Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

The temperature is shooting high, the boots and sweaters are barely needed and it’s so beautifully sunny all the time. We are in spring! The day-light-saving, sun kissed dinning hours and the gorgeous cherry blossoms highlighting the streets, I love it all. Looks like finally the rain stopped and sunny days are here to stay. And, so with the first signs of spring, I bring you Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa. It’s a spring like salad with a hint of flavor from winter.

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

I absolutely love acorn squash. The forest green edible skin with the pale yellow dense flesh, it’s a treat to the eye. It tastes best when roasted, especially with a hint of fennel seeds sprinkled on top. As it cooks, the flesh becomes buttery and sweet fruity aroma gets released from the fennel seeds. It can get quite addictive. But try not to finish it all and save some for the salad.

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

Typically for salad, I go with simple lemon vinaigrette. But this salad dressing has Dijon mustard in it, which added the right amount to zing to balance the sweetness from the squash. And because I love some fresh fruits in my salad, some green grapes went it as well. Needless to say, it added a nice touch of color too. Finally, some handful of crushed walnuts for that crunch. All in all, it’s a perfect comforting salad that tastes good warm or at room temperature.

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa | Playful Cooking

Fennel Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 cup green grapes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup walnuts, mildly crushed
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • oil
  • salt

for the vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tiny shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the stem off the acorn squash and then cut it in half from the top down. Remove the seeds and then cut each half into ½ inch strips.
  3. Slice the onion into big chunks of 1-inch strips.
  4. Layer the onion, garlic slices and acorn squash in a baking pan. Drizzle oil, sprinkle salt and add the fennel seeds. Rub it nicely and allow it to roast for 20 minutes. Then, flip the squash on the other side and roast for another 5 minutes.
  5. While the squash gets cooked, prepare the quinoa. In a pan, mix quinoa with 1-1/2 cup water and bring it to a boil. Once done, reduce it to simmer and allow it to cook until water is absorbed. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, take it off heat and let it rest for five more minutes. Later, fluff it using a fork.
  6. For the salad dressing, in a bowl or jar, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and give it a mix.
  7. Once the onion and acorn squash are roasted, toss the cooked quinoa with half of the vinaigrette and layer it in a serving plate. Then, scatter the grapes and top it with roasted squash and onion. Drizzle some more vinaigrette and finally, add some walnuts.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Comments are closed.

  • Marta / What should
    Marta / What should
    March 15, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    I just read the first sentences and I want to pack and move where you are straight away. I miss warm, not even hot temperatures so much. It’s too cold around. I neeeeeeeed warm!
    I love the dish. I’ll make it, eat it and pretend it’s warm 🙂

  • Meg | Meg is Well
    Meg | Meg is Well
    March 16, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Acorn squash is still my favorite. I can’t get enough of it but I haven’t tried roasting it with fennel seeds yet. This is my kind of salad!

  • Lakshmi
    March 17, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    I always looked at the squash in grocery store and wondered what I could make..Finally a recipe of Acorn Squash that I shall try.

  • Sophie MacKenzie
    Sophie MacKenzie
    March 18, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Oh, man! I wish it was as warm here as it is there! We’re still stuck in that sweater and boot wether and am so over it! I can’t wait for the days when I can make this salad and it be springtime (fingers crossed it soon 🙂 )

  • Kelsie
    March 20, 2017 at 12:01 PM

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never made acorn squash before and now I’m wondering why. This recipe looks so, so good!

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