Squash truly shines this time of year, when colder months have us craving yummy comfort food. Enter our ultimate stuffed acorn squash recipe, sure to become a legend in your household. Savory sausage, sweet apples, mild spinach, and fresh herbs combine for the most delicious stuffed acorn squash you’ll ever try. Read on for our classic recipe, plus some tips to customize it to your tastes, and some suggested food pairings.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squashes (medium-sized)
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 onion (yellow or white, medium-sized)
- 4 cloves garlic (fresh and minced)
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 apple (medium, cored and cubed)
- 1 1/4 tablespoons rosemary (fresh and roughly chopped)
- 1 1/4 tablespoons thyme (fresh with stems removed)
- 1 teaspoon pink salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 cup spinach
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- parchment paper
- baking sheet
- medium skillet
- basting brush
Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees and lining baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, cut squashes in half length wise. Scoop out seeds and discard them.
Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s warm, add diced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add pork sausage to skillet.
Place acorn squash onto lined baking sheet and brush remaining avocado oil onto squash with basting brush. Roast for 25 minutes in oven.
Back on the stovetop, break up ground sausage using spatula. Cook for about 6 minutes or until sausage is browned. Then add diced apple, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 1 tablespoon of thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook while stirring occasionally, about three to four minutes.
To the same skillet, add spinach and cook for a couple minutes until wilted. Mix in cooked quinoa and turn off heat.
Carefully remove squash from oven, then fill with stuffing mixture. Broil for 5 minutes until top gets a bit crispy but not burnt.
Remove squash from under broiler and garnish with remaining fresh rosemary and thyme. Let rest for about five minutes to cool, then enjoy!
If spinach is unavailable, substitute any one cup of your favorite greens like swiss chard, baby kale, or arugula.
Now that we’ve mastered this version of stuffed squash, let’s discuss some easy tweaks to really express your culinary creativity.
- Veggie Version: To make this a vegetarian-friendly option, simply leave out the pork sausage. Crumbled cauliflower or umami-packed mushrooms could be substituted, just be sure to add more salt and pepper to make up for the missing meat.
- Decadent Dessert: For a sweeter take, consider squash as a vehicle for dessert. Simply roast as usual, then stuff with dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds and brown sugar. Or, you could fill the acorn squash with apple crumble since those flavors would pair beautifully together.
- Simply Southwest: Another cool idea is to channel some spicier flavors and embrace a Southwest version of stuffed squash. Use black beans, tomatoes, corn, ground beef, and taco seasoning to achieve this. Garnish with fresh cilantro and cubed avocado.
- Great Garnishes: For added texture, consider some toasted and chopped nuts as a topper for this dish. Or, for some extra salty goodness, crumbled feta is another fun addition. For a gourmet take, adorn the top of your squash with a sprig of fried rosemary. Not only will this connect to the stuffing that contains the fresh herb, but it is an unexpected twist on a usual topping and adds satisfying crunch in a cool way.
This stuffed squash is hearty enough to enjoy alone for a meal, but if you’d like to add a little something, we have some ideas.
- Charming Chestnut Bisque: This warm and nutty soup uses a classic Christmas ingredient as the star. It would be a great appetizer while the squash is cooling after broiling.
- Super Salad: A basic spinach salad would be another ideal side dish for this meal. Add some candied walnuts for sweetness and crunch, a light lemony vinaigrette, and apples to connect to the squash stuffing.
Overall, we hope you’ve enjoyed our delicious stuffed acorn squash recipe, plus tips for changing it up and foods with which to serve it. We know this will become a family-favorite recipe!