Autumn Squash Grain Bowl

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The essence of fall is in this recipe! Enjoy my Autumn Squash Grain Bowl, an inviting gluten-free recipe that pairs nourishing grains with roasted squash for a wholesome and satisfying main course. The heartiness of this colorful, nutrient-dense dish makes every bite pure happiness!

As the briskness of the colder season wraps around us, our appetites begin to lean towards meals that promise both sustenance and warmth. This Autumn Squash Grain Bowl is designed perfectly to deliver comfort as the temperatures drop in the northern hemisphere!

Thanksgiving is around the corner and this bowl is like your own personal Thanksgiving meal before the festivities begin! This bowl has all the flavors that we love around this time of year without the hours of preparation! Not only is it an easy gluten-free recipe, it’s also vegan, roasted and totally delicious. In this bowl, you’ll find a bed of hearty grains forming a foundation that’s both grounding and satisfying, capturing the essence of harvest with each spoonful.

Grain bowls have a unique way of fitting into the fall menu; they’re versatile, easy to assemble, and pack a punch of both flavor and nutrition. They are the culinary equivalent of throwing on a soft sweater against the chill—inviting and snug. The combination of warm, roasted squash with a mix of grains is not just a meal but a moment of respite from the brisk air outside. Let’s dive into why this Autumn Squash Grain Bowl will become your go-to as we embrace the cozier days ahead.

The ingredients you’ll need for this gluten free grain bowl are:

  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth or water
  • carnival or acorn squash
  • cinnamon
  • paprika
  • garlic cloves
  • shallot
  • sliced almonds
  • cranberries
  • fresh parsley
  • balsamic reduction

The magic of this bowl has a lot to do with brown rice and quinoa being cooked in the same pot!

This dynamic duo offers a complete protein profile, ideal for those seeking more protein in their plant-based meals. The mix of amino acids found in both grains means you’re getting all the building blocks your body needs in one go.

Nutritionally, this pairing is like hitting the jackpot. Brown rice brings hearty fiber and complex carbs to the table, while quinoa boasts a full suite of minerals and B vitamins. Together, they ensure a meal that’s not just filling, but also rich in the varied nutrients essential for a balanced diet.

Beyond nutrition, the fusion of brown rice’s chewy texture with quinoa’s fluffiness makes for an unforgettable mouthfeel. The subtle earthiness of brown rice layered with quinoa’s nutty undertones adds complexity to your palate. This blend isn’t just smart eating; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures that elevates any dish. I may never eat one grain without the other!

The perfect blend of spices!

The spice blend for this Autumn Squash Grain Bowl is nothing short of alchemy. Cinnamon and paprika are chosen not just for their individual flavors but for their ability to transform when placed together in one dish. Cinnamon brings a warm sweetness that speaks of autumn comfort, while paprika provides a subtle, smoky undertone, a reminder of fireside gatherings as the nights draw in. 

Savor each forkful of the Autumn Squash Grain Bowl and let it celebrate the seasonal shift in your kitchen. The grains lay down a nourishing base, the squash brings its mellow sweetness to the mix, and the cranberries offer a pop of tartness.

It’s a harmonious medley that’s as pleasing to the palate as it is beneficial for your well-being—ideal for those chilly days. Keep an eye out for more of my wholesome and hearty recipes coming your way this season, all designed to keep you fortified and content through the colder months.

Jackie Akerberg

Author of the Clean Vegan Cookbook, Food Blogger and Recipe Developer from Des Moines, Iowa. 

Jackfruitful Kitchen has proudly been featured in Forks Over Knives, Vegan Bowls, Vegan Food and Living, and DSM Magazine.

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Autumn Squash Grain Bowl

This recipe combines the vibrant colors and flavors of fall with the wholesome goodness of hearty grains. In this Autumn Squash Grain Bowl I've crafted a dish that truly celebrates the season's bounty. With tender roasted carnival squash, a symphony of grains, and an array of vibrant toppings, this bowl is a feast for both the eyes and the palate, but incredibly easy to make. You only need ten ingredients, plus a few spices!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • oven, stove


  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 carnival or acorn squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut aminos for oil-free
  • ½ tsp of each salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large shallot sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic reduction


  • Preheat oven to 450 and line a large metal baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add the brown rice and broth or water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add in the quinoa, stir and cover, cooking for 15 more minutes.
  • Carefully slice your squash in half top to bottom and remove the seeds. Slice into 1" thick half moons. Place on the baking sheet and brush with oil or coconut aminos and sprinkle with seasonings. Use your hands or a brush to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping half way through.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and sauté the garlic and shallot for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and golden, deglazing with oil or a splash of broth as needed. Increase heat to medium high and add in the almonds, stirring frequently to toast for about 2 minutes. Add in the cooked rice and quinoa and spread into an even layer, reducing heat back to medium. Stir about every minute or so for 3-4 minutes until bits of the rice and quinoa get a bit golden. Stir in the cranberries and parsley. Divide this mixture between four serving bowls. Top with the wedges of squash and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Keyword dairy free, fall grain bowl, gluten free, grain bowl, plant based, roasted squash, vegan
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