Stuffed acorn squash with sausage is one of those perfect fall dinners or side dish that everyone loves. Filled with savory Italian sausage, spinach and wild rice, it is a comforting and satisfying dinner. To serve it as a side, choose smaller acorn squash. These smaller servings would be perfect for your holiday table. For a no meat option, try my vegetarian stuffed acorn squash.
The acorn squash flesh takes on an almost buttery texture when roasted. The caramelized squash is sweet and it is so tender and soft that it practically melts in your mouth.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
For those who are less than thrilled about eating vegetables or are less inclined to try new or unfamiliar things, roasting veggies is almost always a hit. Roasting them brings out their natural sweetness making them more palatable to picky or less-adventurous eaters.
These little gems that most people pass by at the store deserve a second look. Squash – whether they be acorn, butternut, spaghetti or any other variety you happen upon at the store or farmer’s market are delicious and fall is when they are at their peak. They are wonderful roasted in the oven or scooped out and stuffed with whatever you can dream up.
How to make stuffed acorn squash
The first step in making acorn squash is to cut it open and clean out the seeds. Don’t throw them away, we’ll roast those later! Once you have the squash cut in half, use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and membrane.
Rub the inside with a little olive or canola oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, then roast in the oven, cut side down, for about 30 minutes. The squash is ready to stuff now. If you stuff the squash before roasting it, your filling may be overdone and the squash may not be cooked through. So, we roast the squash first and get it ready before filling it.
Cutting acorn squash
Cutting an acorn squash (or anything round) can be a bit tricky because it can roll around on the cutting board. To solve this problem, cut a thin piece from the stem end of the squash to give yourself a flat surface. Place the cut surface on the board and carefully cut down through the squash.
stuffed acorn squash recipe
The possibilities are limitless with fillings for acorn squash. If you don’t have pine nuts, but you do have pecans, use them. If you don’t have wild rice, but you do have brown rice, swap it out. Use what you have or what you like to customize your stuffed acorn squash to your personal taste.
roasted acorn squash seeds
We roast pumpkin seeds, so why do we toss out the acorn squash seeds? Don’t waste those tasty morsels, clean them off and roast them in the oven for a delicious, crunchy snack. I sprinkle a few on top of the roasted acorn squash for a garnish and a bit of texture.
Ten minutes in the oven is all you need for a salty, crunchy treat.
What do I need to make this stuffed squash?
• Sheet pans – these are great, they won’t warp under high heat in the oven.
• A well made chef’s knife – this one is inexpensive and will last you a very long time.
• Parchment paper – invaluable.
What can I serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash?
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- 2 acorn squash (cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed)
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped (optional, but lovely if you have it)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut off a small piece from the outside of the squash so you will have a flat surface on the bottom to prevent it from rolling over.
- Place acorn squash on parchment lined sheet pan, cut side down (inside), and roast in oven for 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add sausage and cook thoroughly, breaking it up into small pieces. Add spinach and cook down for 3 minutes.
- Add cranberries, rice, chicken stock, salt & pepper.
- Let the filling simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.
- Add pine nuts and marjoram. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Remove squash from oven and carefully turn over. Fill each half and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Make filling while squash is roasting in the oven. The filling will be cooked and ready to go when squash is done.
To roast squash seeds - toss clean seeds in 2 tsp oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet, in a single layer, and roast for 8 - 10 minutes at 350°F.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 1064mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 16g