Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash 1

One of my favorite things about fall, especially living in the city, is walking by the corner deli storefronts that have outdoor displays of various pumpkins, gourds, and squash – which luckily happens on almost every block. Seeing these fall vegetables always inspires my cooking. 
And while I have tampered with spaghetti squash a number of times, I hadn’t yet touched acorn squash (except for the usual fall decor displays). These green and orange-colored squash not only yeild a tasty side dish in the form of perfect scalloped shapes, when sliced and baked – they make a great entree when stuffed with seasonal combinations like apples, sage, and sausage. These stuffed acorn squash look and taste lovely – making them a great autumn dinner party entree choice – but they’re also simple enough to whip together for a weeknight meal.

Stuffed Acorn Squash 2
Stuffed Acorn Squash 3
Stuffed Acorn Squash 4

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3 small-medium acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Gala apple, peeled and diced small
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, or 1 1/2 cup, diced small
2 Tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 Tablespoons parmasean cheese grated
1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs, divided
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut acorn squash in half, seed the middle out with a spoon. Score the cavity of the squash with a pairing knife. Brush the inner and rims of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Bake, face down on a baking sheet, for 30 minutes or until tender. Once tender, flip over and let cool.

While the squash is in the oven, start on the filling. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large saute pan. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt, and let sweat until transluscent. Add minced garlic and cook a minute. Add mushrooms and apples, and cook for about 5 minutes until apples are soft. Add fresh sage. Season with salt and peper to taste. Add mixture to a large bowl. 

Slit the sausage with a knife to remove from casing. Add to a saute pan heated with a drizzle of olive oil. Break apart the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon while cooking. Once browned and cooked, add the sausage to the vegetable mixture. Then, add mascarpone, parmasean, and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs and mix to combine.

Spoon filling into acorn squash cavities (don’t be afraid to fill ’em up! Pat down the mixture with the back of a spoon to get more in there). 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter, then add the remaining 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add these breadcrumbs over the tops of the stuffed acorn squash. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and crunchy.

**If you want to make this dish gluten-free, just omit the Panko breadcrumbs from the filling, and garnish with fresh chopped sage instead of adding the Panko to the top.

Stuffed Acorn Squash 5

Stuffed Acorn Squash 6


Bon Appetit!

Xo, Dominika.

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