Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Friday, friends! This Friday, we’re celebrating National Acorn Squash Day (yeah, it’s a thing)—getting us hype AF for fall, which is quickly approaching, even though it doesn’t feel like it with these unrelenting, scorching temps!

Anyway, for all you sweet and savory combo lovers, this is the recipe for you! One of the fun things about frequently creating recipes is that you get to experiment with so many different ingredients. I had actually never had acorn squash until whipping up this creation! The subtle, sweet taste of the squash + fruit pairs deliciously with the savory chicken sausage + veggies and quinoa.

This recipe was actually inspired by the stuffing my uncle makes for Thanksgiving. I LOVE his stuffing and immediately thought it’d be the perfect filling for this squash, but of course, we just had to lighten it up. I’ll go HAM on the real deal at Thanksgiving (#YOLO), but for every day purposes, this recipe is a healthier go-to! Bread is obviously a main ingredient in stuffing, so we swapped that out for… quinoa, “the mother of all grains”! This swap instantly added nutritious value that bread lacks, and made for a good binding agent for sticking everything together.

This recipe is super convenient if you like to meal prep! I may or may not be on my third day of eating it for lunch and I am still not sick of it!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 3 acorn squash
  • 14 oz sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 red delicious apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 pear, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, plus more to taste
  • cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the broth. Fluff with a fork and remove from heat.
  3. Cut each squash in half and scrape insides clean. Spray with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 40 minutes (depending on the size, you may want to check around 30 minutes, so they don’t get too mushy). Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in large pan on medium-high heat. Cook sausage for about 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked thoroughly. Break up sausage into small bits while cooking.
  5. When sausage is cooked, add onion, celery, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to pan. Sauté for about 5 more minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  6. Add apples and pears and cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Fold quinoa into sausage mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Divide sausage quinoa mixture between the six squash halves. Return to oven for about 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 stuffed acorn squash

284 calories per serving • Fat: 8.5g • Carbohydrates: 40.8g • Protein: 15.1g

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