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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

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You need just 10 ingredients to make this delicious Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash! Perfectly roasted squash is filled with Italian sausage, colourful vegetables and topped with parmesan. It’s a nourishing meal that’s quick enough for weeknights!

If you’re looking for more stuffed squash ideas, try my Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash!

Sausage stuffed acorn squash on a parchment-lined baking tray.

I love fall food and stuffed squash is one of the main reasons. Roasted squash with the caramelized edges…so delicious! Acorn squash is perfect to use for stuffed squash because of its size and beautiful shape. It makes an impressive main course with the pretty scalloped edges and the filling piled high. You could even make this for a low-key, non-traditional holiday dinner. Your guests will be impressed!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!

  • Acorn squash – medium sized, large enough that they can act as a bowl.
  • Olive oil – to brush on the squash and for sautéing
  • Onion, red pepper, celery and garlic – for flavour, colour and crunch!
  • Fresh thyme – chopped small. You can substitute half a teaspoon dried thyme, if necessary.
  • Italian sausage – mild or spicy, your choice! Remove the casings and crumble the meat.
  • Kale – green curly kale is perfect for this recipe (it wilts nicely and keeps a nice shape). You could also substitute baby spinach, if desired.
  • Parmesan cheese – to mix in to the filling and melt on top.
Ingredients needed to make sausage stuffed squash viewed from overhead.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Get the oven ready and prep the squash

Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so each half will sit flat, then slice the squash in half across the middle (not through the stem) and scoop out the seeds.

Four uncooked acorn squash halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Roast the squash

Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil, then place them face down on the baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.

Step 3: Prepare the filling

While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and red bell pepper and sauté until the onion is starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the fresh thyme.

Next, add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces, until the sausage is fully cooked through.

Step 4: Steam the kale and add parmesan

Place the kale on top of the mixture. Cover the pan and to let the kale wilt. After 1-2 minutes, give it a stir and re-cover to continue to wilt, if necessary. Stir in half the parmesan cheese, then remove from heat.

Cooked ground Italian sausage, kale, red pepper, onion and celery in a black frying pan.

Step 5: Stuff the squash and broil

Once the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Flip the halves over on the sheet pan and scoop the filling into each (mound it up so they’re overfull). Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the parmesan is melted. Serve immediately.

Four sausage stuffed acorn squash halves on a baking sheet.

Tips for success

Be sure the halves will sit flat. Slice off the smallest piece possible off the top and bottom, so when they’re flipped over as bowls, they will sit flat on the plate. Use a sharp knife and a steady cutting surface, to be safe while slicing.

Use a grapefruit spoon or melon baller to scoop out the seeds. So much easier than using a regular spoon!

Use ground sausage to save prep time. If available at your grocery store, you can buy ground Italian sausage so you can skip the step of removing casings.

Watch it closely during broil. You don’t want the squash and toppings to brown too much.

Stretch the recipe to serve 6. You can use three acorn squash and divide the filling among all the halves. The squash won’t be as overfull, but it’s an easy way to serve more people!

How to reheat stuffed squash

This recipe is fantastic for meal prep or as leftovers! Simply reheat the halves on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 350 °F for about 20 minutes, or until heated through. You can also microwave it for up to 3 minutes, but you’ll need to stir the filling partway to make sure it heats evenly.

Sausage stuffed acorn squash on a parchment-lined baking tray viewed from overhead.

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Sausage stuffed acorn squash on a parchment-lined baking tray.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Laura Lawless, BASc
You need just 10 ingredients to make this delicious Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash! Perfectly roasted squash is filled with Italian sausage, colourful vegetables and topped with parmesan. It's a nourishing meal that's quick enough for weeknights!
5 from 31 votes
Servings 4
Calories 552
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or half a teaspoon dried)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups torn curly kale
  • ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.
  • Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.
  • Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.
  • Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they'll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.
  • Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash. Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within 4 days.

Notes

To serve 6: Use 3 acorn squash and divide the filling among 6 halves. Follow the remainder of recipe as written.
To reheat: Reheat in the oven at 350 °F for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Or, microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring the filling halfway through.   

