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Orange Glazed Delicata Squash & Quinoa

orange glazed delicata squash and quinoa

One of my students shared with me recently his philosophy for staying healthy.  He called it “unbridled optimism.”  When I asked him what that meant, he stated in so many words that he tries to exude as much positivity in his day-to-day in hopes that it will encourage the same in others.  It made me smile and it made my day.  This from a man whose story I don’t know, who often has the most interesting one-liners that either make me laugh, make me blush or remind me to be grateful.  I seem to attract people like that in my life.  I think that’s a good thing.  It’s the Universe’s way of making me come up for air, as it were, when I get caught on the hamster-wheel of life.

I was commenting to a friend this week that I’ve been witness lately to a lot of big transitions all around me lately, myself included.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m reaching a certain age when big changes tend to happen-friends move on, the elders in our families take their final steps and get ever closer to embarking on that next journey.  It’s the stuff of life, I know, but it’s hard and raw and real at times to cope with.  And then there’s that thing that happened in early November.  I’m doing my best to practice unbridled optimism about that.  We all need to now if we’re ever going to make it.

I know this is the time when people indulge, give thanks, celebrate and prepare to set their intentions for the coming new year.  I think it would be a great challenge to our entire collective to try to do this in small ways every day.  In an ever-changing world, it takes less energy to do good than it does to fester in the negative.

And speaking of good and indulgent times, this next recipe is one that will bring the naughty and nice to your next holiday gathering.  It features creamy, sweet Delicata squash drizzled with an orange glaze and served on a bed of herb and lemon infused quinoa.  It’s been a hit everywhere I’ve shared it and I like that I can spread a little happiness with others whenever I make it.  See, it’s that simple.  Not everything in life has to be complicated.  And for this, I’m truly grateful.

orange glazed delicata squash and quinoa

orange glazed delicata squash and quinoa

Orange Glazed Delicata Squash & Quinoa

Serving Size: Serves 6

Inspired by Bobby Flay's Orange Glazed Grilled Acorn Squash recipe


  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium Delicata squash, cut into 3/4 inch rings, seeded
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil,melted
  • 2 cups red quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 8 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add orange juice, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon stick. Reduce by half.
  3. Slice Delicata squash into rings, remove seeds with a spoon and toss in a large mixing bowl with melted coconut oil. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn rings to continue baking second side. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. In a large saucepan, add rinsed quinoa, vegetable stock, diced red onion and olive oil. Bring to a boil, covered over high heat. Once boiling, turn to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Add lemon zest and juice, lemon thyme and parsley.
  5. To serve, arrange a layer of quinoa onto a large platter. Sprinkle with dried cranberries and cilantro. Top with Delicata squash. Drizzle orange glaze over entire platter. Garnish with additional cilantro.


You can use any color of quinoa in this recipe, red just happens to be my favorite.

If you prefer not to use coconut oil, you can use olive or canola or your favorite oil for seasoning the Delicata. If you can't find Delicata, acorn and butternut would work well in this recipe, too.

If you can't find lemon thyme, regular thyme is a good substitute. Lemon thyme is pretty aromatic, feel free to use more than 8 sprigs if you like.

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9 thoughts on “Orange Glazed Delicata Squash & Quinoa

    • Hi, Alyssa! Thanks for checking out Boastful Food and this recipe for delicata squash. It’s actually better than butternut, I think. I just taught this recipe in a class and, hands-down, everyone said they preferred the creamy, sweet taste of this delicata over butternut. If you can find it, it’s worth giving a try. The first time I had it, I swear I was eating a buttery French pastry. So delicious:)

  1. I’ve been meaning to make a quinoa “salad” with some root vegetables in it…you beat me to it and it sounds absolutely PERFECT! Definitely going to try it this week!

    • You bet, Luci! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the recipe. Hope you get a chance to give it a try. It’s been pretty popular every time I’ve made it.

    • Thank you, Debra! This one tastes so decadent you feel like you’re eating something sinful. Here’s to more winter squash and quinoa!

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