Quinoa pilaf in roasted squash

Points® value
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
20 min
1 hr 45 min
Protein-rich quinoa needs a quick rinse before cooking to get rid of its bitter tasting coating, called saponin. We serve the pilaf in roasted acorn squash halves for a meatless but rib-sticking lunch. It's also delicious used in grain bowls, spooned over shredded greens, or as a side dish to roasted chicken or pork.


Cooking spray

8 spray(s)

Uncooked acorn squash

4 medium, halved, seeded

Vegetable oil

1 tsp(s)


2 small, minced


1 clove(s), large, minced

Uncooked quinoa

1½ cup(s), rinsed (unless pre-rinsed purchased)


½ cup(s), chopped

Ground cinnamon

½ tsp(s)

Table salt

½ tsp(s)

Black pepper

¼ tsp(s)

Chicken broth

3 cup(s)

Shelled salted dry-roasted pistachio nuts

cup(s), coarsely chopped


2 tbsp(s), fresh, chopped, or more to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat cut surfaces of squash with cooking spray; season with optional salt and pepper. Roast, cut sides down, on a baking sheet until tender, 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add quinoa; toast 1 minute. Stir in raisins, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Pour in broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until quinoa bursts its skin and is tender, and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Set quinoa aside, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff quinoa mixture with a fork. Repeat several times as quinoa becomes lighter as it cools. Spoon quinoa into warm squash halves; sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro.
  4. Serving size: about 1/2 cup pilaf with 1 squash half