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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, and Pinoli

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I love pistachios. I was really looking forward to this recipe since it had pistachios in it. I thought I was toasting them nicely. Well, I was until I had to walk away from the kitchen for a couple minutes.


It just took those extra couple of minutes to turn them from the perfect color into a dark brown mess. In the garbage they went and I quickly looked through my cabinets to see what I could substitute them with. I found some pinoli I had bought to make my Dark Chocolate and Clementine Pinoli Compound Butter and also some walnuts. I love the flavor of my substitutions.

I happen to be a huge pinoli (pignoli as they are called here)fan. I love their subtle, yet obvious nutty flavor. I usually bake with them and was thrilled with how delicious they were paired with the quinoa, dried cranberries, and walnuts.

I made this as a side dish idea. I ended up eating it for dinner that night. Just perfect as a main course.:) I can't wait to make again and the next time will try to keep a better eye on my pistachios.;)

It was difficult to not eat the whole stuffing before adding it into the acorn squash. It was delicious!
A wonderful idea for a quick and healthy Thanksgiving side dish. I will be making this again to bring to our hosts’ house for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, and Pinoli
slightly adapted from Whole Living November 2011

4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup pinoli, chopped and roasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
juice of one lime

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, walnuts, pinoli, dried cranberries, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among squash. Dig in and ENJOY!

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all the wonderful friends I made through my little blog. Thank you for your friendship and support. xo

22 comments

  1. What a lovely idea for a healthy side dish! And a filling one too. I love the addition of pinoli nuts! Great recipe Lora :-)

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  2. i LOVE finding healthy vegan friendly thanksgiving recipes. this is an entree for me! :)

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  3. This is really beautiful. The same thing happened to me last night with my pecans. Too easy to burn nuts... luckily I had extra! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Mmm I love quinoa recipes and your presentation in the squash is gorgeous! I'm definitely adding cranberries to mine next time! :)

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  5. I love stuffed squash, and this sounds amazing! :) Very pretty pictures, too.

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  6. Love the thought of this as a stuffing for squash.
    Have a great Holiday.

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  7. Oh, yeah! I could just shovel that delicious stuffing right into my mouth! It looks fantastic, Lora!!! xo

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  8. I think the pinolis are perfect with this and yum love the dried cranberries. This is such a wonderful side dish (or main dish!) for Thanksgiving... better than the ordinary! Oh how I wish I could join you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, darling! xoxo

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  9. Love the presentation! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  10. me encanta la quinoa un plato estupendo e irrsistible,abrazos hugs,hugs.

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  11. These are beauties! Stuffed squash is one of my favorite things, but yours sounds especially good with the quinoa stuffing! These would be perfect to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, especially to gluten free individuals.

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  12. This looks heavenly! Packed with goodies. Happy Thanksgiving - may you have a lovely day.

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  13. Oooh... this looks wonderful!
    I always mean to add more quinoa to my diet, but then I can never quite figure out what to make with it... this looks like it's right up my alley, though, especially since it could double up as a nice meatless main dish when I have vegetarians over for dinner. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I love you for admitting the burned nuts. I can't tell you how often I do that. Especially to slivered almonds, I seem to be especially forgetful about those!

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  15. I love the quinoa and acorn squash pairing, especially with the walnuts and pinoli. This is a a great side dish or light supper. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. You just can't step away from the nuts ;) I've done the same thing many times! Lovely stuffed squash, probably even better with the pine nuts. Happy Thanksgiving, Lora!

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  17. Looks like a wonderful and healthy meal

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  18. Sorry about the pistachios, but love your substitution :) These is a perfect holiday side and for me a meal...lovely recipe!
    Wishing you and family a very happy holiday

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  19. Acorn squash is my new obsession. You don't want to know how many I have bought, roasted and frozen this week! I love it!

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  20. Honestly, I'm not a big squash fan...nut of almost any kind now that's another story. Anyhoo...I have to tell you how beautiful your stuffed acorn squash looks and it was served to me I think I'd clean my plate.

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  21. I could eat this every day.. seriously!! All my favorite flavors in it's own bowl.. what could be better??

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  22. I bought acorn squash today. I will be cooking this weekend for the first time. Yours look lovely. I am not sure if I would be able to cook like you.

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