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For nights when you want your dinner to give you a hug: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash. This recipe is unabashedly cozy, low carb, and packed with protein and vegetables.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash halves with mushrooms, apples, and thyme

Golden acorn squash that’s baked until caramelized and tender, then stuffed with a harvesty blend of Italian sausage (I use chicken sausage to keep the recipe on the lighter side), mushrooms, apples, warm spices, and herbs, this recipe is super filling, easy to make, and healthy too.

I finished the Italian sausage stuffed acorn squash with Parmesan cheese, which is nutty and becomes bubbly and crisp while the squash bakes.

  • If you like, you can omit the cheese for a paleo sausage stuffed acorn squash.
  • OR you can go the total opposite route and add extra cheese to the filling to make the recipe a little extra decadent.

Stuffed vegetables are one of my favorite ways to cook and eat nutritious dinners at home, using whatever vegetables are in season.

In the fall and winter that means stuffed winter squash.

As with this Stuffed Butternut Squash, this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, and this Instant Pot Acorn Squash (stuffed with wild rice and chickpeas), stuffed squash recipes are hearty, taste excellent leftover, and every forkful offers vitamins and nutrients.

In addition to being a stellar weeknight main, this sausage stuffed acorn squash with apples and mushrooms is special enough to serve as an extra hearty side at a holiday meal.

For a more standard sized acorn squash side dish, try these brown sugar and pecan Baked Acorn Squash Slices.

Italian sausage stuffed acorn squash with cheese and herbs

How to Make Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cozy up to a big plate of this easy, healthy acorn squash recipe. Here’s what you need to make it.

The Ingredients

  • Italian Sausage. Italian chicken or turkey sausage is one of my favorite ingredients to add loads of flavor to a recipe, while keeping it lean (my Italian Sausage Skillet, Sausage and Peppers, and Italian Sausage and Rice Casserole are a few other favorites). You can use sweet or spicy Italian sausage, depending upon you and your family’s preference. We use spicy. I like its counterpoint to the sweetness of the squash.
  • Apples. The combination of apple and sausage is so tasty with acorn squash. The apples become nice and tender. I like to leave the peels on; you can’t taste them, and they provide a few extra nutrients.
  • Mushrooms. Chopped finely, the mushrooms nearly disappear into the filling, leaving you only with an extra savory flavor. If you are cooking for non-mushroom fans, you can omit them for a still delicious, simple recipe for apple sausage stuffed acorn squash.
  • Onion + Garlic. To up the savory factor and recipe complexity.
  • Sage and/or Thyme. These two classic fresh herbs make the squash taste special. Don’t use dried. Fresh will give you the results with which you will be the most happy.
  • Nutmeg and Allspice. Both are classic pairings with acorn squash. They make this apple sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe taste like home.
  • Parmesan. For a nutty, extra Italian finish.
Recipe for apple sausage stuffed acorn squash in a skillet

The Directions

  1. Bake the squash: Cut the squash, and scoop out the seeds. Lay the halves cut-sides up on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, until tender. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the filling: Brown the sausage in a large skillet. Add the vegetables, apple, salt, and spices. Stir until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through.
  3. Scoop out the squash flesh, leaving about 1/4-inch on all sides to act as a “wall”. Add the removed squash to the sausage mixture. Stir in the herbs and cheese.
  4. Mound the filling inside of the squash halves. Sprinkle extra cheese over the top, and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes until hot and melty. Serve hot, and ENJOY!
roasted acorn squash halves on a baking sheet

What Does Acorn Squash Taste Like?

Acorn squash tastes mildly sweet and nutty. Its flavor is not as bold as other winter squash varieties, which makes it wonderful for stuffing with other ingredients.

If you haven’t had acorn squash before but enjoy other winter squash recipes, definitely give it a taste! It’s one of the easiest squashes to prepare, and it’s delicious too.

Is Acorn Squash Healthy?

YES! Acorn squash is healthy.