Equipment

Chef’s Knife
Large Sheet Pan
Skillet with Lid
Box Grater

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1263mg | Potassium: 1277mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5255IU | Vitamin C: 107mg | Calcium: 356mg | Iron: 4mg
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If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
I’d love to hear from you!

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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




50 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night with frozen acorn squash slices from earlier in the season , and it was delicious! Used a spicer sausage and the sweet of the acorn squash was so good with the sausage flavor! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Lois Luckovich says:

    My Dad used meatloaf to stuff spaghetti squashes so I’ll definitely be trying this recipe

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  3. Gail Gray-Habig says:

    5 stars
    This is D-luscious. So, try it you’ll love it.

  4. Dave Spence says:

    This looks wonderful. We are going to make it today. One question, are the nutritional facts based on the whole recipe or is that 552/ serving?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Dave, nutrition info is per serving (all ingredients divided by 4).

      1. Dave Spence says:

        Thanks for the info Laura. The recipe was full of flavor and so satisfying. We loved it!

      2. Dave Spence says:

        5 stars
        Forgot to star it! 5!

  5. 5 stars
    Very good, and surprisingly filling! My only suggestion would be to sauté the celery for a minute or two on its own prior to adding the other vegetables to the pan. Mine was still a bit crunchy when I was done. Overall though, very easy and a wonderful fall recipe

  6. Karen Hubbard says:

    5 stars
    This was the MOST DELICIOUS meal I’ve had in a very long time. Super simple to prepare ! I used turkey sausage instead of regular but it was just as good I think. I made it the other night and shared it with my neighbor (single guy) and my elderly boss and his wife. I’ve shared this recipe with my friends and family. Thanks for a delicious and healthy dinner idea !

  7. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was a big hit with my husband and our son. My husband is worse than a child when it comes to getting him to eat new vegetables. So when I told him he was going to be trying acorn squash, he was appalled lol. But when I served this meal he was surprised and really enjoy it. Definitely will be making this again!

  8. 5 stars
    Made it as a casserole. Roasted slices of acorn squash, skin and all. Sautéed onions carrots and celery in a pan. Then sautéed turkey sausage separately. Combined everything with around a cup of stuffing and tucked it into 350 oven, covered with Parmesan, panko and foil. Removed foil 40 mins in and baked for another 10 minutes. Omg. So good.

  9. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight, and it was AMAZING!!! We used three acorn squash for the amount of mixture.

  10. Carol Polanski says:

    5 stars
    Delicious fall dinner! My family loved it. I will definitely make this again.

  11. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I have made it twice now and my family likes it too.Great way to hide vegetables.One us really a complete meal, I just served it with fruit.Very filling.

  12. 5 stars
    My whole family loved it!

  13. The ingredients were great. I found the cooking time to be way off (mine were not even close to being done in 25 minutes so I added another 25. Also the volume of stuffing is for about 6 halves, not 4.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Sounds like your squash had a thicker flesh portion and shallower seed area than mine. 25 minutes has always been enough for the medium-sized squash that I’ve used, but yes, I suggest cooking until fork tender to account for variances in squash/ovens!

  14. 5 stars
    Amazing!!! Made this for the first time and it was so good. Did not change anything. Amazing recipe

  15. Debra Levy says:

    5 stars
    We just made this for dinner tonight as the temps in Atlanta are nearing freezing in October. We ended up baking some spaghetti squash as well and served as side with the extra meat sauce. This dish is absolutely delicious!!! Wow- we made it with spicy sausage which made it especially tasty and so satisfying. Thank you for a great dish that we will be making again and again and again.

  16. 5 stars
    I had some leftover so I added chicken broth, more kale & half & half & turned it into soup

    1. 5 stars
      I made this for dinner tonight for my husband and daughter and I and we all loved it! I’m a vegetarian so I used the Beyond Meat Italian sausage but it was still so good and the fact that it is healthy and can be an entire meal on its own or just had some yummy bread on the side (which I did) makes it even better. I will definitely be making again!

    2. Brilliant, thinking of what to do with the leftovers and this is perfect—thank you!

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious, thank you very easy to make, will make this again.

  18. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe last night and it was a huge hit! Thank you for your post my family really enjoyed it. My husband suggested it could be something we serve at a dinner party or around Thanksgiving haha teenage daughter didn’t look up from her plate to answer me when asked how it was. She just said ‘it’s delicious!’

