This show stopping Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is a delightful flavor reminiscent of the fall season.
Acorn squash is the ribbed darling of the squash world, with its deep and moody green skin and deep orange, just this side of sweet flesh. It’s the star of this dish for its flavor and its shape, because once stuffed with a rice stuffing featuring chicken sausage, sage, apples, and thyme, it makes a perfect edible bowl.
You can serve Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash for dinner then pack the extras for lunch, or make it ahead to freeze for the month. And don’t toss those squash seeds! Just like pumpkin seeds, you can toast the seeds of an acorn squash with a few spritzes of olive oil and a little salt for easy snacking.
Skinnytaste Meal Prep delivers more than 120 healthy, diverse recipes that turn simple, easy-to-find ingredients into flavor-packed meals and snacks that can be done ahead. Recipes include vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options, along with multiple variations on each recipe so you’ll never run out of ideas.
Her food covers all the bases, from breakfast to dessert. One of her breakfast recipes I love making is her Baked Oatmeal Cups which are a cross between baked oatmeal and a muffin, and delectably moist and delicious. The recipe includes four variations, and encourages you to think of your own, too!
These Oatmeal Cups are perfect to make ahead for the week because they keep well, or to pop in the freezer for later.
Another recipe I enjoy is Toasted Cauliflower Shawarma Lettuce Wraps.
It’s colorful, simple, fresh and exactly the kind of food I love to eat. Thanks to Melissas’s Produce, I recently saw Gina demonstrate this recipe. Click here to watch.
Today’s Recipe: Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash
Back to the point, though, acorn squash is currently in season so it’s the perfect time to enjoy its mild, sweet, nutty flavor and beautiful golden orange color.
It is difficult to cut, so I recommend a heavy sharp knife.
I used spicy chicken sausage and black rice instead of wild rice because that is what I had in my pantry. It was yummy, and makes me think most rice or grains would work as well.
After roasting the acorn squash on its own, the empty shells are filled and put back in the oven until heated though.
This dish can easily be a meal by itself or an accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey, like Herb Turkey Breast with Gravy – another wonderful recipe from Skinnytaste Meal Prep cookbook.
You can check out that recipe at my friend Sue’s blog It’s Ok to Eat the Cupcake.
Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash
Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash is packed with a rice stuffing featuring chicken sausage, sage, apples, and thyme. You can serve it for dinner, then pack the extras for lunch, or make it ahead to freeze for the month.
- 3 small acorn squashes 22 ounces each, washed, halved lengthwise, and seeds removed
- Olive oil spray
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (3 ounces) uncooked wild rice I used black rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 links (11 ounces total) sweet Italian chicken sausage casings removed
- 1 Granny Smith apple chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chopped kale
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Spritz both sides of the squash with olive oil spray. Season the insides with the salt and black pepper to taste.
Place the squash on a large baking sheet, skin side up, and bake until soft and tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and cook until softened, about 2 minutes more. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about l minute.
Add the chicken sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the apple, sage, thyme, broth, wine, and kale. Mix well and cook until the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in the rice and remove from the heat.
Fill the acorn squash cavities with the rice and sausage mixture, about a generous ¾ cup each. Transfer to a large casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
→ FREEZE AND SERVE LATER: After stuffing the cavities, transfer to airtight containers or a large covered baking dish and transfer to the refrigerator or freezer. If reheating from frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes or in a 375° F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through.
This recipe is easy to transport making it a great potluck or holiday dish.
That looks amazing!!! A wonderful fall dish!!! I also want to try the oatmeal cups!!! Yummy!!!
Thanks Melody! This recipe is quintessential fall. The oatmeal cups are another winner recipe.
Now you got me all in my autumn feels! I am going to try this recipe over the weekend. I love this comfort vibe.
Thank you Linda. I love you are on the cooking ride with me. Let me know how it goes. Please feel free to use what you have on hand as this recipe is adaptable. That is what this cookbook is all about.
I can’t get enough of pumpkin at this time of the year. These stuffed acorns look droolicious with that black rice filling.
Thanks Angie! After this long hot summer, I am ready for all things fall.
Love this! I love stuffing. You can do so much with stuffing, like grains, vegetables, meat, and so forth. Cheese… So much fun. These are beautiful.
Thank you Chef Mimi! The options of stuffing is endless which makes this base recipe such a good one. I am going to make a vegan one next.
Sooo beautiful and yummy… and I can add my veggie protein chicken instead of the real thing!!! Can’t wait to try!!!
That is a great idea. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Fresh Food in a Flash
These are beautiful. I love wild rice from my (and yours) Minnesota homeland. I bring home a couple bags in my suitcase when I visit now. Will definitely try this one. I did another stuffed Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa, Cranberries and Pecans. Perfect vessels fro stuffing. https://freshfoodinaflash.com/2014/12/17/acorn-squash-with-red-quinoa-cranberries-and-pecans/
David Scott Allen
The book sounds really good, Cathy – and the stuffed squash looks amazing. And to think of all the variations you could make for the stuffing!
Thanks David. I am enjoying the cookbook and yes, oh the possibilities!
How did I miss this fabulous recipe? Love the combination of sausage and rice for the filling, and acorn squash is one of my favorites (way more than butternut, at least)! Thanks for sharing, Cathy, looks like a fabulous cookbook!
This recipe is so versatile. I just made it with mini pumpkins and it turned great as well.
Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy
Hi Cathy, this looks like a fabulous Fall recipe. I cant wait to try it. I’m wondering when the rice cooks. It sounds like the raw rice is mixed into the stuffing and then heats in the oven for 15 minutes. Any guidance is appreciated.
Thanks Dana! In step 4 of the directions it says to cook the rice according to the package. I understand this could be confusing as the ingredient list should have called for cooked rice, but I think the idea is that the rice is still hot when mixing it with the other ingredients. Hope this helps! Let me know.