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This Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is a gorgeous, hearty meal full of cozy flavors like winter squash, Italian turkey sausage, cranberries, and fresh herbs. No worries if you’re new to winter squash; I will show you how to easily cut and roast acorn squash to use it as a beautiful edible bowl!

stuffed acorn squash with salad

With winter squash, turkey sausage, cranberries, and fresh herbs, this recipe is full of autumnal flavors.

Of course it makes a lovely meal on any random fall or winter evening. But I have to admit, I wouldn’t be disappointed if this made an appearance on a holiday table! Especially if there are a couple festive side dishes accompanying it, like Corn Pudding or Cauliflower Gratin.

This feels like a special supper, but doesn’t require a ton of time and effort to make. It’s pretty enough to entertain with, but rustic enough for a weeknight family dinner.

If you’ve never cooked winter squash before, don’t be intimidated! Just make sure you’re using a sharp knife and take your time. I share step-by-step photos to show you how to do it. Also, check out my video to see the entire process in action.

fall dinner spread with plated meal

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Gorgeous presentation. Using acorn squash as the serving bowls makes this meal feel festive and autumnal.
  • Full meal in one. These beautiful stuffed squash boats are loaded with protein and vegetables, which makes them a full meal on their own.
  • Full of fall flavors. With acorn squash, turkey, cranberries, and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage, this dish packs a lot of fall flavors. It’s easy enough for any autumnal dinner and pretty enough for a special occasion, but doesn’t have to be reserved for just holidays!
stuffed acorn squash recipe graphic

What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?

It has a slightly sweet, subtly nutty flavor. Acorn squash is similar to butternut squash, but with a milder flavor due to a higher water content, and a bit more fibrous texture.

The nice thing about acorn squash is makes a beautiful serving presentation because of its bowl shape. If you cut it in half and hollow it out, it makes the perfect vessel for serving food!

Can You Eat the Skin of Acorn Squash?

Yes, the skin of acorn squash is edible! However, it can be very tough even when the flesh of the squash is tender. It’s up to you if you want to eat it or not.

sausage stuffed acorn squash on black plate

Can You Add Rice to this Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash?

Yes! You can use just about any type of rice you like – jasmine, basmati, brown, wild rice – they all go well here. And adding rice is a great way to save money and make this meal stretch!

Cook the rice before you add it to the cooked meat mixture.

If you’re wondering how much rice to add, go with 2 cups of cooked rice for this recipe and use 4 acorn squashes instead of 3. This will yield 8 servings instead of 6.

The Best Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Ingredients

ingredients for sausage stuffed acorn squash

Roasted Acorn Squash:

  • Acorn squash – this is a type of winter squash (like butternut squash) that yields natural edible squash bowls that are perfect for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – this is my go-to cooking oil; you can use your go-to oil
  • Salt and black pepper – these are the only seasonings we need for perfect flavor

Sausage Stuffing:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – again, use your favorite oil here
  • Bulk Italian turkey sausage – or any kind of bulk sausage you like (see the Notes in the recipe card below for more info)
  • Onion – adds amazing savory flavor
  • Celery – a good way to get another veggie in (and add some crunch)
  • Garlic – aromatic and delicious
  • Rosemary – fresh is best, but dried will also work (use about 1/3 of the amount if using dried)
  • Thyme – fresh is best, but dried will also work (use about 1/3 of the amount if using dried)
  • Sage – fresh is best, but dried will also work (use about 1/3 of the amount if using dried)
  • Salt and black pepper – for the perfect seasoning level
  • Pine nuts – these add delicious nutty crunch, but you can use pecans, walnuts, almonds, or any type of nuts you like (or omit them if you prefer)
  • Dried cranberries – the touch of sweetness from dried cranberries helps balance this dish

Pro Tip: Bulk sausage is sausage meat that hasn’t been formed into links or patties. Look for it in the fresh ground meat section of your local grocery store (near ground turkey), or in the breakfast meat area (near the bacon).

