recipe

Stuffed Acorn Squash: a fabulous low-carb hearty dish for the holidays

Total time: 70 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
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With its sweet, nutty, savory flavor, stuffed acorn squash is an incredibly nutritious, wholesome low-carb dish to serve up this holiday season. Fall is squash season, so it's the ideal opportunity to enjoy acorn squash, a delicious small winter gourd that boasts a heavenly mild nutty flavor.

It's stuffed with sausage, mushrooms, and apples, seasoned with herbs and spices, then topped with savory cheese and baked to golden brown perfection. Stuffed acorn squash has all the amazing flavors to tempt your taste buds. It's an easy recipe to serve as a main dish or side and is a fantastic option if anyone is looking for a healthy, low-carb meal packed with seasonal flavor.

How to Cut Acorn Squash

It's super easy to cut acorn squash for this recipe. Simply slice it in half lengthwise from the base of the squash towards the stem. Put the squash on a flat surface and cut it with a sharp knife. When you get to the stem, take the knife out of the squash and pull the two halves apart by hand. Scoop out the seeds and either roast them to enjoy as a snack or discard them.

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How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash

Once you've cut your acorn squash, it's time to start cooking! Heat your oven to 400F. Grab a pastry brush and lightly brush all over the squash with olive oil. Add garlic cloves, rosemary, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then bake for about 40 minutes or until fork-tender. Take the squash out of the oven, then turn the heat down to 375F.

While you're roasting the squash, prepare the filling. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Mix in the onion, mushroom, apple, chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, nutmeg, and allspice. Cook the mixture until the vegetables and apple soften and the sausage is completely cooked. Turn off the heat.

When the squash cools enough to touch, scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Mix the squash flesh into the sausage mixture, then add the sage and cheese. Stuff each squash half with the sausage mixture and coat with the rest of the cheese. Bake the acorn squash for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the stuffing is hot. Serve immediately with roasted veggies, a fresh salad, and a crusty loaf.

Tips for Making Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Use any sausage you like for this recipe. Chicken, turkey, pork, plant-based, or beef all work. Use spicy sausage for a kick of heat, or stick with sweet if you prefer a mellower flavor.

Use a sweet-tart apple like Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady.

Make sure to leave a border around the edge of the squash. This will keep it sturdy enough to support the stuffing.

What to Serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sausage-stuffed acorn squash is a hearty, wholesome main meal that goes beautifully with side dishes like roasted carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, sautéed spinach, collard greens, or kale. Serve it with a cucumber or leafy green salad.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Variation Ideas

For heartier sausage-stuffed acorn squash, add grains like quinoa, couscous, wild rice, or farro.

Butternut squash makes a delicious alternative to acorn squash with this recipe.

Other delicious additions to your stuffing include dried cranberries, dried figs, or dried cherries.

Use other fresh herbs like thyme, basil, tarragon, or mint.

Spice up your stuffed squash with paprika, cayenne, or Creole seasoning.

Instead of parmesan, try goat cheese, feta, gorgonzola, or cheddar. 

You can make a vegetarian version by leaving out the sausage or substituting them for vegetarian sausages, mushrooms, or beans.

How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sausage-stuffed acorn squash can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For long-term storage, you can freeze your stuffed acorn squash for up to 3 months.

To reheat, simply back at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. From frozen, bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Ingredients
for the squash
acorn squashes, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2
Extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 1/2 tsp
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
garlic (optional)
2-3 cloves
rosemary (optional)
for the stuffing
sausage, casings removed
1 pound
cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
8 ounces
small yellow onion, chopped
1
medium apple, cored and finely diced
1
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp
ground allspice
1/8 tsp
Garlic, minced
1 to 2 cloves
fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp
shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup
chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp
tomatoes, chopped
3 to 4

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400F. Brush the squash halves with olive oil, garlic and rosemary if using. Season with salt and pepper. Place the squash onto a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375F.

While the squash is roasting, heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the sausage over medium heat. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes. If necessary, drain excess fat. Stir onion, mushroom, apple, garlic, chickpeas, tomatoes, nutmeg, and allspice into the sausage. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until the sausage is cooked and the apple and vegetables have become soft.

When the squash cools enough to touch, scoop out the inside, leaving a border around ¼-inch thick. Stir the squash flesh into the sausage mixture. Stir in sage and half the parmesan. Fill each squash half with sausage stuffing and set it on a baking tray. Garnish with remaining parmesan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the stuffing is heated through.

Notes

Use a casserole dish or rimmed baking tray to roast your stuffed acorn squash.

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