What do you get when you take a basic acorn squash and fill it with homemade stuffing that’s made with sautéed apples, dried cranberries, sausage and bread that’s been drizzled with butter and baked until perfect? The PERFECT Thanksgiving side dish!
This Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apples, Cranberries and Sausage recipe has been on our blog since it’s inception in 2011. As most recipes on the internet do, they ebb and flow depending on the season. As soon as we pass Halloween this comforting acorn squash recipe starts picking up steam and consistently secures a place in our Top 3 Thanksgiving recipes, a tradition that’s been going strong every year!
This all began when I was making our traditional family stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving. The recipe makes a lot of stuffing and I knew it wouldn’t all fit in my turkey. I had a few acorn squash that weren’t being used so I decided to bake the acorn squash until they were tender, gently scraped them with a fork and filled them with the leftover stuffing.
It was an INSTANT hit and has been a family tradition ever since!!
- Whole Wheat & White Bread
- Sage, Rosemary, Thyme & Parsley
- Onion, Celery, Apple, Dried Cranberries
- Ground Pork Sausage with sage
- Olive oil, butter, chicken broth
- Acorn Squash
How to Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Begin by preparing the bread a few days in advance. Tear whole wheat and white bread into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl. Over the course of a few days, gradually break down the bread into smaller bits, allowing it to ‘stale’ for that perfect texture.
- In a big skillet, sauté the onions, celery, and sausage until everything’s cooked through. Add the spices, diced apples, dried cranberries, and a bit of melted butter. Keep cooking until the apples get soft and fragrant.
- Now, pour it over the bread and stir it all together. Add some chicken broth to get the stuffing just the way you like it.
- Prepare the squash by cutting it in half, deseeding it and drizzling some oil on it – roast it until it’s fork tender. Gently scrape the sides to loosen the squash and mound the stuffing on top.
- Bake again for about 15 minutes until it’s warmed all the way through.
There is a delicate and delicious balance in this stuffing. The bread soaks up all the flavors from the veggies, sausage and butter. Then the cranberries and apple offset the savory notes with a bit of sweetness. Then it is all stuffed inside a beautiful acorn squash and baked until golden!
I really invite you to give this recipe a try !
- Stuffing requires stale bread. There are a couple of ways to go about it. 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, shake the pan and continue baking until stale.
- If you have the time, I encourage you to make the stuffing the day before. Just cover it up and refrigerate. This extra time allows the flavors to mingle more. If you don’t have the time, no worries, it still comes out great.
- Now, if you’re going for the one-day approach, consider reversing the recipe order. Pop the squash in the oven first, and while it’s doing its thing, you can work on that delicious stuffing.
- 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.
LOOKING FOR MORE THANKSGIVING RECIPES?
- Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Burrito: Give your Thanksgiving leftovers a delicious makeover with our Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Burrito, a mouthwatering twist that will have you savoring the holiday flavors all over again.
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- Classic Gravy: Master the art of creating a delicious gravy with our step-by-step guide.
- Crockpot Turkey: Simplify your Thanksgiving preparations with our foolproof recipe for cooking a succulent, moist and amazing turkey that’s made in the crockpot!
Acorn Squash with Apple, Cranberry and Sausage Stuffing
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What do you get when you take a basic acorn squash and fill it with sautéed apples, dried cranberries, sausage and bread that’s been drizzled with butter and baked until perfect? The PERFECT Thanksgiving side dish!
- 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
- 1 Apple, cored and diced into small chunks
- ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- ¼– ½ Cup Chicken Broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prep the Bread:
- Tear the whole wheat and white bread into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl.
- Over the next few days, break the bread down into smaller pieces. Allowing the bread to ‘stale’ for a few days helps it maintain its shape and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- Prep the Squash:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Cut each acorn squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Brush the cut sides of the squash halves with a little olive oil and place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
- Make the Stuffing:
- In a large skillet, sauté the diced onions, celery, and ground pork sausage until the sausage is fully cooked.
- Add the dried sage, rosemary, and thyme to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Incorporate the diced apples, dried cranberries, and melted butter into the skillet. Sauté until the apples soften.
- Pour this savory mixture over the prepared bread and stir to combine. Add chicken broth gradually to reach your desired stuffing consistency.
- Stuff the Squash:
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the sides, creating space for the stuffing.
- Mound each squash half generously with the prepared stuffing.
- Bake Again:
- Return the stuffed acorn squash to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is completely heated through.
- Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
- Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
- Category: side dish
- Method: Baking
- Serving Size: ½ squash
- Calories: 500-600
- Sugar: 30-32 gr
- Sodium: varies
- Fat: 20-24 gr
- Saturated Fat: 7-8 gr
- Carbohydrates: 65-70 gr
- Fiber: 7-9 gr
- Protein: 15-18 gr
- Cholesterol: 40-50 mg