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Squash Stuffed with Turkey, Apple, Cranberries and Quinoa

This squash stuffed with turkey is perfect for small gatherings this year during the autumn and winter holidays. All the flavors are reminiscent of the best parts of thanksgiving dinner, with a simple recipe and delicious leftovers (if you have any left!)
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 4 small, round squash or pumpkin
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup quinoa or rice
  • 1 large apple (such as Gala or Fuji), diced into ¼ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • thyme leaves, for garnish


  • Cut off the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds and pulp, like you are carving a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. If our squash doesn't stand up straight on its own, cut off a bit from the bottom, so they stand upright while they bake.
    Place the squashes in one or two casserole dishes (depending on the size of your dishes and if it can fit four squashes or just two.)
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, make the filling by mixing together the ground turkey, quinoa or rice, apple pieces, dried cranberries, salt, cinnamon, paprika, and garlic cloves.
  • Pour a large spoonful of the filling into each squash. Pour about a tablespoon of the broth on top of the filling. Continue filling, alternative between the turkey filling and the broth, until you use about 1 cup of the broth and all of the filling.
    Place 1 Tbsp of butter on top of each squash. Place the tops back on the squash.
  • Bake for 1½ hours, then take them out and check if more broth is needed to keep everything moist.
    Bake for another 1 hour.
    Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, to allow all the flavors to meld together after coming out of the oven.
  • Garnish with a generous amount of thyme (at least 4 sprigs of leaves per squash). A whole squash will make a delicious main course, and a half squash will make a delectable side dish.
Keyword cranberries, dairy free, dinner recipes for family, gluten free, quinoa, small gathering food ideas, small thanksgiving dinner for four, squash, thanksgiving, thanksgiving recipes, thanksgiving turkey, turkey