- Diet & lifestyle
- Vegetarian meals
Acorn squash is baked until tender. Serve as a side dish or a main course.
44 people made this
- 3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 450g mild Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 egg, beaten
- 55g dry breadcrumbs
- 80g raisins
- 60g pecans, chopped
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr5min ›Ready in:1hr20min
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
- Place squash halves cut side down in baking tins. Fill pans with about 1.25cm water. Bake squash 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until tender.
- While squash bakes, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place onions and celery in the frying pan and cook until tender. Stir in the sausage and thyme. Cook and stir until evenly brown.
- Remove squash from the oven and carefully scrape the pulp from the skin. Set skins aside. Place the pulp in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Mix in the cooked sausage mixture, egg, breadcrumbs, raisins and pecans. Scoop into the reserved skins. Set stuffed squash in the baking dishes.
- Bake 25 minutes in the 180 C / Gas 4 oven, until heated through.
If acorn squash is unavailable, use butternut squash instead.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(49)
Reviews in English (40)
This was a lot of work, but worth it. I downsized the recipe for two squashes, and used one orange acorn and one yellow acorn. I also used ground turkey instead of pork, a mix of chopped turnip, carrot and garlic instead of celery. I subbed a small amount of almonds for the pecans, but the recipe would be fine without any nuts at all. I thought the raisins were important. I did not need to mash the squash - after I scooped it, it blended in perfectly . I did add a dash of salt and pepper, and used store-bought Italian breadcrumbs. I topped with cheese for the final bake. This recipe is very forgiving and you could really make lots of substitutions or additions depending on your tastes. My husband and I enjoyed it very much.-15 Dec 2006
Great Recipe! I used 2 buttercup squash and next time, I'll be cooking the squash in the microwave since the oven took way too long, and I burned myself on the water. I also left out the thyme and instead used italian style bread crumbs and added some italian seasoning along with salt and pepper. I left out the raisins, but felt the pecans really added some good flavor and crunch. I also increased the celery to 3 stalks, to add some more veggies and crunch. Lastly, I topped it with mozzarella cheese for the last 10 minutes of baking, which was good but next time I'm going to try some shredded parmesan cheese. I also think adding a cup or two of cooked rice would taste good and will probably try that at some point as well.-10 Nov 2009
A good recipe. I will make this 1x/year. My husband kept saying: "It's interesting" meaning he prefers the traditional baked squash.-20 Nov 2010
Sausage-stuffed kabocha squash for a simple savory dinner
I cannot stop craving rich, cold-weather foods. It’s hard to believe that two months ago I couldn’t get enough corn and tomatoes and now my mind is on comforting foods suitable for chilly evenings and holiday entertaining.
Just like I thought I would never tire of summer tomatoes, I can’t see how my taste buds could grow weary of winter squash. My latest infatuation is with the sweet flavor and hearty texture of kabocha squash, and when I saw these personal-sized beauties at the market I knew I wanted to bring them home and stuff them.
But with what? I wanted to match kabocha’s big flavor, so I opted for salty, spiced sausage, creamy ricotta and earthy, herbaceous sage. Add in red onion for color and aromatic depth, and I had a five-ingredient dinner we demolished. We couldn’t stop thinking about it so I made it again later in the week, and again the following weekend for company. When that happens, I know it’s time to record the recipe, so next year when the peach harvest wanes I’ll have this dish to turn to.
This bison-stuffed spaghetti squash is tasty and comforting, but there are so many more options for customization (like pine nuts and curry).
About Courtney Hamilton
Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor who has covered everything from food to politics. When she’s not dreaming up Paleo-friendly eats and conversations, you can find her trying to get her preschooler to eat his veggies.
Butternut Squash. Butternut squash is one of my favorite cold weather vegetables. It’s earthy yet slightly sweet, and once it’s roasted, it releases its natural sugars and the texture becomes velvety. Plus, it’s an amazing source of Vitamin A and fiber, as well as Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
For this recipe, I recommend using medium-sized squash that weigh between 2 and 2 ¾ pounds.
Avocado Oil. We’re roasting at a relatively high temperature (the squash gets roasted at 425°F), I prefer to use a high-heat cooking oil, such as avocado oil. The Simply Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil from ALDI contains one ingredient (100% pure avocado oil), is affordable, and is Non-GMO Project verified.
