Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries Recipe
As the crisp autumn breeze sweeps through, it’s time to savor the season with a delightful dish that captures the essence of fall. Our Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries is a symphony of flavors that will elevate your autumn dining experience. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and create this mouthwatering recipe together.
Ingredients for the Perfect Stuffed Acorn Squash
Gather the following ingredients to prepare this savory and sweet dish:
- Acorn squash (halved and seeds removed)
- Sweet Italian sausage
- Apples (peeled and diced)
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped onions
- Garlic cloves (minced)
- Fresh sage leaves
- Maple syrup
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting the Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Prepping the Squash:
- Cut the acorn squash in half, removing the seeds and creating a cavity for the stuffing. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roasting the Squash:
- Place the squash halves on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) until they are tender. This usually takes about 30-40 minutes.
- Cooking the Sausage:
- In a skillet, cook the sweet Italian sausage over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Break it into crumbles for an even distribution in the stuffing.
- Creating the Flavorful Stuffing:
- In the same skillet, sauté chopped onions until translucent. Add minced garlic, diced apples, and fresh sage leaves, cooking until the apples are slightly softened.
- Mixing in the Goodness:
- Combine the cooked sausage with the sautéed apple mixture. Add dried cranberries and a drizzle of maple syrup for that perfect balance of sweetness and savory.
- Filling the Squash:
- Spoon the sausage and apple mixture into the roasted acorn squash halves, generously filling the cavities.
- Baking to Perfection:
- Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the stuffing to get a delicious golden brown color.
For a complete dining experience, consider pairing this Stuffed Acorn Squash with a crisp and chilled Chardonnay or a light-bodied Pinot Grigio. The subtle notes of these wines will complement the richness of the dish.
Setting the Scene:
As the Stuffed Acorn Squash bakes, your kitchen will be filled with the irresistible aroma of fall. Set the table with autumn-themed décor, light some candles, and let the warmth of the season envelop you and your guests.
In conclusion, this recipe is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of autumn’s bounty. Invite friends and family to share in the joy of this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries, and create cherished memories around the dinner table.
- Can I use a different type of sausage?
- Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different sausages to suit your taste preferences.
- What can I substitute for dried cranberries?
- Golden raisins or chopped dried apricots make excellent alternatives for a similar sweet-tart contrast.
- Can I make this dish ahead of time?
- Yes, you can prepare the stuffing in advance and assemble the dish right before baking for convenience.
- Do I have to peel the apples?
- While peeling is recommended for a smoother texture, you can leave the peel on for added fiber and a rustic touch.
- Can I make a vegetarian version of this dish?
- Certainly! Substitute the sausage with plant-based alternatives for a delicious vegetarian option.
- 2 small/med acorn squash
- 1 tsp organic coconut oil or ghee, plus sea salt, for roasting
- 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil or ghee, plus more, if needed
- 1 lb pork sausage bulk, sugar-free for Whole30
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small apple diced (pink lady is my favorite for cooking)
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves minced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries fruit-sweetened for Whole30
- 1/3 cup raw pecans chopped, toasted prior to adding, if desired
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley for garnish if desired
First, roast the squash. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Cut each squash open, lengthwise, the scoop out the seeds/strings with a spoon, leaving a “bowl” in the center.
Brush the top of each squash half with melted coconut oil (or ghee) and sprinkle lightly with sea salt, then place face down on prepared baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until top of the squash feels soft when you press on it.
Roasting time will vary depending on the size of your squash. You can remove, check for doneness (it should be soft enough to eat) and return the the oven for a few more minutes if necessary.
While the squash roasts, prepare the stuffing. Heat a med/large skillet over med-hi heat and add a Tbsp coconut oil or ghee to melt. Add your sausage, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon to evenly brown. Once browned, remove from heat and transfer to a plate, leaving fat in the skillet.
Return skillet to medium heat and add the onions and celery, stirring while cooking to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring to avoid browning.
Add the diced apples, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to allow apples to soften.
Then add the cranberries, pecans, plus browned sausage back to the skillet, lower heat to med/low and continue to cook another 2 minutes to blend flavors.
Once ready to stuff the squash, preheat your broiler and arrange the 4 squash halves face-up on the baking sheet. Scoop the stuffing mixture into each one, adding as much as you want to each. You might have leftover stuffing depending on how large your squash are and how much you fill them.
Once filled, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until tops of stuffing and squash are nicely browned, 5 minutes or so. Garnish with fresh minced parsley, serve and enjoy!
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 6
Amount Per ServingCalories 2752Total Fat 194gSaturated Fat 73gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 108gCholesterol 456mgSodium 4663mgCarbohydrates 180gFiber 35gSugar 88gProtein 96g
The information contained herein is subject to change.