Friday, February 19, 2016

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

These Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash make a satisfying comfort food meal for those bitter cold winter nights.

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Isn't it amazing how a series of ordinary moments can lead to a pretty spectacular one? Take this recipe, for example.

Deciding to tackle a pile of unread magazines > discovering this recipe featuring acorn squash and sausage > making my own twist the recipe for dinner > sharing a photo on Instagram (obviously) > being contacted by a magazine editor > being featured in a magazine.

PRETTY. FREAKIN'. COOL.

Of course, it probably would've been even cooler if I had it together enough to share my version of the recipe on Taste As You Go as the magazine was hitting the newsstands.

Oh well. C'est la vie. Better late than never.

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As I said in the magazine, I didn't develop a taste for the subtle flavor of acorn squash until relatively recently. I had been looking for ways to cook with acorn squash outside of simply roasting it in the oven, so I think I was meant to find the recipe while flipping through the magazine.

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Ironically, that's exactly how this one starts.

But look what happens next.

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You cook some chopped onions and sausage together in a pan until the sausage starts to brown.

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Then you stir in some minced garlic and the contents of a 10-ounce package of chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry. Saute everything together until the spinach is warmed through.

A little tip?

I thaw frozen spinach in the microwave and then use our potato ricer to squeeze all of the water out of it. I used to a kitchen towel, but I got really tired of burning my fingers. Plus, this way, I don't have to dirty a towel.

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Fill each roasted acorn squash half generously with the sausage and spinach mixture. No need to skimp...This recipe makes plenty of filling!

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Then mix up a quick topping of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and panko and sprinkle it on the top of each stuffed acorn squash half.

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Broil the stuffed squash for a minute or two until the topping has browned and then serve warm.

I used Italian sausage in this version, but you can definitely use turkey sausage (like the original recipe) or chicken sausage if you'd prefer.

Enjoy!

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: about 1 hour | Yield: Serves 4 | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium (about 2 pounds each) acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 9 ounces sweet Italian sausage, bulk or casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Brush the insides of the acorn squash halves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place squash cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast until fork-tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the sausage into small pieces, until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in the garlic and spinach. Saute until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Preheat the broiler to high. Turn the squash halves over and fill with sausage and spinach mixture.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, panko, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 
  9. Sprinkle the cheese and panko mixture over the squash. Broil until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
  10. Serve warm.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go // adapted from All You (February 2015)

Featured Equipment:


Want more acorn squash recipes? Try these:

Taste As You Go Disclosure: This post contains affiliate product links. Clicking on the links may result in my being paid a commission. Regardless of commission, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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