February is the time of year when only the most determined few have yet to abandon their New Year's Resolutions. If you've already thrown in the metaphorical gym towel that hasn't seen sweat since January 2nd, you might need some extra motivation to get you back on track. These stuffed butternut squash bowls are sure to become a staple in your weeknight meal rotation.

Eating your meals in bowl-form are all the rage. From  pineapple rice bowls to hearty twice-baked sweet potatoes, stuffing foods into other foods has never been more aesthetically-pleasing. The combination of butternut squash, kale, and quinoa provides a complete source of plant-based protein. The sweetness of the butternut squash is brought out with a sprinkle of dried cranberries and a splash of fresh orange juice and zest. This citrus addition is optional but recommended as the added Vitamin C enhances iron absorption.

Easy Stuffed Butternut Squash Bowls

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 2 butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups kale
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Zest and juice 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
sweet, pepper, squash, meat, vegetable
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Halve each butternut squash, discard the seeds, and place each face up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until tender.

    pattypan squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, sweet, squash, vegetable
    Grace Becker
  • Step 2

    While the squash is baking, boil the water for the quinoa. Once boiled, add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium and cover. Let simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, until ready to add to the remainder of the recipe.

    popcorn, wheat, cereal, corn
    Grace Becker
  • Step 3

    Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the kale and cook for about 4 minutes, or until wilted. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Finally, add the orange zest, orange juice, and cranberries and remove from heat.

    kale, vegetable, broccoli
    Grace Becker
  • Step 4

    Scoop out the inside of the squash, making sure to leave enough around the sides and bottom for the squash to hold up. Mix in the squash filling into the quinoa. Stuff this filling into the squash, and bake at 425°F for an additional 5-10 minutes. *Note: for my non-vegan friends, adding a little parmesan cheese here adds a nice touch.

    sweet, pepper, squash, meat, vegetable

While these bowls are both vegan and gluten-free, you don't have to have dietary restrictions to enjoy this delicious plant-based meal. Better yet, this costs as little as $1.50 per serving* and can be made in even the dingiest residence hall kitchen, so there really are no more excuses to reach for that delivery menu.

*Prices sourced from Trader Joe's.