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Quinoa Stuffing with Dates and Walnuts

Does Thanksgiving stuffing have to involve bread? Not if it’s this savory Quinoa Stuffing with dates and walnuts.

To be honest, we’re used to the kind of stuffing that you make with regular bread. In the past, we have saved up bread crusts and stumps for months in the freezer just to have them on hand for stuffing. But truly, it doesn’t have to be all bread-y to be delicious.

On a recent walk through the farmers’ market we spotted some beautiful honey dates. We love savory stuffings with just a tiny hint of sweetness. That’s why we had an inspiration to make this simple quinoa stuffing with dates and walnuts. You won’t miss the bread – promise.

Quinoa Stuffing with Dates and Walnuts

Quinoa Stuffing with Dates and Walnuts

A hearty stuffing for Thanksgiving (or anytime) made with quinoa, dates, and walnuts.

Course Main Dish/Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword dates, quinoa, stuffing, thanksgiving, walnuts
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium butternut squash, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Rinse and sort the quinoa, then add it to the pot. Cover and simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and the grain spirals out. Stir in chopped dates and walnuts. Season to taste. Garnish with a small amount of chopped parsley.

  2. To serve inside a butternut squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay it face down in a roasting pan. Fill the pan with about an inch of water. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the squash over, and roast for another 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pricked. Scoop out a little bit of flesh to make a good-sized cavity for the quinoa stuffing. Fill the squash with the quinoa stuffing and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve warm.

Now if you really want to outdo yourself, you can serve this stuffing inside a butternut squash. (See the instructions for cooking the squash at the bottom of the recipe card.) It makes a great presentation and it fits right in with the Thanksgiving theme.

quinoa stuffing

Additionally, when you scoop the stuffing out of the squash, you get delicious bits of squash too. That’s so much better than filling up on bread, right?

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Quinoa Stuffing

Quinoa, Date, and Walnut Stuffing – Served in a Butternut Squash – Vegan and Gluten-Free

Want more great vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes? Then check out our Plant-Based Thanksgiving Dishes roundup.

Alternatively, if you just like the idea of serving things in butternut squash halves, check out this Butternut Squash Hummus.


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3 Responses to Quinoa Stuffing with Dates and Walnuts

  1. Valentina November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    i love the idea of quinoa stuffing! perfect for gluten-free folks!

    • jollytomato November 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks, Valentina! : )


  1. Coconut Date Shakes - Dairy-Free and Vegan - Jolly Tomato - January 1, 2020

    […] get can’t get enough, we’ve got a few more date recipes for you to try. Check out this Quinoa Stuffing with Dates and Walnuts or this Cauliflower Date Pistachio Salad with Mint and […]

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