Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apple, Cranberry & Sausage Stuffing


acorn squash with apple, cranberry and sausage stuffing

I’m not really sure what made me come up with this combination, and to further complicate things, it isn’t even squash season.  It’s April, the beginning of Spring.  So WHY I’m thinking about stuffing is just beyond me.

Nonetheless, a true woman follows her cravings, she doesn’t fight them.  So off I went to the kitchen to experiment.

I used my tried and true stuffing recipe that I’ve had since I started making my own years ago.  I thought it would be nice to combine the crisp crunch of the apples, the delicate taste of sage in the sausage and tartness of the cranberries with the sweetness of an acorn squash.

Guess I was right!  My husband and I really enjoyed these.  We ate all 4 halves last night for dinner.  They were spot on!

acorn squash with apple, cranberry and sausage stuffing

You can see all the little bits of cranberries and crumbled sausage.  All the flavors were perfectly balanced and paired so well with the squash.



  • 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.

Acorn Squash with Apple, Cranberry & Sausage Stuffing



  • 2 cups whole wheat bread (preferably from the bakery, processed bread takes longer to dry)
  • 1 cup white bread
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced finely
  • 1/2 lb ground pork sausage with sage (If you can’t find ground and/or it comes in a casing, remove the casing first)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage, rosemary & thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 apple, cored and diced into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/41/2 cup chicken stock


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 1/2″

For the Stuffing:

  1. 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
  2. Add the spices and stir
  3. Add the apple, cranberries, bread, parsley, and butter
  4. Drizzle with the chicken stock until you get a nice consistency. This could take as little as 1/4 cup or as much as 1/2 a cup

Acorn Squash:

  1. Cut an acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds
  2. Add a little olive oil in the middle and use a pastry brush to coat the edges
  3. Place the squash halves open side down on a baking sheet and bake in an oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes
  4. 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!
  5. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and the stuffing is done

Recipe SourceHappilyUnprocessed
I used all organic ingredients when making this recipe, and hope you do too!  🙂

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  1. Laura DeVries says:

    I was wondering if you had any nutritional info on this scrumptious dish? Also how many does this serve? If I use butternut squash would that work as well?

  2. Incredible flavor. I went with the ‘slow method’ and it was well worth planning ahead. I already have bread drying to make again for Thanksgiving!

  3. just leave the stuffing prepare overnight but without the chicken broth? Or just cook it thru
    Am excited hope looks as beautiful as ur pics

  4. Can this be made the night before Thanksgiving and cooked right before? Wanting to make the night b4 and bake before our family’s Thanksgiving that’s during lunch time. Thanks again

  5. I don’t see it in the recipe above… how many acorn squash should we use?

  6. I do not eat bread. Could you use rice for this?

  7. I am so excited to make this, only vegan. I love acorn squash and I adore a good stuffing so all I can say is YUM! Thank you so much for shating your recipe with the world!

    • It is something I actually crave Anne! I can’t wait for fall to make this and I am more than happy to share it with you and others. It’s too good to keep to myself.

  8. I just made this last night with one acorn squash and one carnival squash and it was incredible! I used Gimme Lean vegetarian sausage because, well, I’m a vegetarian, and it was awesome. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly as is and it was fantastic. I would definitely make this for company. Served with a side salad. The remaining two halves reheated well in the oven the next night and made for another excellent dinner!!! We will be making this regularly.

    • yay !!!! Glad to hear it Laura and I love when people leave comments on how they changed up one of my recipes for others to spark creativity in them! Thanks for commenting!

  9. hi..i’m trying this recipe tonight for dinner, but was wondering…what else did you make with this dish? was there a side to it? just curious?

  10. Annie Ortega says:

    I made this dish tonight and it’s a keeper for sure. I’ve been on a quinoa kick these days, so I omitted the breadcrumbs and chicken stock all together (less sodium), and it still came out came out juicy and DEE-LISH! Very Thanksgiving-ish in the middle of May. My hubby and three kids (4, 3 and 16 months) ate this up too! Kids are calling it Butternut Boats! Thanks so much!

    • I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the Acorn Squash Annie. It has to be one of my FAVORITE dishes to make!!! And I love the name you came up with. Nothing makes me smile more on the inside when people take the time to comment on the dishes I have created. Thanks so much for making my day!

  11. Shawna Stapleton says:

    What a great recipe! I actually made it for Thanksgiving so I added more bread and served it in a pan. I added pears instead of apples, leeks instead of onion (I’m a huge fan of leeks) and some torn up kale it is amazing! I love the addition of the acorn squash!

  12. Made this this morning. good. I used Turkey Italian Sausage and
    only had wheat bread and it was fine.

  13. Have you ever made this with Gluten free bread?

    • I haven’t Ken because my daughter (who is the gluten free kid in our house) wouldn’t eat it anyway, so I make it the way I like it! But I’m sure it would come out tasting great!

  14. I just made these for dinner but I had to use substitutions because it sounded too delicious to wait until I had all of the exact ingredients. I used 1 cup of Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs instead of bread, raisins instead of cranberries, ground turkey with extra sage, a touch of ground mustard, a touch of ground cloves, all instead of breakfast sausage. Even with all of those substitutions it was still an INCREDIBLE meal! Thank you so much for sharing! I really like squash but didn’t know of a way to make a meal out of an acorn squash instead of just a boring side dish. This recipe is a keeper. I cannot wait to try it in its original form. 🙂

  15. I made this last night and wow! It was amazing! A lil sneak peek to thanksgiving without all the calories and mess. I added less cranberries just because that’s our preference and used all whole wheat bread. I also omitted the butter and you couldn’t even tell- the fat from the sausage and olive oil was the perfect amount of richness. Thanks for a great recipe! This is a new fall staple 🙂

  16. This looks delicious!! Does the recipe call for 1/2 tsp EACH of dried sage, rosemary, and thyme? Or is it a total of 1/2 tsp of a blend of all three spices?

  17. I just made this (find it through Pinterest =P ), and it’s really tasty! You’ve made me into a homemade stuffing believer, and my boyfriend’s mom into an acorn squash lover all in one fell swoop =D.

  18. Is this recipe just for 1 acorn squash?

    • I was wondering the same thing, actually. The instructions read “cut an acorn squash in half” but in the text above you mention eating “4 halves”. Does the stuffing recipe make enough for two squash? or should I double the stuffing? I am excited to try this, it looks delicious!

      • Hi ladies! Sorry for the confusion. If I remember correctly, the stuffing makes enough for 2 full acorn squashes. And yes the spices call for 1/2 tsp EACH of the sage, rosemary and thyme. I hope you get a chance to try them, they really are amazing!

  19. Karen Levinsohn says:

    I would love to try your go stuffing recipie, care to share it?

  20. This looks like a delicious recipe. One i am defiantly interested in trying. Going to add it to my list of things to try.


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