Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash: loaded with red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese. High protein, high fiber, and just 200 calories. |

Return of the squash, part 100.

You guys, I adore squash. How is it even a vegetable? It’s creamy. None of this watery crunchy vegetable stuff. This is smooth velvety yellow veggie seduction. Annnnd as if this hot squash topic couldn’t already get more controversial, this just in: I now eat the squash skin.

Yes, it’s true. I’m becoming one of THOSE people. *eyes get wide*

But there is just nothing that I can’t love about those bright yellow and green squash halves, loaded with spiced red quinoa, black beans, cheddar cheese, and roasted corn… (not done yet)… topped with green onions for a kick and crema and queso fresco for a creamy finish. Ahhhh. This is what healthy food should taste like.

Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash: loaded with red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese. High protein, high fiber, and just 200 calories. |

You are still fixated on the weirdness of the skin, aren’t you? Okay okay okay. I just crossed over like, yesterday, so I completely get it and I’m sorry for being a tiny bit weird. But the good news is that you don’t have to eat the skin to love this recipe. Hello? Cute little bowl of healthy Mexican that can be scooped out with a spoon? I think so.

And for you squash haters who continue to read through my squash recipe posts even though you wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole (I don’t get you, but you’re sweet for still reading): this roasted corn and red quinoa and black bean and cheddar cheese filling is enough to get you happy dancing around your kitchen with the clock strikes dinnertime, with or without the squash. Not endorsing, just saying.

I would like to take a quick nanosecond to give a shout out to coworker who gifted me the squash (yes you, Lori). I promised her that I would put them in my fridge and do something fun with them when we came back from Montana, and I never break a squash promise. Except I promised to bring whatever I made to work, and that’s going to be a little difficult being that these are all, umm, eaten. But is gifted food the best or what? Especially seasonal produce. If you have some spare produce laying around looking for a good home, I’m now accepting. F-Y-I.

Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash: loaded with red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese. High protein, high fiber, and just 200 calories. |

In the spirit of full disclosure, there’s something you should know. I’ve never been able to fully commit to the quinoa movement. I just have never really liked it that much. Blasphemy, yes.

For this recipe I’m using red quinoa, and I don’t know what’s going on but something about the red color makes this quinoa just… better. Which is actually weird because as I’m reading about it now, I’m finding out that red quinoa has more of that earthy flavor which is what I thought I didn’t like. I obviously have a really refined palate.

I had seen an episode with Guy Fieri on the Food Network sometime during our Montana road trip where he was making some kind of stuffed peppers with red quinoa, and I thought to myself, I need to get me somma that red quinoa A-sap. Primarily because it looks more like ground meat and it makes a better color contrast for my pictures. And just like that, I liked it.

Moral of the story: let’s not get carried away, but sometimes quinoa is good. Sometimes.

Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash: loaded with red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese. High protein, high fiber, and just 200 calories. |

Time to talk peel. Or skin. The outer squash layer that is green, unknown, and scary.

I decided to just go for it. I had seen an old tutorial from Kath Eats Real Food where she said she eats the squash skin, and she’s Kath, and she eats real food, so…obviously it’s the right thing to do.

I was really surprised about a few things:

  1. The skin was soft. I could easily bite right into it, which I did, thank you very much. When you force it into a foil-covered steam bath for 50 minutes, it gets soft. Thumbs up.
  2. It didn’t really have a taste. Honestly, I thought it might be bitter or bad tasting but it was very neutral. Again, thumbs up.
  3. I found out that it’s really healthy. SIX thumbs up.
  4. Bjork started by scooping the squash out with the filling, and eventually caved and ate the squash skin by his own convincing. Um, what? This is the same man who I can almost guarantee had a Sausage McMuffin for breakfast on his way to work this morning. I ♥ him.


Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash: loaded with red quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese. High protein, high fiber, and just 200 calories. |

Time to go steal the squash out of your neighbor’s garden. Happy eating!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Mexican Roasted Corn and Quinoa Stuffed Squash
Serves: 6
  • 3 small acorn squash
  • ¾ cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1½ cups rinsed black beans
  • ¾ cup corn
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions for topping
  • Queso fresco and crema Mexicana for topping
  1. For the squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down in a baking pan, cover halfway with water, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  2. For the filling: Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Place the corn in a dry skillet over high heat and let the corn cook without stirring for 3-4 minutes. Stir once and repeat until the corn is browned and roasty. Add the cooked quinoa, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir for 4-5 minutes over high heat. Add the black beans and stir for another 4-5 minutes over high heat. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup of cheddar cheese.
  3. Assembling the squash: Turn on the oven broiler (or just turn the temp to 400). Divide the filling evenly among the six cooked squash halves. Top each with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top each squash piece with crumbled queso fresco, crema Mexicana, and green onions.
It's not essential, but cooking the quinoa a day in advance makes it easier to work with in the skillet because it's not so sticky.

I used spicy homemade black beans that were made with garlic, onion, and lots of hot peppers. If you are using canned beans and you like your Mexican food to pack a punch, you might want to consider adding some sauteed diced onion, garlic, or jalapeño to the quinoa black bean mixture.


Squash nutrition

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  1. these are so PRETTY! squash season is totally the best. and i am jealous of bjork’s sausage mc muffin breakfast. those are also totally the best.

  2. A perfect fall recipe! I haven’t used red quinoa yet, but can’t wait to try.

  3. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Never would have combined acorn squash with a Mexican filling. Great idea and, as always, gorgeous! :)

  5. i will take anything with qunioa and its a winner if squash is involved :) eating skin is little weird but now that you mentioned, might have to give it a shot.

  6. Welcome to the dark side of skin-eating! LOL I only recently converted to skin-eater-anonymous recently, and I’m loving how dangerous and crazy I feel when I eat the cooked skin off acorn squash. You’re right- it’s not especially flavorful, but I tell myself how healthy I’m being because it has like nine million vitamins (that is an official number, btw)

  7. ohmy. I don’t even know if I like squash or quinoa, but I am so making this.

  8. This is a must have for sure – I couldn’t be more pumped for the return of squash and I love all the flavors happening here. Eating the skin has never even crossed my mind. I’m definitely intrigued and want to give it a try.

  9. I just brought some squash, now I know what to do with it tonight. Love the quinoa, I can’t wait for dinner. Thanks!

  10. I’m sorry Linsday to be the one breaking down the news to you but YOU ARE already part of the quinoa movement. There’s no point denying it, and you must better come into terms with it. 😉

  11. I adore the sound of these! I have eaten kabocha squash skin…and it is actually pretty good! And, I am sorta with you on the quinoa movement…still learning to like that stuff. However, I love squash and I want these in my belly!

  12. I just bought some “rainbow quinoa”…not sure what it is (I’m guessing a combination of all the types of quinoa that exist?). I think i’ll try it out with this recipe :)

  13. Looks scrumptious!

  14. I totally agree with the quinoa statement. For a while it was quinoa in everything, then I got so sick of it. Recently I purchased some rd quinoa and I don’t know what it is but I like it again! I love this fall dish. What makes it even more awesome is technically you don’t need a plate! hahah You can eat it right out of the squash!

  15. What a great take on autumnal flavours. And love how you have used quinoa – healthy and nutty. Yum.

  16. This is a great way to use up all of the CSA squash that has been languishing in my kitchen with no home!

  17. DEF trying this. I’m a squashaholic.

  18. Mary Gordon says:

    I just started eating sweet potato skins recently so I’m game and I have acorn squash. Just need to spin it a little paleo and it’s on the way to the oven.

  19. Keep the squash coming! I freaking love all your fun recipes. I actually have your curry squash quinoa (or something like that) for lunch today! It’s literally in my bag right now!!

  20. Thanks for the awesome recipe Lindsay! Where did you find the red quinoa? I’d love to know where to look for it.

  21. This looks delicious! I love quinoa, I haven’t tried the red kind yet but I plan on it soon.

  22. I’ve been looking for a good squash recipe- perfect timing! The last time I bought quinoa I couldn’t bring myself to actually eat it. Dry toasted into granola it went!

