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.