Squash Rings with Chard and Walnut Pasta

Enjoy the winter squash harvest with this recipe

Authored by: Walnut Marketing Board

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  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes one hour
  • Serves: 4
  • Suitable Diet: Dairy Free


  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 acorn squash, cut into 1 1/2 thick rings, seeds removed
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4 thick
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 cups young chard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces Orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Sage
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Thyme
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup fat free Italian Vinaigrette, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 57 minutes. Set aside. Arrange squash rings in a large steamer. Place over boiling water and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside. Generously coat a medium sized nonstick skillet with canola cooking spray. Add onions and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are completely soft and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove onions and set aside. Deglaze pan with orange juice and allow to simmer one minute. Pour liquid over onions.Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, rinse in cool water and drain again. Wash chard and remove tough stems. Do not pat dry. Cut into 3/4 wide ribbons. Spray a nonstick skillet with canola cooking spray. Place over medium high heat, add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add chard and cook until just wilted, about 3 min. Remove from heat. Add onion, sage and thyme to skillet. Toss. Add cooled orzo, 1/2 of the salmon, 1/2 of the walnuts and toss to mix well.Place a squash ring on each of 4 plates. Fill center with chard mixture. Place a few strips of the smoked salmon around each squash ring. Top with remaining salmon and sprinkle remaining walnuts over all. Serve with vinaigrette on the side. May be served warm or at room temp.Provides 1.19g omega3s.