These perfect little pots of goodness are a self-contained autumn meal to keep your insides warm and happy. Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is bubbling over with some of your favorite fall flavors. This recipe is easy, but multi-layered, so make sure you’ve got some time to spare. I promise – it’s totally worth it!
I’m a big fan of foods stuffed with other foods (see stuffed mushrooms, stuffed peppers, stuffed zucchini, etc.). But stuffed squash doesn’t always necessarily ascend to “edible vessel” status (see stuffed spaghetti squash). Stuffed acorn squash is a glorious exception to that rule.
Intrepid diners can feast on the cooked skin of both acorn squash and delicata squash. If you’re a novice, try roasted acorn squash or air fryer acorn squash. If not, move right on to the part where you jam ’em full of tasty items, bake ’em, and make that whole “bowl” disappear!
Acorn squash with sausage stuffing is a jam-packed with fall flavors. In fact, depending on the audience, I’ve been known to swap the Italian sausage with fennel or sage sausage for added falliness. (Yes, Greg. That is a word.)
I have also been known to sprinkle more cheese on top for added cheesiness (also a word, Greg), but that has nothing to do with the season, just general self-respect.
The prep for this recipe does take a bit of legwork, but certainly doesn’t require a culinary degree – just a bit of time and possibly a mug full of mulled apple cider to sip while cooking.
How to Cut Acorn Squash
Start by washing your acorn squash first! Since acorn squash skin is edible, be sure to rinse thoroughly and use a vegetable brush to remove any dirt or debris before cooking.
After washing, slice the acorn squash in half widthwise using a sharp chef’s knife. (Dull knives can slip, and are therefore even more dangerous!) Scoop out the seeds and pulp to create the “bowl” for the stuffing – a melon baller works great for this, but a small spoon will do.
If you need a visual, view our step-by-step photo tutorial in this post, How to Cook Acorn Squash.
How to Make Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is a fall favorite! Italian sausage, cranberries, spinach, sage, and rosemary are stuffed into acorn squash, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and roasted until tender and bubbling.
- Heat the oven to 400°F and link a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim ½″ from the bottom and top of the squash, then slice in half widthwise (though the thickest part of the center) to create two “bowls”. Remove the pulp and seeds using a melon baller or small spoon.
- Rub each squash half with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange cavity side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, until the flesh is tender and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Cook the sausage, breaking up with a wood spoon, until no longer pink. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the sage, rosemary, and cranberries and cook until the cranberries soften. Stir in the spinach and cook until it wilts.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
- Flip over each squash, then divide the stuffing equally between cavity. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Return to the oven, turn on the broiler, and cook 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Garnish with more fresh herbs, if desired, and serve right away. Enjoy!
- Ripe acorn squash will have a full, matte skin that’s smooth to the touch. The most common varietal is dark green in color with a bright orange ground spot.
- Wash that squash! Acorn squash skin is edible, so be sure to thoroughly wash and dry before roasting.
- Safety first! Use a sharp chef’s knife (dull knives can slip!) and secure your cutting board before slicing.
- Use mild or sweet, not spicy, Italian sausage. The sweet and savory seasonings (cranberries, sage, and rosemary) pair best with a sweet sausage.
What to Serve with Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed acorn squash is really a meal unto itself, so we don’t recommend going overboard with sides. Leafy green salad is a perfect, simple partner. For super seasonal pairings, try our autumn crunch salad or arugula pear salad.
If you just want to toss together whatever greens you have, consider pulling the creamy maple dressing from this squash salad recipe.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Acorn Squash?
We don’t recommend freezing roasted acorn squash (it has a high water content and will not hold up well), however, you can prepare the sausage stuffing in advance – without the cheese – and freeze for up to 2 months.
Did you make this sausage stuffed acorn squash? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 3 acorn squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- ½ medium Vidalia (sweet) onion, diced to ½"
- 1 stalk celery, diced to ½"
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
- ½ c dried unsweetened cranberries
- 3 oz baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- ¾ c grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim both the tops and bottoms of the acorn squash. Slice each squash in half widthwise (though the thickest part) and scoop out seeds. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash, and rub into the flesh and skin. Sprinkle the flesh with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash cavity side down onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast 40 minutes until the flesh is tender and the skin can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
- While the squash roasts, prepare the stuffing. Heat a 10” skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently to break it up into small pieces, until no longer pink, 7-8 minutes.
- Add the onion and celery to the skillet and saute with the sausage until soft, 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and cranberries and saute, stirring frequently, until the cranberries start to soften. Add the spinach and saute, tossing continuously, until wilted.
- Remove from heat, then add ½ cup parmesan cheese and toss until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove the squash from the oven. Using tongs, flip over each squash half, being careful of any steam that may have built up.
- Divide the stuffing equally between each squash, the sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Flip the oven to the broiler setting and broil on high for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese starts bubbling.
- Garnish with fresh sage or rosemary and serve right away.