It’s acorn squash season here in Utah and I couldn’t be happier about it. I think it’s the squash that gets overlooked a little bit though. Like, “It’s pretty but what do I do with it???” Ha! I’ve asked around lately and the biggest concerns I heard were that people just didn’t know how to cook it. Or that they just had never eaten it! This new recipe of mine for Italian Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash is the most perfect fall dish and will seriously make you feel like a rock star in the kitchen.
I did not grow up eating acorn squash. Maybe they don’t grow in Texas? Or maybe Texans are too busy eating deep fried yellow squash to care? Funny, but probably true!
When I was dating my now husband, his mother made a simple roasted acorn squash with dinner. It was my first time ever having it and I was intrigued! She made hers with a classic butter and maple syrup glaze and I have been in love with these beautiful little squashes ever since. I’ve always made them the same classic way that I learned from my mother-in law. However, when I saw the huge mound of beautiful, local acorn squash for sale at Lee’s, I wanted to get creative. It started with Italian sausage and then I built the flavors from there. Let’s show you step-by-step how I made them!
Prepping the Acorn Squash
After washing and drying your acorn squash, cut them in half lengthwise.
Next, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits using a metal spoon.
After that, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil. If they do not lay flat then cut a small, flat notch on the back first.
Finally, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn over and lay them cut side down on the baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
Make the Filling
This filling is DIVINE. Like I said earlier, I started with Italian sausage then built the flavors from there that I knew would go well. Onions, mushrooms, spinach, rosemary, and cranberries make the perfect filling for this then it’s topped with a buttery parmesan panko crust.
How to Serve Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
After 25 minutes of roasting, take the squash out of the oven, turn them over and add the stuffing. Top with the breadcrumb mixture then bake for 20 more minutes. Aren’t they pretty?
My Italian Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash is the ideal fall side dish or can stand on its own as the main attraction. All you need is a side salad and some rolls and your meal is complete!
If you think you don’t like acorn squash, if you’ve never cooked with it, or if you love it already and need new ideas, THIS is your recipe to try. The mild, nutty flavor of the acorn squash pairs so perfectly with the bold flavors of the hearty filling. This dish is a must for the autumn months!
Sponsored for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of October 6-12: acorn squash, white onions, Frigo parmesan, butter, olive oil
Italian Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and centers scooped clean
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz mild Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup yellow or white onion, diced small
- 8 oz package button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large handful baby spinach
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.
- Place cleaned and seeded acorn squash halves cut side up on baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste evenly over the four of them. Turn over so that the cut side is down. Place in oven and roast for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by heating a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add sausage and crumble while cooking until brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan then add onions. Cook for a few minutes or until softened then add the mushrooms. Cook for about 7 more minutes or until soft and brown.
- Add spinach and stir until wilted down. Next add cranberries, rosemary, cooked sausage, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste then stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small bowl then add parmesan and panko. Toss to combine.
- When the squash is done roasting, remove pan from oven, carefully turn them over, and scoop the filling into the four halves evenly. Top with panko mixture. Place back in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve immediately.