Vegan Meatballs. To bring some heartiness to this dish, I wanted to stuff some sort of vegan sausage in the butternut squash. And to keep things easy and affordable, I used the Earth Grown Classic Vegan Meatless Meatballs from ALDI. But instead of eating them like meatballs, I crumbled them into small pieces and then pan-fried them in a bit of oil until it looked (and tasted) like vegan ground sausage!
Both Max and I can be wary of freezer-section vegan meat replacements, but we were shocked at how delicious these were. They’re meaty and packed with garlicky flavor, and work incredibly well as “sausage.” Plus, one serving packs in 14 grams of plant protein.
Quinoa. In addition to the vegan “sausage,” the squash gets stuffed with cooked quinoa.
While quinoa might have only hit our grocery shelves in the last 15 years, it’s been a staple in the Andean cultures of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia for thousands of years. In the extremely high altitude climates of these areas, quinoa was one of the few crops that could survive and became an integral part of the regional culinary culture.
And its recent popularity here is understandable. It’s a naturally gluten-free ancient grain and an excellent plant-based source of protein and fiber, along with vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
Quinoa is kind of a sponge and easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients, so I prefer to cook my quinoa in vegetable broth for extra flavor, but you can use water if you prefer.
Kale. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’m a big fan of kale. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, and kale just happens to be my favorite variety of leafy green so I love incorporating into recipes, especially hearty comfort foods that could use a little balance.
Kale is one of the vegetables I prioritize buying organic because it’s one of the crops that gets hit the hardest by pesticides. And at ALDI, buying organic vegetables is very affordable so you can have your cake (organic kale) and eat it too!
Creamy Garlic Sauce. This sauce is surprisingly easy to make given how tasty it is! It’s made with sautéed onions, garlic, flour, and creamy plant-based milk and then blended until smooth.
Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash This Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash is filled with all your favorites – sausage, apples, cranberries, onions and garlic, kale, pecans and savory herbs. The stuffing is packed with savory/sweet flavors and the perfect addition to a holiday gathering, or for any meal! Paleo, gluten free, Whole30 compliant. Each year I simply need to make a new recipe for stuffed squash. It’s one of my favorite meals (and side dishes) ever and I can’t get enough! This year, I decided to go with a stuffed butternut squash recipe instead of my usual acorn squash. While the butternut squash takes a little bit longer to roast, it’s well worth it! It’s comforting, nourishing, and addicting all at the same time! And of course, it’s such a crowd pleaser on Thanksgiving or whenever you’re having guests over. Easy to throw together but looks so impressive and tastes even better.
What You Need to Make Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
For the stuffing, I went the sweet savory route as I typically do with acorn squash.
Sausage (use sugar-free to make it Whole30 compliant), veggies, herbs and spices for flavoring, apples and dried fruit.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make sausage stuffed butternut squash:
- 2 medium/large butternut squash
- avocado oil or olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Italian sausage
- sage leaves
- rosemary leaves
- thyme leaves
- dried cranberries (apple juice sweetened)
How to Make Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
Preheat your oven to 425° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut open each butternut squash lengthwise so you have 4 long halves. Scoop out the seeds and strings, then drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place face down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until softened. Pressing the top of the squash will give you a sense of how soft it is without having to remove it from the oven.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook until about 3/4 of the way done. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add in the fresh herbs (or dried, if using) and continue to cook for another minute.
Stir in the kale, apples, and pecans and cook, stirring to combine flavors, for another minute or two until just softened. Remove from heat, stir in the cranberries, and season the mixture to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
Once the squash is done, allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, then use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving about 3/4” border around the sides and bottom. You can save the squash for another use, or even freeze it to keep longer.
Spoon the sausage mixture into the squash generously to use all of it up. Once filled, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the top of the stuffing and squash are golden brown, 2-4 minutes or so. Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired and enjoy!
Easy Substitutions for Stuffed Butternut Squash
You can easily sub in turkey or chicken sausage for the pork sausage if you choose. Actually, any ground meat can be used here, just make sure you season it well if it’s plain.
Other subs include spinach or any other greens for the kale, raisins for the cranberries, and dried herbs for the fresh. A pre-made poultry seasoning blend is also a delicious replacement for the herbs if you can’t find fresh ones.
I don’t recommend subbing anything for the apples since they add the perfect sweetness and crunch! Specifically, I love using either the honeycrisp or pink lady varieties since they stay sweet when cooked and don’t get mushy.
Also – this recipe can absolutely be made with acorn squash as well. You’ll need to adjust the roasting time for the smaller acorn squash, or you can use my ultimate stuffed acorn squash recipe instead.
