Normally I try to hold on to the last bits of summer and warm weather for as long as I can. I like Fall, but it is the gateway to winter, which is by far my least favorite season. This year, I’m trying to embrace it. Sweaters are out, pumpkin beers are in the fridge, and the leaves are falling.
And if this meal doesn’t scream “FALL!,” then I don’t know a meal that does. I mean, the only way it could be even more autumnal (love that word!) is if I stuffed a pumpkin instead of an acorn squash.
Speaking of acorn squash, isn’t this a lovely one? Orange is my favorite color, so that splash of orange makes me smile! Start by cutting your squash in half and removing the seeds and pulp from the middle. Rub the flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast your squash in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, let’s make something to stuff that beautiful squash with! Begin by browning up som sausage. I used maple flavored sausage to give it a little something extra, but you can use whatever kind you like.
When your sausage begins to brown, add some onion and celery and keep sauteing.
In a small pot, heat 1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth over medium-low heat. We don’t want to boil the liquid, just get it warm. Add about 1/3 cup dried cranberries to reconstitute them.
Add a peeled and chopped apple to the sausage and veggie mixture. Cook for a few more minutes until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft and tender.
Add one package of cornbread stuffing mix-yes the kind that comes in a box. Stir to absorb any juices from the pan.
Add the chicken stock and cranberries to the stuffing mixture. Turn off the hat, stir to combine, cover the pan and let it sit until the liquid is all absorbed and your squash is done roasting.
Fill the cavity of the squash with the stuffing mixture. Return the squash to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is browned.
All the flavors of fall stuffed into one little squash!
The sweet apples pair so wonderfully with the savory sausage and cornbread stuffing. The bright pops of cranberry studded throughout the stuffing are a nice tart surprise. Make this dish and embrace the Fall!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Makes 4 servings
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 4 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz maple flavored sausage (or your favorite sausage)
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 box cornbread stuffing mix (like Stovetop)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut each squash in half vertically (through the stem). Remove the seeds and pulp from each cavity.
- Rub 1 tsp of olive oil onto each squash half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place squash on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan.
- After sausage has begun to brown (about 5 minutes), add onion and celery. Stir to combine and continue to saute.
- Heat chicken stock in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add cranberries to broth so they can reconstitute.
- When sausage has browned and vegetables are tender, add apple and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add stuffing mix to pan and stir to absorb any juices in the pan. Pour the chicken stock and cranberries into the stuffing mixture and stir. Remove from heat and cover until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove squash from the oven and stuff each squash half with 1/4 of the stuffing mixture.
- Return squash to the oven to bake for 10 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing is lightly browned.