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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

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!
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.   

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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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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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