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Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pancetta, Quinoa, and Walnuts

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pancetta, Quinoa, and Walnuts

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Today we are supporting Food Day.  Food Day is a nationwide celebration and movement towards healthy eating.  We are excited to see what everyone brings to the table.  We are serving these amazing acorn squash stuffed with pancetta, quinoa, and walnuts.  This recipe would be perfect as a light meal and even better as a side dish.

We are thinking of serving these during Thanksgiving as well.  Don’t you think they would go alongside a roasted turkey perfectly?  I always like adding a lot of healthy side dishes during Thanksgiving, that way I feel less inclined to have two slices of pie after the meal. 

We love this recipe as the tender acorn squash are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of sautéed pancetta, aromatics and walnuts which mixes really well with nutty and healthy quinoa.  

Yield: 4

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pancetta, Quinoa, and Walnuts

Acorn squash stuffed with pancetta, quinoa and walnuts

These cute little acorn squash are stuffed with pancetta, quinoa and walnuts to make a delicious side dish or even a light main entree.


  • 4 small acorn squash
  • ½ cup pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 12 sage leaves, finely minced
  • 2½ cups quinoa, precooked
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and broken into small pieces
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


    Cut a very small portion off of the bottom of the squash, so that they can stand up in a baking pan. Then cut off about 1/4” off of the top, keeping a little hat. Scoop out of the seeds and a slight portion of the flesh.

    Preheat the oven to 400. Place the squash in a baking dish.

    Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Once cooked set aside.

    While the quinoa is cooking toast the walnuts. Scatter the walnuts over a cookie sheet. Slide into the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Stir and then cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, place a clean dish towel over the nuts and lightly crush with a rolling pin.

    In a large frying pan over medium heat cook the pancetta until lightly browned. Add the shallot and sage leaves. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa and toasted walnuts. Season with the salt and pepper.

    Lightly stuff the acorn squash with the pancetta/quinoa mixture. Using a pastry brush lightly coat the outside of the acorn squash. Fill the baking dish with about 1/4” inch of water.

    Slide into the oven. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes. You want the squash to be slightly soft and cooked through, as well as a little golden on the tops. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.



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