Baked Acorn Squash with Savory Sausage Stuffing

You should bake a squash.

Take my word for it. Baked squash is absolutely incredible. It can be sweet or savory, main dish or side, hearty or light.

Just bake a squash already…what, you need some proof that it’s going to be tasty?

How about a fantastic acorn squash recipe?

These cute gourds are small, inexpensive, and only have about 232 calories for the entire thing. Now, you fill that with a stuffing made with lean pork, plenty of white wine, and some homemade croutons…and you have yourself a meal that is perhaps a bit more caloric, but still warm, comforting, and perfect for a chilly autumn evening. As a note, please try this method for cutting the squash ..cutting it raw is really quite the feat!

Acorn Squash with Savory Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash (halved and cleaned of innards)

1/2 lb. ground pork

1 dinner roll, broken or cut into small pieces

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, diced

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

4 oz mushrooms, sliced and cleaned

1.5 cups white wine, plus up to 2 cups water if necessary

2 sprigs each sage, thyme, and Italian parsley

4 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper, plus cayenne if desired

1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed, tall sided skillet.

2. Add the carrots, garlic, onions, and celery. When they are translucent…

3. Add the mushrooms. Salt them to release their liquid, then let them sautee for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are all soft.

4. In that time, toast the croutons in the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the bread is pretty well toasted. Then, remove them from the broiler and set aside.

5. Add the wine to the vegetables, and let the veggies soak up the liquid.

6. Add the herbs…

and the sausage. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the sausage is totally cooked through.

7. In the meantime, set the acorn squash in a microwave safe dish with a bit of water in the bottom – not a whole lot, just half an inch or so. Then, microwave it until the flesh is very soft – I had to do it for about 15 minutes, rotating the dish once. There will be a lot of water in the gourd’s dip, but don’t throw it out! It is sweet and delicious, adding moisture to the stuffing.

8. Now it’s time to throw in your croutons. If you need more wine, add it. If you need more liquid but not more acidity, add some water or chicken stock. Do NOT be stingy here. Nothing worse than a dry stuffing.

And nothing more delicious than a perfectly saturated one. Here is where you can add the pepper and any additional spices. Taste it for seasoning and make sure that it’s to your liking.

9. Set the oven back on broil and pile the stuffing into the gourd’s centers. Don’t be afraid of really laying it on thickly here.

10. Toss on the Parmesan cheese and put it in the broiler for a few minutes, until the Parmesan cheese is golden brown and crispy.

11. Serve.

This is a really satisfying meal on a chilly night. The squash is so sugary and creamy, lending its sweet juices tho the savory, slightly spicy stuffing. The sausage is juicy and the bread becomes creamy, saturated with the pork’s fat and the crisp white wine. The sage and thyme lend a woodsy flavor to the deeply earthy dish, amping up the hearty flavor. The final topping of salty parmesan cheese is a crisp, nutty counterpart to the rest of the dish. This is delicious with a green salad, and any leftovers can be made into a delicious strata the next morning.

Toldja that you should bake a squash

Comments

  1. hungry says:

    This screams fall weather!

  2. Michele Laughlin says:

    I made this tonight and it is fabulous! Great flavors and easy to make! Thank you!

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