Mini Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Squash or Bell Peppers


This fun and easy stuffed squash recipe was shared with us by River of Wing it Vegan a few years ago, and has become an incredibly popular recipe. The stuffing is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and nutritious, and the presentation makes it a festive Halloween dinner for parties or simply for warming up after a cool evening of trick-or-treating.

For serving, there are a few options. You can make kid-sized mini pumpkins or Halloween Peppers

Vegan Jack-o-Squash Recipe - Stuffed Squash for Halloween

or party-sized golden acorn Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Squash

Vegan Jack-o-Squash Recipe - Stuffed Squash for Halloween

See the recipe for instructions on how to make both!

Mini Stuffed Jack-O-Lanterns or Halloweegan Peppers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe and photos by River of Wing it Vegan. River blogs "vegan grub, craftiness, and geekery." You can visit her Halloweegan Index for more spooky creations.
Serves: 2 to 8 servings (depending on the vessel)
  • 2 gold acorn squashes (see below for other options)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
Quinoa Stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
For the Squash:
  1. If you're going to bake them in a conventional oven, preheat it to 375ºF.
  2. Slice off the bottom tip of the squashes to create a flat base. Cut off the tops and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Save the tops for later!
  3. Use a pencil to draw the faces on the squashes, and use a small serrated knife to carve out the faces. Luckily, carving a small acorn squash is easier than carving a big pumpkin!
  4. Brush a little olive oil all over the inside of the squashes and lightly sprinkle them with salt and black pepper.
  5. At this point you can choose to bake them in a conventional oven for an hour or until soft, or you can cook them in the microwave like I did. Place the squashes in a microwave safe bowl, add about ½ cup of water and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft.
For the Stuffing:
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes or until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and saute two more minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for just about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the broth, quinoa, nutritional yeast, parsley, salt, and black pepper, as desired. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. If the quinoa is still crunchy you can add more broth and simmer it for a few more minutes.
  3. Spoon the quinoa stuffing into the acorn squashes and cover them with the reserved squash tops. Reheat the finished dish, if necessary, and serve.
For Tiny Appetites: You can make those mini pumpkins instead of the bigger acorn squashes. You can stuff 6 to 8 mini pumpkins with this recipe, depending on their size.

Halloweegan Peppers: You can also stuff a carved orange bell pepper. Carve, stuff, and bake in a covered casserole dish at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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