  23. Ha! I am a huge skin lover!! I think it is so good and I actually started eating it because Kath said she did. Actually, I only ever tried squash because of her and now it is probably one of my favorite foods!
    This is my kind of food! I actually did a chipotle couscous stuffed acorn squash a few weeks ago, but I cannot wait to give your version a try. I looks so good!

  24. I adore what you’ve done here and am super happy you are on board with squash… I can’t wait to take advantage of whatever recipes like this one you come up with!

  25. These look insane! And I totally agree about red quinoa, by the way. Not sure why, but it tastes nuttier and generally so much better!

  26. I was running out of quinoa inspiration so thank you!!

  27. I am a quinoa fan! Love all of 3 colors, but I have to agree that the red has a little sumpin’, sumpin’ that makes is extra delicious. And squash, oh how I love thee. Inspired to stuff a couple of squashes from the market this week! Cheers!

  28. The line that made me smile: “Time to go steal the squash out of your neighbor’s garden.” :)

  29. I love squash with both the skin on and off. Hell, I just love all things squash. My squash to do list is growing thanks to you Lindsay.

  30. The first time I tried quinoa I wan’t a fan mainly because of the texture. Then I found the site, Cooking Quinoa, and have enjoyed it ever since. Less water, cook at a lower temp and longer, almost twice as long — no more soggy, gummy, or crunchy-pop to it. YUM.
    Love the Mexican flavors you’ve used here with the squash, I’ll have to try this right away. It is squash season after all. :)

  31. This look so yummy! I even made something similar on my blog with yellow squash and quinoa and veggies. Great minds think alike :)

  32. Eating squash skin! WOA!
    This quinoa stuffed squash looks totally delectable. I haven’t used red quinoa yet…but it looks amazing with the squash and beans

  33. I like squash. This sounds incredible!

  34. Lindsay,
    What cute little squash. They look look avocado squash.
    You make them look so good; I’m anxious to try them.

  35. Lindsay… I have a HUGE – I mean GINORMOUS (you thought that Zucchini was big?) – Hubbard Squash sitting in my living room. And a Spaghetti Squash, and several cutie Acorn Squashes – from the garden. You want one (six??). Let me know. I will bring it to work for Bjork on Monday! And, if you would rather not be overwhelmed with squash, I totalllllly understand. :)

  36. Squash alert! They look yummy! We have sqquash in our mini farm here in the Philippines a few years back! This makes me miss ’em! Anyway, thanks for all your posts! I’ve currently started my blog because you really inspired me to do so! Really! Kindly visit my blog at It would really mean a lot to me! ❤️❤️❤️

  37. Sometimes we’re samies. I just joined in with the squash skin movement myself this year…aaaaand I’m not quinoa’s biggest fan. Plus your Bjork egg mcmuffin comment made me snort. That’s how funny it was to me.

    Love the look of this recipe.

    • lol! our house continues to be the slowest house purchase of all time, so we aren’t there, but looking forward to seeing you again soon when we move in!! :)

  38. This looks so yummy! How would you adjust this if I cooked the squash ahead of time? Thanks!

  39. This is DELICIOUS. And I got a great sear on my corn. But man, the skillet sure was a mess from using no oil. Did this happen to you?

  40. Wow! This recipe is so delicious! I had never tried acorn squash or the red quinoa before , but they work perfectly together in this dish. I expected to like this, but it came out over-the-top awesome. I enjoyed your article and the dish. Thanks for posting.

  41. I love reading your intro to the dish and the story behind, I feel like I ‘m talking to you! That’s how I write! Recipes look great and can’t wait to try. Thanks!

  42. I’ve never been into quinoa (or many of the other ingredients in this recipe for that matter) but WOW, I’m a believer. I’ve made this twice now (and a third time coming up tonight) and it’s fantastic. So satisfying and filling. This is how good healthy can taste. I’m officially a Pinch of Yum convert.

  43. I made these the other night and they were WONDERFUL!

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