What To Serve with Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
If you’re serving this stuffed butternut squash as a meal – you have everything you need!
If you’re serving it as a holiday side dish, it will go perfectly with some of my other favorite Thanksgiving and holiday side dishes. Here are some of my favorites:
I hope you’re ready for a delicious and seriously addicting recipe that’s going to WOW anyone who tastes it! Preheat your oven and grab your squash because it’s time to cook – let’s go!
2 acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sausage meat, removed from the casing
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and coarsely chop, if necessary. Reserve in a bowl.
Add sliced onions to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove and add to the bowl with the sausage.
Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet, which should be pretty dry at this point, and cook until golden brown and tender. Remove and add to the onion sausage mixture.
Combine the sausage, onions and mushrooms, then add the apricots, pine nuts, maple syrup, bread crumbs, Parmesan, thyme and sage. Toss well to coat and season with salt and pepper.
Halve each acorn squash, remove seeds and pulp, and season the four cavities with salt and pepper. If the squash halves do not stand steadily, then cut a small portion of the bottom off to make an even surface area.
Evenly distribute stuffing to each cavity. Pour 1/2 cup water into a baking dish and add the stuffed squash.
Bake at 350 degrees F degrees for 45-60 minutes or until the squash is tender and cooked.
You can reserve the seeds when you remove the pulp from the squash and toast them as you would pumpkin seeds.
I hate the whole idea of an “extra dish” for the vegetarians. It’s usually an afterthought and one that represents extra work. But this stuffed squash doesn’t have to be the extra dish you make for the vegetarians while everyone else eats meat. This stuffed squash dish is hearty enough to satisfy meat lovers. So make it the centerpiece of your next dinner party. A meatless special occasion meal will do the planet good.
If you can’t find Kabocha squash, the recipe works well with a roasted stuffed pumpkin, like a Fairy Tale or New England Pie variety.
What is Kabocha squash?
Now, this substitution recommendation needs a little clarification. That’s because anyone who knows their squashes knows that Kabocha is actually a variety of pumpkin. Those who are familiar with this orange-fleshed squash love it for its firm texture and almost velvety consistency. It is also a nutrient-rich food. And, since we’re all about ways to improve sexual health, I should add that this winter squash contains many nutrients to support sexual health including vitamins A & C as well as potassium, magnesium and iron. Incidentally, did you know that all pumpkin are considered aphrodisiac?
This type of pumpkin is fairly common in Japanese cuisine, so you may try looking in an Asian foods market. Trust me, the Kabocha squash is definitely one of those ingredients that’s worth a little extra effort to find.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
So unlike Spaghetti Squash and Butternut Squash, where I fear losing a finger every time I attempt to cut them raw, acorn squash is super easy to cut before cooking. For recipes like this 21 Day Fix Stuffed Acorn Squash, I like to cut mine top to bottom, because it’s a little flatter that way and the squash rests easily on my cutting board and plus it makes an adorable heart shape. But you can also cut it in half across the middle and the halves look like a flower! Either way, it’s pretty easy and pretty darn cute.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage + “Rice” This savory stuffed acorn squash is so delicious it’s addicting! A sausage and cauliflower rice stuffing is seasoned with lots of fresh herbs and served toasty in roasted acorn squash bowls. Perfect as a holiday side dish or an anytime meal. Paleo, Whole30, and low in carbs. Stuffed acorn squash is one of my absolute favorite things to cook in the fall. I have three other stuffed acorn squash recipes on the blog and they’re all delicious – you really can’t go wrong. I decided to branch out just a little from the others and make something totally savory (no apples or cranberries) but still a little bit sweet of course, due to the acorn squash. Since rice stuffings are so popular with acorn squash, I figured I go with a cauliflower rice stuffing to make it Paleo and Whole30 friendly. I was beyond delighted (yes, DELIGHTED) with the result! You get a great texture and flavor with the sausage “rice” stuffing, sautéed onions and garlic, and fresh herbs. It’s incredibly simple to throw together and also feels fancy enough for your holiday table!
What You Need To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and “Rice”
I used fresh and simple ingredients with lots of flavor. If you’re having trouble finding Whole30 compliant sausage, make sure to check local grocers for store-made sausage with few additives.
U.S. Wellness Meats and Jones Dairy Farm also have great sugar-free sausage. You can also make your own sausage meat easily with common spices you probably already have in your pantry.
