Acorn Squash With Sausage Stuffing

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This Acorn Squash With Sausage Stuffing is baked in the oven to get the squash super tender before stuffing it with a moist sausage stuffing, dried cranberries, and walnuts for a bit of crunch.

» Check out these great pumpkin recipes to help use up all those beautiful pumpkins.

acorn squash

There’s nothing more quintessentially fall than this Acorn Squash With Sausage Stuffing. It’s like a whole Thanksgiving meal in one neat little package. All the delicious flavors of squash, stuffing, sausage, cranberries… it’s all there.

As soon as we start seeing acorn squash in the grocery store, this dish goes on the menu. It’s great for a quick satisfying meal any time, but also makes a great way to use up all the leftovers after Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been using acorn squash for decoration around the house, don’t just throw them out. Instead, turn them in a tasty meal. You can stuff them with leftover stuffing, mashed potatoes, even throw in some chopped turkey if you want. Then try this ultimate turkey sandwich with the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Stuffed acorn squash

What You’ll Need

For this recipe, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:

  • Acorn Squash – You’re going to want to find one that’s not too big, about the size of a softball or slightly bigger. Bonus points if it can sit easily on its side without rolling. We’ve used bigger squash, but it will end up being too much for 2 servings, so smaller is better. Really any type of edible squash works with this recipe. you can use a small pumpkin, or any kind of cooking squash that’s small and round, like a buttercup squash, carnival squash, delicata squash, kabocha, or sweet dumpling.
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – This will keep the squash from getting dried out and lend some flavor to the squash, which can be quite bland without it.
  • Stuffing – We used a boxed stuffing because it’s easy! You’ll need the box mix, water and butter. You can also make your own stuffing. Using up leftover Thanksgiving stuffing is a great alternative.
  • Sausage – Ground Italian sausage is also seasoned well for this recipe. If you need to use regular ground pork, you’ll want to season it with salt, pepper, and dried sage for additional flavor. I also like using Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage.
  • Onion and celery – These two vegetables will give the sausage and stuffing mix an extra element of crunch and flavor.
  • Dried cranberries and Granny Smith apples – The tartness of the apple adds a great depth of flavor. They aren’t strictly necessary though, so feel free to leave them out if you want.
  • Walnuts – I love the crunch and toasted flavor these walnuts add to the squash. They’ll get nice and toasted on top of the dish.
acorn squash

How to Cook Acorn Squash

The method for cooking acorn squash is pretty universal, no matter if you’re using the oven, air fryer, or Instant Pot. You have to cut the acorn squash in half – lengthwise or horizontally is fine. I choose based on the shape of it – which way will it stand upright best?

Remove the seeds and insides. I always keep and roast the seeds. It’s a great nutritious snack and doesn’t waste anything. Once the insides are cleaned out, rub some olive oil on the inside and season with salt and pepper.

pumpkin seeds

In the Air Fryer

Now that pretty much everyone has an air fryer, I’d recommend cooking this dish in there because it’s super quick and easy. You can fit two servings in most air fryers – that’s one whole acorn squash, cut in half and stuffed.

To cook the acorn squash in the air fryer, place the halves face down in the basket and cook on 350° F (180 C) for 20 minutes.

In the Oven

Place the acorn squash halves in an ovenproof dish. Cook at 375° F (190 C) for 30 minutes. This won’t cook the acorn squash completely. You will continue cooking the squash once you’ve stuffed it.

2 halves of acorn squash raw

Assembling the Stuffed Acorn Squash

While the acorn squash is pre-baking, you’ll need to make up the stuffing mixture.

Add sausage, onion, and celery to a frying pan and cook over medium high heat until the sausage is cooked through, crumbling it into small pieces as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add dried cranberries and apples.

Cooked sausage, celery and onion in a pan

Prepare the dried stuffing mix according to the package instructions, using the water and butter. It takes only about 5-8 minutes to make it. When it’s done, fluff it with a fork and combine it with the sausage mixture.

Add half the stuffing mixture to each acorn squash half. Place them face up in the baking dish and sprinkle walnuts on top. Return to the oven to cook for 35-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. For the air fryer, continue cooking upright for 25 minutes.

Uncooked stuffed acorn squash

Helpful Notes

  • If your squash halves won’t sit upright without tipping over, cut a small piece off the bottom so that the squash sits upright. 
  • When cooking in the oven, if the stuffing browns too quickly, put a piece of tinfoil over it while it finishes cooking.
  • You will have leftover stuffing, if using the box mixture, because it makes more servings than you actually need. Save it to use again for another dish, or as a side dish with dinner tomorrow.
Stuffed acorn squash cut in half

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat the skin of an acorn squash?

Yes, you can technically eat the skin of the squash. It becomes quite soft as it cooks. However, most people prefer not to eat it. You can easily peel the skin away from the squash after it’s cooked, or you can scoop out the insides as you eat it.

What are the health benefits of acorn squash?

Acorn squash is rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. These antioxidants can help to protect people against health issues like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Read more on Webmd.com.

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acorn squash

Acorn Squash with Sausage and Stuffing

This Acorn Squash With Sausage Stuffing is baked in the oven to get the squash super tender before stuffing it with a moist sausage stuffing, dried cranberries, and walnuts for a bit of crunch.
4.91 from 40 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 483kcal
Author: Laura Lynch

Ingredients

  • 2 (2) small acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons (9.86 ml) olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) ground Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) onion diced
  • 1/4 cup (25.25 g) celery 1 stalk
  • 1/3 cup (40.4 g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 granny smith apple diced
  • 1 box of dried stuffing mix 6 ounce
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) walnuts chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (354.88 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (56.75 g) butter

Instructions

  • Wash and cut acorn squash in half. Scrape seeds and insides out. Coat the inside of each half with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the halves face down in an ovenproof dish. Cook at 375° F for 30 minutes. For the air fryer, cook at 350° F (180 C) for 20 minutes.
  • Add sausage, onion, and celery to a frying pan and cook over medium high heat until sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and add dried cranberries, apples, and walnuts
  • Prepare the dried stuffing mix according to the package instructions, using the water and butter. Combine the stuffing with the sausage.
  • Add the stuffing mixture to each acorn squash half. Place them face up in the baking dish. Return to the oven to cook for 35-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. For the air fryer, continue cooking upright for 25 minutes.

Notes

  • If your squash halves won’t sit upright without tipping over, cut a small piece off the bottom so that the squash sits upright.
  • When cooking in the oven, if the stuffing browns too quickly, put a piece of tinfoil over it while it finishes cooking.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on the size of the acorn squash.

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1187IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2mg

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2 thoughts on “Acorn Squash With Sausage Stuffing

  1. Steve says:

    4 stars
    I don’t think my acorn squash cooked all the way through, but I couldn’t eat it all anyways, so I peeled it and cooked it again for the next day.

4.91 from 40 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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