Now that Halloween is over, the countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun. For a lot of us, (myself, Jeanine, included) turkey day is no longer about the turkey. But I realize that for many, the idea of hosting a vegetarian or two at your holiday table is still a scary and stressful thought. The first thing that might cross your mind is some weird fake turkey product, but the answer is as close as your nearest farmers market. Fall’s bounty of squashes, greens, and herbs are so gorgeous… go take a look and get a little creative.

My idea of a vegetarian thanksgiving looks something like this… seasonal acorn squash stuffed with a sauté of quinoa and kale… kicked up a notch with scallions, tangy feta, sweet currants, and toasty pumpkin seeds. A colorful & hearty meal that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. With all of the great produce this time of year, who really needs turkey and mashed white potatoes? (ok, just kidding, don’t answer that).

Keep reading for more photos and the recipe.


serves 2, with extra filling (amount of filling will depend on the size of your squash)


  • 1 small acorn squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy center
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped uncooked kale (or greens of your choice)
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • drizzle of honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (plus extra, for garnish on top)
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle acorn squash halves with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place cut side down and roast for approximately 25 min. Flip them over, cook cut side up for approximately 10-20 more minutes or until the flesh is tender (test it with a fork), and the outer edges are golden brown. I turned on my broiler during the last couple of minutes to get a nice golden edge.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, a bit of salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until it starts to become translucent. Add garlic, cumin & cinnamon and cook, stirring, until it’s fragrant but not burning. Mix in kale and cook for a few minutes until it wilts down. Turn off the heat, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, the cooked quinoa, and a good drizzle of honey and toss. Next, mix in scallions, cilantro, currants, feta and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Scoop filling into the cooked acorn squashes, and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, more feta (if you wish), and a drizzle of olive oil and another good drizzle of honey.

*Alternatively, you could fill the squashes with the stuffing halfway through their roasting time – top them with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese and bake them until the cheese is bubbling.

* The filling can be made up to a day in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. (Keep the pumpkin seeds separate so they stay crunchy.) When you’re ready to serve, reheat filling in a warm skillet with a little bit more olive oil. Top with the garnishes in step 3.

photos by Love & Lemons 

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Comments (34)
  1. 1
    vanillalemon November 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Beautiful, and so much more appealing than tofurky!! May just make it tonight…

    • Jeanine Donofrio November 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      thanks! I know, I hate how things like tofurky make vegetarian food seem so unappealing!

  2. 2
    jacquelyn | lark&linen November 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Totally blogged a similar recipe today. I’ll definitely have to try this version!

    • Jeanine Donofrio November 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Jacquelyn… I totally love your blog, just wanted to let you know 🙂

  3. 3
    Hollye Jacobs, The Silver Pen November 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!
    Hollye Jacobs
    The Silver Pen

  4. 4
    Alexis November 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks! This will be my first non meat Thanksiving so this is helpful. Yummy

    • Camille Styles November 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Awesome – can’t wait to hear what you think!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio November 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      happy to help! (the first one was a rough one for me too).

  5. 5
    tae November 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

    this looks delicious and so pretty! and just want to suggest, in case your guests are vegan, please remember to leave off the feta cheese! … it will still be delicious and they will be extremely grateful that you are accommodating their diet : )

    p.s. big fan of Camille Style and Love and Lemons. it’s great seeing them in one place!

    • Jeanine Donofrio November 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      thanks Tae! I’ll be sure to point out the vegan options next time I post a recipe. I’m so used to accommodating for vegans that I forget that others might not think of it.

  6. 6
    Lauren November 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Just made this tonight – it was delish!

    • Jeanine Donofrio November 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      so glad you liked it, thanks for coming back and sharing!

  7. 7
    LPH November 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

    My girlfriend and I made this with a side of spiced coconut spinach and it was divine. Colorful meal that fills you up. Still good a week later as leftover too:)

  8. 8
    Sarah Jane | Clean & Proper November 13, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Adding this to my menu planner this week. Looks delicious!

  9. 9
    Daniela December 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Just made this! It was delicious and very healthy:)

  10. 10
    drea December 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I wasn’t fond of this actually. I followed the recipe exactly (except for omitting the cilantro) and found that the cumin was totally over powering. It was worth a shot, but I wouldn’t make it again.

  11. 11
    Jordan January 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Just made this tonight, and it was delicious! I omitted the honey, cilantro, and currents (all because I didn’t have any on hand), and it was still very flavorful! My husband saw me making it and declared he wasn’t interested and was going to make something else for himself. I guilt tripped him into eating it, and he ended up loving it 😉

  12. 12
    Amanda Herwaldt Cowan January 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I just made this last night, subbed out the acorn for a cute little butternut squash I found at our farmers market last week. So good! Thanks for a great recipe…

  13. 13
    jill July 24, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Feta ruins Vegan!