September 27, 2006

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

My mom made this festive fall dish the other evening and I wanted to pass it along to all of you. It was really delicious! This dish definately tastes like fall!

I love squash in all forms - pureed in soups, roasted or mashed - and with this recipe you'll get a nice serving of it! Despite containing sausage, this is actually a pretty healthful, well-balanced dish. And with all the super lean sausage available at supermarkets now, you can find really flavorful low-fat options. This stuffed squash is colorful and looks great on the plate, plus, the method of this recipe could be applied to many other flavor combinations should you want to experiment with it.

This recipe comes from Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious magazine. A few years ago I would've been really skeptical about recipes coming from Taste of Home as most often they contain one, if not many, processed ingredients like canned soup, jello or cool whip. But, recently, I've seen less of these items and recipes that seem, at least at a glance, to have more flavor and fresher ingredients. The photography is nice and since there aren't any advertisements, it's pretty pleasing to flip through. It's still a little bit country for me and I doubt I'll ever turn to it for inspiration, but it's not too bad! I think I've also just moved on from needing recipes like most of the ones published. It feels good that I can concoct something like scalloped potatoes, an easy pasta dish, or a vegetable soup without staring down a recipe.

Microwaving the squash speeds up the prep time for this dish and finishing it in the oven browns the top nicely and brings it together. If your squash are really big and you think half of a squash is too big of a portion, I'm sure you could cut the squash into quarters and simply pile the stuffing on them as best you can. Enjoy these fall flavors!

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 small to medium acorn squash
1 Tbsp butter
1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage (Italian or whatever flavor you like)
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped (use frozen because of this!)
1 1/2 cups soft fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Slice the squash in half (vertically, through the stem). Remove the seeds and place the squash face up in a microwave-safe dish. Season with salt and pepper and dot the inside of each half with butter. Cover and microwave 10-12 minutes, or until tender.

Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it apart with a spatula. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes. When the sausage is browned nicely, drain as much fat off as possible.

Beat the egg and milk together in a large mixing bowl and add the bread crumbs, dried cranberries, spinach, sausage and onions. Mix well.

Stuff each half with 1/4 of the sausage mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree F (200 degree C) oven. Remove when warmed through and slightly browned on top. Serves 4.


Jennifer said...

Yum. I love stuffed squash, and this one sounds really delicious. I love fall!!

Megan said...

jennifer - thanks! i'm already thinking of all the comforting fall dishes i can make, although it might be a bit early for that!

Lisa said...

Oh yes! This looks and sounds greato. So much winter squash around the market now...

Gates2U said...

Just made this recipe, with an apple-maple sausage from our local Farmer's market, and used Pepperidge Farm stuffing for the breadcrumbs (smashed up the stuffing mix). It was wonderful!

Mandy said...

I made this tonight and it turned out wonderful!