  19. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used spinach instead of kale. I added, Italian diced tomatoes, basil pesto, Italian seasoning and spaghetti sauce. My husband doesn’t really care for squash but he really liked this. I will definitely make this again.

    1. 5 stars
      This was my first time making acorn squash. I loved it and will be making again.

  20. 5 stars
    This was delicious and it tasted like fall! My husband liked it too which was a bonus.

  21. 5 stars
    Excellent wholesome meal…I did make some changes..I used
    ground beef instead of sausage…( didn’t have the sausage on hand)and instead of the kale( not a fan) I substituted Arugula which was delicious and a great replacement we felt. I will be making this dish again…Thank you♥️

  22. 5 stars
    Quite good, a friend who doesn’t like squash said they would eat it again. Three additions, about 1 tbs tomato paste, more garlic asnd added bread crumbs to cheese. Didn’t have celery so used celery flakes, nor did I have parmesan, used asiago instead.
    Cooked the sausage separately to limit grease/fat.

  23. 5 stars
    My first time making stuffed acorn squash, but it will not be my last. Wonderful, guest-worthy dish with a bonus of being easy to prepare.

  24. Any tips on making this vegan for a few of my guests? Not well versed in vegan alternatives for cooking. Anyone? 🙂

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Cassie, the closest swap to make it vegan would be to use Beyond Meat Italian sausage (or other vegan sausage alternative). Another reader used the Beyond brand and loved it. You’ll also want to omit the parmesan, or use a vegan parm. If leaving out the cheese, I’d top with breadcrumbs instead.

  25. Any thoughts on freezing these?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Should be fine to freeze for up to 3 months wrapped tightly (a freezer bag is likely the easiest storage so they don’t get squished). Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350F until it reaches 165F in the middle.

  26. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Best stuffed acorn squash recipe I’ve tried thus far. I had leftover breadcrumbs with parsley so tossed those on top right before broiling along with the parm for a little extra crunch. The flavors of the rest of the ingredients are spot on—I’ll be adding it to our weekly rotation this fall!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Love hearing this, Alyssa! Thanks for leaving a review!

  27. Jackie Toothman says:

    5 stars
    I used spinach instead of kale and added chopped apple. My daughter moaned with each bite, between saying “It’s sooo good!” Autumn in your mouth!

  28. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I used Beyond Spicy Italian Sausage because I don’t like the texture of real sausage, it worked perfectly. I did notice that it doesn’t say when to add the sausage, just a later note in Step 5 saying to cook until sausage is cooked through. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Love that you used Beyond Sausage, I’m going to try that! I double checked my instructions to be sure – it says to add the sausage in step 5, first sentence 🙂

  29. Valarie Sanford says:

    5 stars
    We love this Laura! Thank you so much!

  30. 5 stars
    Made this today … OMG it’s to die for. Scooping out the squash down below the sausage is so, so friggin tasty! Definitely will be making this again. Thank you!!!

  31. 5 stars
    My husband and I loved this recipe. I wanted to do something similar for our family Christmas so I made a deconstructed version using cubed butternut squash. Everyone loved it!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear you like it! I’ll have to try a deconstructed version sometime 🙂

  32. 5 stars
    These were awesome! I used half of an orange bell pepper, and about half a cup of chopped onion to suit our tastes. For the sausage, I used a ground bison Italian sausage from Wild Idea Buffalo. I also used more Parm than called for – maybe a full cup or a bit more. I will absolutely make these again.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you enjoyed the recipe, Amy!

  33. Kathy Menold says:

    We lo e all winter squash and I can’t wait to try this new recipe. I make a stuffing ,cranberry and sage flavored breakfast sausage acorn squash and the kids loved it but your version sounds a bit healthier and lower in calories now that it is just my husband and I. Thanks for all your recipes.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      You’re so welcome! I hope you enjoy!

  34. 5 stars
    I followed this exactly with the exception of using dried thyme instead of fresh & I sautéed some mushrooms & added on top before the parmesan. Honestly, these were delicious! Even better than I expected. The flavor combination is so yummy! Will definitely make again.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Thrilled to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Adding mushrooms sounds delicious. Thanks for leaving a review!