It’s hard for me to think of a more autumnal dish than sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash. Italian sausage, sage, and Granny Smith apples combine to make the perfect stuffing in this easy comfort food recipe.
Every time the fall season rolls in squash recipes are on our menu.
I love the versatility of squash, whether it’s stuffing it like in this recipe, using it in pasta dishes or just simply roasted.
I love squash!
You probably do too – here’s a few more recipes:
- Butternut Squash With Brown Sugar Recipe– A great fall side dish.
- Maybe you’re in the mood for a hearty Stewed Butternut Squash Chili – a vegan chili with roasted poblano peppers.
- If you’re looking for a soup recipe, check out this Vegan Butternut Squash Soup With Maple Syrup. It’s a super easy recipe with great flavor from the squash, carrot and maple syrup combination.
But, let’s move on to what you’re here for…
Sausage And Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients:
- 2 Medium Acorn Squash – I like to use squash that are about 5-6 inches long. The size is not that important, but make sure the 2 are similarly sized so that cooking time will be the same for the both of them.
- 1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage – Fennel or plain is totally fine. If you can buy ground sausage it will save you the step of removing the sausage from the casings. This is not a big deal though!
- 3 Granny Smith Apples – About 2 cups of chopped apples are needed, but the measurement does not have to be exact – if you like more apples go for it!
- 3/4 cup of pecorino romano – 1/2 cup will be used in the stuffing and the last 1/4 cup is sprinkled on top before serving.
- 1/4 cup of olive oil – For roasting the squash and sauteing the sausage.
- 6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter – A little less than 1 stick of butter.
- 3/4 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs – Used as the binding agent for the stuffing.
- 2 cups of low sodium chicken stock – Make sure to use low sodium as the pecorino cheese and sausage already have a lot of sodium.
- 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 20 fresh sage leaves – About 1 Tbsp of chopped sage – If you love sage feel free to add more!
How To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- Start with 2 medium acorn squash. Turn oven on to 400f and place rack in middle.
- Picture of the apples, grated pecorino, and fresh sage. Disregard the onion as that is not in the recipe.
- Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a metal spoon. They can also be cut the other way – which to be honest gives a nicer presentation. You will lose part of the squash though, because a flat bottom needs to be cut on the pointy end.
- Season the acorn squash with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. A brush works well for the olive oil. After the Acorn squash is seasoned turn them cut side down on the tray – the opposite of how they look in picture 4. They will steam and cook quicker this way. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the sausage from its casing and saute in 2 Tbsp of olive over medium heat in a large pan. Use a wooden spoon to break up any large pieces of sausage.
- After about 10-15 minutes and the sausage is brown add the 2 cups of chicken stock, sage, and pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge all of the brown flavor bits.
- Add the chopped Granny Smith apples and 2 Tbsp of butter to the pan and cook for 3 minutes to let the butter melt.
- Add a 1/2 cup of pecorino and 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs to the pan and mix it all together to incorporate the flavors.
- Mix the stuffing thoroughly. It will be a wet mixture.
- When the Acorn squash have finished baking turn them back over as shown in picture 10. They should be pretty soft when piercing the flesh with a fork.
- Stuff the acorn squash with the stuffing mixture. Pile it on high. Any extra can be placed in a baking dish and cooked along with the sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash.
- Add 1 Tbsp of butter on top of each squash. Lightly cover with foil and bake in oven for 35 minutes at 400f
- Check the stuffed squash after 35 minutes to ensure the flesh is nice and tender. If not bake for 10 more minutes or so. Enjoy!
That’s all there is to it, to make this awesome sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash recipe.
Some Common Questions:
What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?
Acorn Squash has a mild, not quite bland taste. Less flavorful than a pumpkin or butternut squash, it excels at taking on other flavors. It acts as a blank canvas. This is why I think it’s the best squash to use for stuffing. And, there are so many ways to stuff it!
What To Stuff Acorn Squash With:
Obviously I think an apple and sausage stuffing is perfect, but what about a risotto?
I had an unbelievable seafood risotto stuffed acorn squash at one of my favorite Italian restaurants once.
Wild rice, cranberry, and nuts makes an awesome stuffing as well.
Or just use the halves for soup bowls and make a curried acorn squash soup to serve in it!
How To Cook Acorn Squash Fast:
So this recipe takes a while. It’s worth it!
But, if you are pressed for time it can be sped up dramatically by cutting in half, cleaning, and cooking in a microwave cut side down. 10-12 minutes and it will be tender and ready for the stuffing. The cut side down method which is the same used while baking creates a steaming effect to speed up the cooking process.
On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being easy this recipe is a solid 2. Really the only hangup might be not letting the acorn squash cook long enough. They take some time to get tender so plan accordingly.
What Goes With Stuffed Acorn Squash?
For this fall inspired dish I have a few recommendations:
- Easy Baked Chicken Legs – These chicken legs which are oven baked are real easy and go perfectly with the sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash. I would probably serve a half of one acorn squash with the chicken legs for a full meal.
- Easy Green Beans Almondine – Just a perfect healthy side when you are in the mood for something green.
- Italian Vegetables – A nice healthy side of Italian roasted veggies with a lemon caper sauce.
- White Wine Sangria Recipe – Pear and apple sangria that goes so well with this dish.
- Apple Cider Cocktail With Maple Syrup – Bourbon cocktail that is 100% fall flavors.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?
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Fall comfort food at its best! This sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash recipe checks off all the right boxes with a buttery sage and pecorino cheese stuffing.
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1 pound Sweet Italian sausage
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples
- 3/4 cup grated pecorino
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
Turn oven on to 400f and place rack in middle. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds with a metal spoon. Season squash with 2 Tbsp of olive oil 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Turn squash cut side down on sheet pan and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until tender.
Rough chop 2 cups of Granny Smith apples. Chop the sage leaves coarsely.
Remove sausage from its casing and saute in large pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until browned and cooked through.
Add the chopped sage, 3/4 tsp of black pepper and the 2 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Scrape off brown bits on bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 minute.
Add the 2 cups of chopped apples and 2 Tbsp of butter to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes to coat the apples and melt the butter.
Add 1/2 cup of pecorino and 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs to the pan and thoroughly mix to incorporate.
Remove the acorn squash from the oven and turn them cup side up for stuffing. Stuff the squash, mounding it higher than the edge. Place 1 Tbsp of butter on each squash half. Cover lightly with foil and return to oven 35-40 minutes more of baking. Any remaining stuffing can be placed in a baking pan and cooked along side the squash.
Remove and test that the squash is tender. If not, return to the oven for 10 more minutes. When tender, sprinkle the last 1/4 cup of pecorino onto the 4 halves and serve. Enjoy!
The acorn squash cook quicker cut-side down because of the steaming action.
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