Stuffed acorn squash is a great way to appreciate the abundance of fall. This complete meal is stuffed with Italian sausage, kale and sweet apples.
Is this recipe healthy?
Like other winter squash, acorn squash is a great choice for a healthy meal. It is a low calorie vegetable that is very filling by itself or with other ingredients. When you eat acorn squash you will be getting a serving of all of the following:
- Vitamin C
This recipe is also Whole30, paleo and gluten-free. It’s low in sugar too since I used sugar-free dried cranberries and I also used nitrate-free sausage. A good company that I like to recommend is ButcherBox. They delivery at your door meat, chicken, pork, bacon and sausages all certified humane and free from added antibiotics and hormones.
How do you prepare acorn squash?
During the fall, acorn squash is abundant and affordable. Plan for each person to eat half of an acorn squash.
To prepare your acorn squash:
- Select squashes that are a dark green color with no blemishes. Find ones that are heavy for their size.
- Cut the squash in half. Because of the ribbed texture of the squash, it is easier to place it on a towel to cut. Use a sharp knife and start between one of the ridges.
- Cut out the stem.
- Scoop out the pulp and seeds. The seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.
- Pour olive oil on the flesh of the squash then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash skin side up on a greased baking sheet and roast for 50-60 minutes.
Now you have a bowl of sweet mild squash ready to fill with your favorite ingredients.
Can you eat acorn squash skin?
After roasting the acorn squash, the skin becomes soft enough to eat. It will come apart on your fork with the rest of the ingredients.
However, if you prefer not to eat it, you will be able to easily separate the skin from the flesh while eating the squash.
What goes with squash?
Squash pairs well with meats that are flavorful. In this dish, we use Italian sausage. Adding acorn squash to chicken or pork is also a great choice because the meat is slightly sweet but still tender and juicy. Grilled meat also tastes great with acorn squash .
In this stuffed acorn squash, I added other sweet ingredients like the apple slices and the cranberries. These complex flavor combinations are so satisfying.
By using the sausage and vegetables, this recipe is easily adaptable for any diet plan such as paleo or Whole30. As opposed to recipes that use bread for stuffing, this one is still filling but much healthier.
Other healthy ingredients you can add to your stuffed acorn squash are:
- Goat cheese
- Pumpkin seeds
More Acorn Squash to Try:
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 small/med acorn squash - cut in half and set seeds aside
- 1 tbsp olive oil - plus sea salt and black pepper, for roasting
- 1 tbsp olive oil - for cooking the sausage
- ½ lb Italian sausage - sugar and nitrate free for Whole30
- 1 cup red onion - chopped
- 1 cup green bell pepper - chopped
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 medium apple diced - I used Honey Crispy apple.
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves - chopped
- 1 cup kale - chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries fruit-sweetened - for Whole30
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley - for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Pour olive oil over the acorn squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in over for 50-60 minutes, until skin is soft and fork-tender (Roasting time will vary depending on the size of your squash).
- While squash roasts, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add sausage and using a wood spoon break into coarse pieces. Cook until brown. It’s about 5-6 minutes. Then, set it aside, but leaving fat in the skillet.
- In the same skillet, add onions and green bell pepper; cook until they’re soft, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add diced apple, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute and add chopped kale and cranberry. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Bring back the sausage and stir well to combine and cook just for 1-2 minutes to blend flavours.
- Preheat your broiler and divide apple-sausage filling among squashes.
- Once filled, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until for 5 minutes or so. Garnish with fresh minced parsley and enjoy!
If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!