Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
Embrace the flavors of the season with this Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. It’s a delightful combination of sweet and savory, making it a perfect dish for autumn gatherings or a comforting weeknight dinner. The rich, earthy taste of acorn squash pairs perfectly with the sweetness of apples and the savoriness of sausage. Let’s dive into the details of how to create this heartwarming dish.
For the Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1 pound ground sausage (pork or turkey)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 apples, cored and diced (use a sweet variety)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Maple Glaze:
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preparing the Acorn Squash:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings.
- Brush the inside of the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Making the Filling:
- In a large skillet, cook the ground sausage over medium heat, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks. Once it’s browned and cooked through, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add a bit more olive oil if needed and sauté the chopped onions until they become translucent.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the diced apples and cook until they start to soften.
- Return the cooked sausage to the skillet and add dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and fresh sage. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling the Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- Turn the baked acorn squash halves over so they are cut side up.
- Stuff each squash half generously with the sausage and apple mixture.
- Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the tops are slightly browned.
Preparing the Maple Glaze:
- In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, butter, and cinnamon. Heat over low heat, stirring until the butter is melted, and the glaze is smooth.
- Drizzle the maple glaze over the stuffed acorn squash just before serving.
Why Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash?
A Taste of Autumn
This dish captures the essence of autumn, combining the seasonal richness of acorn squash with the sweet, crisp flavor of apples and the savory goodness of sausage. It’s a celebration of the fall harvest on your plate.
The combination of ingredients in this recipe creates a harmonious balance of sweet, savory, and nutty flavors that will delight your taste buds.
Versatile and Nutrient-Rich
Acorn squash is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. Paired with sausage and apples, you get a balanced, nutrient-rich meal.
Tips for Success
- Choose acorn squash that is firm and heavy for its size.
- For a healthier version, use turkey sausage and reduce the butter in the glaze.
- Experiment with different apple varieties to find your preferred level of sweetness.
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash is a wonderful dish that embodies the essence of autumn. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal or a special dish for a seasonal celebration, this recipe is sure to impress. Enjoy the rich, warm flavors and the joy of sharing this delightful meal with loved ones.
- Can I make this dish vegetarian?
Yes, you can substitute the sausage with plant-based sausage or crumbled tofu for a delicious vegetarian version.
- What kind of apples work best for this recipe?
Sweet apple varieties like Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Gala work well, but you can choose your favorite for a personalized touch.
- Is there a gluten-free version of this recipe?
To make it gluten-free, ensure your sausage and ingredients are gluten-free, and use a gluten-free alternative for the maple glaze, like cornstarch or a gluten-free flour.
- Can I prepare the stuffed squash in advance and bake it later?
Yes, you can prepare the stuffed acorn squash ahead of time and refrigerate it, then bake it when you’re ready to serve. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time to ensure it’s heated through.
- What can I serve as a side dish with this recipe?
A simple green salad or steamed vegetables make great sides to complement the flavors of the stuffed acorn squash.
- 2 small acorn squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Filling:
- 1 pound sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- several grindings black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds with a large spoon.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- While the squash cooks, add sausage into a cast iron skillet over medium heat and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it up into small chunks.
- Add in the onion, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Cook for a few more minutes, until cooked through and onions and celery have softened.
- Add in apples and sage.
- When finished baking, remove the baking sheet with acorn squash from the oven, and set on a heat resistant surface like a stove top or trivet.
- When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the soft squash and add it to the skillet with the sausage and veggie mixture.
- Add half of the parmesan.
- Scoop the squash, sausage, and veggie mixture back into the hollowed out squash.
- Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes until the cheese has started melting and the filling is starting to turn golden.
While this recipe uses acorn squash, you could substitute it with butternut squash if that is all you have. It will have a slightly different flavor.
Save the seeds, clean them, toss with oil and salt, and bake until toasted. Squash seeds make a healthy and yummy snack.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 4
Amount Per ServingCalories 2074Total Fat 154gSaturated Fat 51gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 83gCholesterol 305mgSodium 5648mgCarbohydrates 105gFiber 25gSugar 29gProtein 77g
The information contained herein is subject to change.