Step-by-Step Instructions

how to make sausage stuffed acorn squash
  1. Cut both ends off of each squash (so that they’ll sit flat when they’re stuffed). Cut each squash in half horizontally, and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Place the squash into a casserole dish that’s large enough to hold them all. Drizzle on the oil, and sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Rub the oil and spices around the inside of each squash. Flip the squash over (so the cut sides are facing down), and cover the dish with foil. Roast until the squash is tender (a paring knife inserted in the squash should easily slide right out when it’s done), about 40 minutes at 425F.
  3. For the sausage stuffing, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat, and then stir in the onion and celery. Cook until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, black pepper, pine nuts, and cranberries. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  4. Once the squash is tender, flip each over so the cut sides are facing up. Divide the sausage stuffing between each squash cavity, mounding it up if necessary. Return it to the oven and bake until the stuffing is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Storage and Reheating

Store leftovers wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat stuffed acorn squash in a 375F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (or until warm throughout).

hand holding plate of acorn squash with sausage stuffing and salad

Cooks Tips

  • You can roast the squash seeds. To do so, scoop out the seeds and rinse them in a fine mesh sieve or strainer under running water to remove the stringy squash bits. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes in generously salted water. Drain the seeds and pat them dry. Roast at 400F with a drizzle of avocado oil and a sprinkle of whatever seasonings you like (I usually use a mix of garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper), tossing the seeds every 5 to 7 minutes. They usually take about 10 to 15 minutes to roast, depending on the size of the seeds.
  • Don’t rush the squash cook time. It should already be tender when you stuff it.
  • No worries if you can’t find bulk Italian turkey sausage! In the Notes in the recipe card below, I give instructions on how to season ground turkey to turn it into sausage. Or you can use any type of bulk sausage you like instead.
  • Easily get 2 more servings out of this recipe. Add 2 cups of cooked rice to the filling and use 4 acorn squash instead of 3 (this will yield 8 servings).
stuffed squash in casserole dish on wooden table

What to Serve with Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

autumn squash dinner with sausage

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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
This Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is a gorgeous, hearty meal full of cozy flavors like winter squash, Italian turkey sausage, cranberries, and fresh herbs. No worries if you’re new to winter squash; I will show you how to easily cut and roast acorn squash to use it as a beautiful edible bowl!

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Ingredients
 

Squash:

Sausage Stuffing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk Italian turkey sausage see Notes
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large stalks celery diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 6 tablespoons dried cranberries

Topping Suggestions:

  • Freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • Baby arugula or spinach leaves

Instructions
 

For the Squash:

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Cut both ends off of each squash (so that they’ll sit flat when they’re stuffed). Cut each squash in half horizontally, and scrape out the seeds.
    how to cut acorn squash and scoop out seeds
  • Place the squash into a casserole dish that’s large enough to hold them all. Drizzle on the oil, and sprinkle on the salt and black pepper. Rub the oil and spices around the inside of each squash.
  • Flip the squash over (so the cut sides are facing down), and cover the dish with foil. Roast until the squash is tender (a paring knife inserted in the squash should easily slide right out when it’s done), about 40 minutes.

For the Sausage Stuffing:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, and then stir in the onion and celery. Cook until the sausage is browned and the onion and celery are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, black pepper, pine nuts, and cranberries. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

To Stuff the Squash and Finish Baking:

  • Once the squash is tender, flip each over so the cut sides are facing up.
  • Divide the sausage stuffing between each squash cavity, mounding it up if necessary.
  • Return it to the oven and bake until the stuffing is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

To Serve:

  • Serve warm topped with freshly-grated parmesan cheese.

Video

Notes

  • Storage and Reheating: Store leftovers wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat stuffed acorn squash in a 375F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (or until warm throughout).
  • To Add Rice: Adding rice bumps up the flavor and nutrition and helps you get 2 more servings out of this recipe! To do so, add 2 cups of cooked rice to the filling and use 4 acorn squash instead of 3 (this will yield 8 servings).
  • Paleo Version: Don’t add freshly-grated parmesan cheese on top.
  • What is Bulk Sausage? Bulk sausage is sausage meat that hasn’t been formed into links or patties. Look for it in the fresh ground meat section of your local grocery store (near ground turkey), or in the breakfast meat area (near the bacon).
  • Italian Turkey Sausage: If you can’t find bulk Italian turkey sausage you can use pork sausage instead, or make your own turkey sausage! To make it, combine the following with 1 pound of ground turkey:
    • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
    • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Nutrition

Serving: 1stuffed squash half | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1399mg | Potassium: 1009mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 988IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

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sausage stuffed acorn squash pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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