Hearty and comforting Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash with apples, pecans, and cranberries make an easy and delicious holiday dish that only requires 11 ingredients and 40 minutes. Whip them up for a holiday party or an easy weeknight fall dinner. Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
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We are officially in holiday mode and I’m so excited! And really confused because we just got back from Australia a little bit ago and it was summer there. Nonetheless, the holidays are here and I’m ready for all the cozy meals. Enter this Whole30 sausage stuffed acorn squash.
This sausage one takes all the warming flavors of the holidays and packs it into one cozy meal. It’s You have protein, carbs, and healthy fats too, making it a complete meal.
This recipe makes the perfect dish to serve at the holidays or to whip up during the week when you are feeling inspired. And when you have all the right tools, it comes together in a flash!
That is where OXO comes in. They make entertaining and cooking easy, leaving you time to spend with family, friends, or just relaxing.
My absolute new favorite addition to my kitchen is the OXO baking sheet with a fitted silicone mat. Besides the fact that it can used over and over again, it makes clean up a breeze. Simply wash the mat and let it dry (I never wash my baking sheets unless absolutely needed). Additionally, I love that fact that it is silicone – helps things not stick, it’s reusable, and cuts down on waste.
What does Acorn Squash Taste Like
Acorn squash is not your typical winter squash, but it becoming more and more common. It looks a little like an acorn and has a tough green-colored skin with creamy yellow-orange-colored flesh on the inside.
The flesh has a pretty mild taste and is very buttery and somewhat sweet, almost like a pumpkin. Since it is so mild, it goes great with a bunch of different many flavors.
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
All you need is 10 ingredients (plus oil and salt & pepper) and 40 minutes to throw together this hearty and comforting stuffed acorn squash recipe.
Here is what you need:
- acorn squash
- ground pork – I love ButcherBox!
- dried cranberries
- salt & pepper
First slice your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Next coat the flesh with a little oil and place flesh side down on your silicone mat lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until soft.
When the squash has 10-15 minutes left, make the sausage mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, add you oil. Then add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soften. Next add you ground pork. Use a meat chopper to break it up.
I recently discovered this tool and it’s amazing! So easy to use and actually breaks up the meat in uniform pieces. With a spoon, I always have uneven pieces and it doesn’t cook evenly. You won’t have this problem and it’s an inexpensive tool that will be used over and over again.
Once the pork is browned, add the apple and spices and saute for 2-3 minutes. Finally, stir in your chopped pecans and cranberries. Then remove your squash from the oven.
Simply turn them over (I love using silicone tongs as it’s easy and you won’t burn yourself) and evenly distribute the sausage mixture into the squashes.
If needed, you can scoop out a little of the squash to make room for the sausage. Eat it or save it for a salad, smoothie, or snack. Last, either place the sausage stuffed acorn squash back in the oven for a few minutes to let the flavors come together or eat as it as everything will be hot.
Substitutions for Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
One of the best things about stuffed squash is that you can customize it to your liking. Feel free to make the recipe your own with whatever you have in stock in your kitchen. Here are some good substitutions or add-ins you can add to the recipe:
- ground meat – feel free to use any kind of ground meat you like. Turkey or chicken would be delicious as well!
- squash – if you can’t find acorn squash, any kind of winter squash you can stuff would be great. Butternut, delicata, and carnival are some examples.
- nuts – if you don’t like pecans, walnuts or almonds would be a great substitute. If you can’t have nuts, feel free to leave them off or substitute with seeds (I would suggest sunflower seeds).
- spices – the easiest way to change up the flavors in dishes is to change up the spices! Some good ones off the top of my head for this stuffed squash recipe would be rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- fruit – I really love the fresh apples and dried cranberries in this and balances out the fatty pork. You could substitute another dried fruit (like raisins) if you can’t find cranberries.
- greens – feel free to throw some chopped spinach or kale when you add the apples to add some greens to the mix
What goes with acorn squash
While these sausage stuffed acorn squashes could be a meal on their own for some, I love serving them with some more veggies or a simple side salad for a complete meal. It also helps keep it interesting if you have leftovers.
Here are a few things you can serve with this stuffed acorn squash recipe:
- rosemary roasted radishes – roast them at the same time!
- cauliflower rice (check out all 6 versions on that post, I think the scallion and mushroom would be great!)
- a simple salad with greens and your favorite veggies (I love this roasted carrot salad!)
- apple and shaved Brussels sprout salad with creamy balsamic dressing – no cooking involved!
- any kind of roasted veggie! Just throw them in the oven while the squash roasts
More Whole30 Dinner Recipes
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash (Paleo/Whole30)
- 3 small-medium acorn squash (about 1700 grams without seeds)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (plus more for coating)
- 1 cup diced onion (120 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 medium apple, roughly diced (2 cups/175 grams)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
- Slice your squashes in half and scoop out the seeds. Coat the flesh with a little oil and place flesh side down on your silicone mat lined baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until soft and the skin gives a little when you press into it.
- When there is about 13 minutes left on the acorn squash, make the pork mixture. In a large skillet, add avocado oil and let it get hot. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add pork and salt and pepper and break up with a meat chopper. Saute for 5-7 minutes until mostly browned. Add in apple, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and a little more salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Saute for 2-3 more minutes. The meat should be cooked through and thea apple should be softened. Turn off heat and stir in pecans and cranberries.
- Remove acorn squash from the oven and flip over with tongs. Stuff acorn squash with pork mixture, dividing evenly between squashes. If needed, you can scoop out some of the flesh of the acorn squash to make more room for the pork. Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to warm through or eat right away!
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