What’s more comforting than squash in the fall? I’ll wait.
To me, apples and squash define fall cooking and in this recipe you don’t have to choose between the two. The sausage and apple stuffing is reduced in apple cider with warming spices, nutmeg and cinnamon, and then baked into acorn squash halves. To me, fall is a time when flavors really shine – as the weather gets colder and kitchens get warmer, we get to experiment with baking again after a long, hot summer when the oven was avoided.
This stuffed acorn squash is perfect for a cozy autumn meal. Each squash half is one serving and you can bulk it up for dinner by serving a vegetable on the side or adding a grain, such as rice or quinoa, to the stuffing itself. Let me know how you decide to serve it in the comments. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Ingredients: makes 4 servings
- 2 acorn squash, halved
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 links of Italian sausage (I used sweet)
- 4 oz – 6 oz baby bella mushrooms (I used Trader Joe’s mushroom medley for added flavor), chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium apple, diced (I used a honey crisp apple)
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (you can also use 1/4 teaspoon of each nutmeg and cinnamon)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Start by baking the squash – preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully cut the squash in half. To make it easier, you can poke holes in the squash and microwave for 5 minutes to soften the squash. Once the squash are cut, scoop out the seeds and discard. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place the squash halves cut side up and drizzle 1 tsp olive oil in each half. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also added a pinch of brown sugar in each half l because who doesn’t want a little more sweetness? Bake in the center rack for 40 minutes.
While the squash is baking, make the stuffing. In a large skillet over medium, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil and add the sausage. Cook until brown and break up the pieces, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in the mushrooms, onion, apple, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Stir frequently until the vegetables and apple are soft. Pour in the apple cider and let the mixture simmer on low until the squash is cooked.
When the squash is finished cooking, lower the oven the 375 degrees F. Let the squash sit until it’s cool enough the handle. Once you can safely hold it, scoop out almost all the flesh, leaving some as a wall around the shell. Mix the flesh with the sausage and apple mixture. Add in the rosemary and parmesan and stir to combine.
Fill each acorn squash half with the stuffing. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. Bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the filling is hot.
Serve hot and enjoy!