Every family has their own arsenal of recipes. Recipes from their mothers or grandmothers, fathers, maybe even uncles. Traditional holiday recipes hold the most value. They can instantly bring back memories just by their smell.
Stuffing recipes are one of those recipes that most families don’t stray from, mainly due to their sentimental stronghold. People can instantly remember times by smells. A certain holiday, an event, a season can be remembered instantly by the smell of basil, or rosemary. This makes introducing new ‘traditional’ types of recipes difficult.
This is my family’s stuffing recipe. It is special ‘to us’. I am sharing it with you in a different way today. I am sharing it through an acorn squash. Therefore, hopefully, it is less threatening. The recipe has been scaled down considerably to fit inside a squash instead of a 20 lb. turkey, nonetheless every bite still plate lick worthy.
There is a delicate and delicious balance in this stuffing. The stale (stuffing) bread soaks up all the flavors from the veggies, sausage and butter. Then the cranberries and apple offset the savory with a bit of sweetness. Then it is all stuffed inside a beautiful acorn squash and baked until golden!
This recipe has been our most pinned recipe OF ALL TIME with over 4 MILLION pins. I hope you give it a try as well!
- Stuffing requires stale bread. There are 2 ways to go about this. You can start a few days ahead of time and break the bread into little pieces and leave out to stale or you can break the bread up and put it in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. I’ve found the 1st way results in a better stuffing, but if you don’t have the time, by all means throw it in the oven.
- Again, if you have the time, try and make the stuffing the day before, cover and refrigerate. The flavors get a chance to blend together. If you don’t have the time, no worries, it still comes out great.
- If you decide to do it all in one day I would reverse the recipe below and put the squash in the oven FIRST, then as it’s cooking you can make the stuffing. Otherwise you’ll be in the kitchen longer if you make the stuffing first and we can’t have that.
- Try and find sausage that already has sage in it. If you can’t then I would grab fresh sage to cook with and omit the dried sage. You’ll get a lot more flavor that way.
- If you can’t find ground sausage and end up with links, be sure to remove the casing first before cooking.
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Bread (preferably from the bakery, processed bread takes longer to dry)
- 1 Cup White Bread
- ½ Cup Onion, diced finely
- ½ Cup Celery, diced finely
- ½ lb Ground Pork Sausage with sage (If you can’t find ground and/or it comes in a casing, remove the casing first)
- ½ teaspoon ea Dried Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
- 2 Tablespoons Freshly Chopped Parsley
- 1Aapple, cored and diced into small chunks
- ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- ¼– ½ Cup Chicken Broth
NOTE: Break the bread into little pieces and leave out to stale for a few days, breaking it down more and more each day. If you do not have the time to do this, break the bread up and put it in the oven on 350 for about 5-7 minutes. Let it cool and continue to break it up into fine pieces under a ½″
For the Stuffing:
- In a large skillet, add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of the pan and add the onions, celery and sausage. Continue breaking up the sausage into little crumbles. Cook until the sausage is cooked through. Add the spices and stir.
- Add the apple, cranberries, bread, parsley, and butter.
- Drizzle with the chicken stock until you get a nice consistency. This could take as little as ¼ cup or as much as ½ a cup.
- Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds.
- Add a little olive oil in the middle and use a pastry brush to coat the edges.
- Place the squash halves open side down on a baking sheet and bake in an oven at 350° F for 15-20 minutes.
- Flip the squash over and run a fork through the middle making little strings. Add a little butter and top with the stuffing. Pile it on!
- Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and the stuffing is done.