Here’s what you’ll need for the stuffed acorn squash:
- Acorn Squash
- Avocado oil, or olive oil
- Italian sausage meat
- Cauliflower rice
- Nutritional yeast (for flavor)
- Coconut milk, or almond milk
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Crushed red pepper
How to Roast Acorn Squash
If you’re not familiar with roasting acorn squash, you’re in for a treat! It’s easy and so delicious. Here’s what to do:
- Cut your squash lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and strings with a spoon.
- Brush the inside with oil (or you can spray with avocado oil spray) and sprinkle all over with sea salt
- Place the squash halves face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in a 400° F oven for 22-30 minutes. The squash is done when the top is easily pressed in when pushed and beginning to caramelize on the inside.
- Handle the roasted squash carefully before stuffing – it’s hot!
Since you prepare the filling while the squash roasts, the overall time needed to prepare the stuffed squash is around 30 minutes.
How to Meal Prep Stuffed Acorn Squash
If you want to make it ahead of time, you’re in luck because it’s an easy one to prep! You can roast the acorn squash and make the filling, then simply store both tightly covered (or wrapped) in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
You can reheat the filling and squash separately in the oven (covered) or fill the squash and reheat it altogether in the oven. Just make sure you cover it in the oven so the tops don’t brown too much. A 375 or 400° F oven will work best for reheating.
I hope you’re ready for a seriously delicious, fall favorite that I know you’re absolutely going to love! Grab your squash and preheat the oven because it’s time to cook – let’s go!
Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
In the fall, we eat butternut squash by the crates. It is one of those vegetables that is sweet enough when roasted that even my little kids will eat it without a lecture. But for the longest time, I dreaded cutting them up for roasting. Those things are hard as a rock! And peeling them was even worse.
Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
It wasn’t until recently that I saw my friend Marion from Life Tastes Good post this recipe for a Tex-Mex-inspired Stuffed Butternut Squash that I considered not peeling it or cutting it at all – rather stuffing it full of the flavors I most love to serve with butternut squash. Brilliant!
Considering how much we love sausage sweetened with a little maple served with sweet potatoes or butternut squash, it didn’t take me long to get to this combination. We recently ran across this multi-colored sprouted quinoa that we really like, though any quinoa will work. The sprouted quinoa has an interesting texture that I really liked with the creaminess of the squash and the beans.
Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
The members of my family are always such good sports when it comes to trying new foods at dinner. They are so used to it at this point that nobody even asks what is for dinner anymore when they know I am cooking for the blog. I really appreciate that because most of the time I don’t know until it is done. In the case of this Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, I knew dinner was going to be butternut-something but really didn’t know what this was going to be until it hit the dinner table.
I knew this one was a winner when I looked around the table and all that was left was the skin of the squash on everyone’s plates. Everyone has literally spooned every last bit of squash from the corners. This one is a keeper.
Chicken and Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing
If you like these Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, you will also like these Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. The flavors are similar – and super good! We also really love the creamy dressing that we drizzle over the top of the squash. I always make extra so we can use it for a quick salad for lunch or dinner later in the week, like in the Chicken Black Bean Salad with Creamy Cumin Lime Dressing.
Sausage-Stuffed Pattypan Squash
Last week, I was dead set on taking my entire family to the local farmers’ market. We decide to go to the one in Pendleton, Indiana, which wasn’t very big, but we still ended up leaving with our hands full. One of my sons, Sage, spotted a pattypan squash and decided he had to have it. He was even going to spend his own allowance on it, but we decided to bite the bullet and buy the $1.00 squash for him. Perhaps, it was the unique shape which caught his eye. It looks like an edible flying saucer. With that in mind, that’s exactly how I decided to roll with it. This squash became Sage’s Saucer (with sausage filling).
Sausage-Stuffed Pattypan Squash: Recipe Highlights
Sage helped with this recipe. It’s very easy. Be sure to get the sausage cooked ahead of time or use leftover sausage from a different recipe.
First thing, is to preheat the oven. Next, slice the pattypan squash in half and remove all the seeds. Once that’s done combine all the other ingredients, except for the oil.
I like a toastier filling so I prepare mine as listed below in the instructions and add the filling before the squash is baked, then drizzle olive oil on top, and pop it the oven. I suppose if one initially strives for a softer filling, and later decides that just won’t suffice, broiling the top for a minute or two might bring toastier results, though I haven’t tried that. If you do, keep an eye on it. Broiling is not for those with ADD. (I can say that since ADD runs rampant through my house, but don’t be offended, I wasn’t calling you out).