This recipe is one of the best reasons to look forward to fall. When acorn squash is in season, it’s delicious and usually really budget-friendly too. My favorite (only?) way to use it is to make stuffed squash with sausage. It’s an easy recipe but this one will take a little bit of oven time. It isn’t something you whip together when you’re in a hurry.
I think maybe some people cook this as a side dish but in our family we have it as a main course. My mom used to make this when we were growing up and she always served it as a main course, and I completely understand why. It isn’t difficult to make, as I said, but it does have steps and it does take some time, so unless the main dish is going to be a nice juicy steak that hubs cooks on the grill, stuffed squash is what we’re having for supper.
There are two stages to this recipe: the oven roasting and the stovetop frying.
The oven-roasting stage
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prep your squash: Start by rinsing the exterior of the squash with a splash of running water just to clean it up on the outside. Next, take a good long sturdy knife and cut each acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds inside and give another quick rinse if you need to.
Lay some parchment paper down on a sheet pan or baking sheet. Lightly oil the interior of the squash, place it cut side down on the baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.
The stovetop frying stage
Next, fry up the sausage in a skillet on the stove. Add your celery, onions, and seasonings once the sausage is brown and stir them around a bit until they are lightly softened. Mix in your bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and stir it around too. Remove from heat.
Bringing it all together
When the acorn squash is fork-tender (it should be soft enough to eat but firm enough to hold its shape), remove pan from the oven, flip over each half and fill each cavity with the sausage mixture. (Be careful – they are hot!)
Top each acorn squash half with some extra parmesan cheese. Put them back in the oven for about 10 or 15 minutes to reheat everything and melt the cheese on top. Mmmm mmm good!
2 acorn squash
1 or 2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, canola, etc.)
1 lb bulk pork sausage
2 medium stalks of celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small apple, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, or garlic powder to taste
1 tsp rosemary (I like rosemary, so I use two or three shakes)
salt and pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Even if you’ve never made acorn squash before, you can make this dish. The tricky part is cutting the acorn squash, which is why you need a good sturdy knife – like a 7″ or 8″ chef’s knife, not a steak knife or a paring knife! The squash is very firm when you’re first cutting into it. It’s a little firmer than a watermelon and cutting it is just as awkward. Just keep your fingers well away from the knife and take your time.
I should also warn you that you’ll want this again very soon. And as far as I know, there’s absolutely no reason not to make this as many times as you can during squash season, so go for it.