Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is an easy and delicious recipe that will make a great side dish or a main course. It's the ultimate Fall and Winter comfort food and a great way to add veggies to your dinner!
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash - festive Autumn recipe
Combining acorn squash with sausage is one of the best and most delicious ways to serve this winter vegetable! Try this easy-to-make and flavorful recipe and it will quickly become a family favorite dish! It's gluten-free, packed with protein and fiber. This basic recipe will impress you with its simplicity. It's so easy, you can quickly make it on a busy weeknight!
- First, the acorn squash is roasted in the oven.
- While the squash is being roasted, prepare the stuffing by cooking the onion, sausage, garlic, spices, and then adding spinach, dried cranberries, and pecans.
- Stuff the roasted acorn squash halves with the sausage mixture you just cooked, and the dinner is ready! Very simple yet beautiful and delicious!
Holiday side dish or main course
One of the reasons I love Fall and Winter is because that's when we get to cook winter squash. I especially love squash recipes that feature savory ingredients, such as this butternut squash and spinach lasagna or this black bean butternut squash enchilada casserole.
This delicious sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe combines savory and sweet flavors, is gluten-free, and is perfect for the Fall and Winter seasons. It's a great choice as a holiday side dish or main course for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve.
Variations and Substitutions
This is a GREAT base recipe for stuffed acorn squash. It comes together quickly, the recipe steps are easy, and many ingredients can be omitted altogether or replaced with something else similar. The recipe is versatile and easily adjustable to what you have available on hand.
- Sausage. This recipe works the best with spicy Italian sausage which adds lots of savory flavors and a bit of spice to the squash. You can use any other type of spicy sausage. If you don't like spicy sausage, use mild or sweet Italian sausage. You can also use chicken sausage. I used crumbled sausage, however, you can use the one in casings, too - just remove the casings and crumble it as you cook it.
- Onion. The onion is lightly caramelized in the beginning and then combined with sausage. You can use any variety of onions: sweet onions, yellow onions, or white onions.
- Spinach. Use either fresh or frozen spinach (thawed completely and drained of any liquid). You can also use kale or Swiss chard instead.
- Nuts. While pecans are an excellent choice here, you can easily use many other types of nuts, including pine nuts, cashews, or slivered almonds.
- Dried cranberries. You can also use dried figs, raisins, or dried cherries.
- Italian seasoning combines just the right dried herbs and is perfect for the stuffed acorn squash with sausage! You can also use fresh herbs if you like, such as thyme, sage, or oregano. But, since the sausage has such a strong flavor, just stick with dried herb mix - it works the best here!
How to cut acorn squash
- First, Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Keep fingers away from the knife to avoid injury. And, make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash.
- Then, slice each squash in half.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.
How to make sausage stuffed acorn squash
- Roast the squash. You will need 2 medium-size squashes. Carefully slice each one in half, scoop out the seeds. You will have 4 acorn squash halves. Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.
- Make the filling. While the squash is being roasted, prepare the sausage filling. First, cook together onions and sausage. Then, add Italian seasoning, minced garlic. Finally, add spinach, cooking it until it wilts. Then, mix in dried cranberries and pecans.
- Stuff the squash. Add the prepared sausage filling from the previous step into the cavities of each of the 4 acorn squash halves. Put it back in the oven at 350 F for about 10 or 20 minutes, and your sausage stuffed acorn squash is ready!
- Use crumbled sausage. It works the best for stuffing the acorn squash. However, if you bought sausage in casings, that's not a problem - just remove the casings and crumble the sausage as you cook it.
- Fresh spinach or frozen. I used fresh spinach but frozen spinach (thawed and drained well of all liquid) can be used here, as well.
- Salt. I did not add any salt to the sausage mixture, because my sausage was salty enough. If your sausage is not salty enough, feel free to season the stuffing with more salt. I did season the squash generously with salt and pepper when I roasted it.
- To use cooking time efficiently, make the sausage mixture while you roast the acorn squash in the oven.
- Bake or broil. You can broil the stuffed acorn squash briefly (for about 5 minutes) in the oven if you like. Watch the squash carefully - it can burn easily. Otherwise, once you stuff the squash, just reheat in the oven for 10 or 20 minutes just until the stuffing is warmed through.
How to store and reheat stuffed acorn squash
- Refrigerate. Store sausage stuffed acorn squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze. You can easily freeze this dish in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Reheat. Reheat the squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until all the ingredients are heated through.
What to serve with acorn squash
- Vegetables. Sausage stuffed acorn squash will pair beautifully with green vegetables such as these Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze or green beans with pine nuts.
- Fresh Salad. Serve this winter squash with a simple spinach salad or a basic arugula salad with lemon zest, Parmesan, and pine nuts.
- Winter Salad. Since the stuffed acorn squash is such a festive holiday recipe, why not pair it with an equally festive salad that features Fall and Winter seasonal ingredients? Take a look at this delicious Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, and Poppy Seed Honey-Lime Dressing or this amazing Mandarin Orange Salad with Balsamic Glaze.
Other holiday acorn squash recipes you will love
More delicious winter squash recipes you might like
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries
- Sheet Pan Maple-Dijon Chicken with Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
- Creamy Butternut Squash Orzo with Sausage
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash medium
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt or more
- black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion small, diced
- 10 oz Italian sausage spicy, crumbled
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 4 oz spinach fresh
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans chopped
Roast acorn squash
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare the acorn squash. Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Keep fingers away from the knife to avoid injury. And, make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash. Slice each squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.
- Place acorn squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cut sides of acorn squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper. Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.
- Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.
Make sausage filling
- Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.
- Add crumbled sausage, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes or more on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.
- Add fresh spinach and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the spinach wilts.
- Add dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.
- Season with salt and pepper. Probably not necessary since the sausage is already usually salty (unless you use sweet sausage which I do not recommend).
How to stuff acorn squash
- By this time, you have roasted the acorn squash for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.
- Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher.
- Bake the stuffed acorn squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for 10 or 20 more minutes until the sausage mixture is heated through.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.