  • Acorn squash low in calories.
  • Acorn squash contains vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium

How to Cut Acorn Squash

  • The easiest way to cut acorn squash is from stem to end.
  • Lay your squash on its side, and use a sharp chef’s knife to carefully make a cut on one side between two of the ridges. Keep pressure on the knife until you feel it reach the hollow center. If you feel your knife getting stuck, pull it out and start your cut again. Continue cutting on the same line, repositioning and flipping your squash over as needed, until you’ve cut all the way through around the bottom of the squash on both sides. Unless you’re using a very sharp chef’s knife, do not cut through the stem. Instead, lay your knife down, and grab the bottom end of the two halves, pulling them apart. The stem will stay on only one half, and you can leave it on for the roasting process.
  • My Tip. I like to score the flesh first to make sure I can safely cut all the way through the squash. To score, use the sharp tip to make a series of incisions in the shape of a dotted line, then cut all the way through the dotted as directed above.
Italian sausage stuffed acorn squash with apples and cheese

How to Store and Reheat Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • To Store. Place in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Place stuffed acorn squash in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom. Tent with foil, then rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until hot.
  • To Freeze. Let the squash cool to room temperature. Place one half of stuffed squash into a quart size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Put in the fridge until well chilled, and then transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat From Frozen. To reheat, remove a frozen squash half, and place it a in covered casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for and 45 to 50 minutes (from frozen). Add additional cheese as desired in the last 10 minutes of baking. You can also reheat the squash half in the microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • If you prefer, you can let the squash half thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm according to the “To Reheat” directions above.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a Grain. Stir 1 1/2 cups of a cooked whole grain into the filling prior to stuffing the squash. Sausage and rice stuffed acorn squash or farro and sausage stuffed acorn squash would both be wonderful. You can also mix the cooked filling with rice or farro after the squash is baked.
  • Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash. Follow this same recipe, but bake and stuff butternut squash halves instead. Note: you will need to adjust the baking time for the butternut squash halves, as it will need a bit longer (45 to 55 minutes) than the acorn squash.
  • Paleo Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash. Omit the cheese; ensure you are using a paleo-friendly sausage.
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries. Prior to stuffing the squash, stir 1/4 cup dried cranberries into the filling.
  • Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash. Swap the sausage for a 15-ounce can of rinsed and drained white beans, such as cannellini or white kidney beans. Stir the beans into the filling right before stuffing the squash.

Dishes that Go Well with Acorn Squash

While this stuffed acorn squash is a delicious all-in-one meal, here are a few ideas of what you could serve with it:

A pan filled with Italian sausage stuffed acorn squash with apples and cheese

We enjoyed this apple, mushroom, and sausage stuffed acorn first as a hearty dinner, and the leftovers were perfect reheated the next day.

My other favorite way to eat this was to scoop out the filling, mix it with cooked rice and sautéed greens, then sprinkle it with extra cheese for an acorn squash “bowl” effect.

However you enjoy it, this acorn squash recipe is sure to add some cozy warmth to your day.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage

4.77 from 122 votes
This cozy, hearty Stuffed Acorn Squash with sausage and mushrooms is a fantastic blend of sweet and savory flavors. Easy and delicious!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


For The Squash:

  • 2 acorn squash halved through from the stem to the base and seeds removed
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

For The Filling:

  • 1 pound Italian chicken or turkey sausage about 2 links, casings removed, sweet or spicy (we use spicy)
  • 8 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium sweet-crisp apple cored and finely diced (peel off or on; I left it on)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage thyme, or a mix (plus additional for serving)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese divided


  • Bake the squash: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. With a sharp, sturdy chef’s knife, carefully cut the squash in half from stem to base. Scoop out and discard the stringy core and seeds. Arrange the halves cut-sides up on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush each half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until the edges begin to wrinkle and the flesh is fork-tender. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  • While the squash bakes, prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage. Brown the meat, breaking it apart into small pieces for 3 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, onion, apple, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and minced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is cooked through, the vegetables and apple are softened, have given up liquid, and the liquid has cooked off, about 8 additional minutes.
  • When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out its flesh, leaving a wall all the way around that is about ¼-inch thick. Add the scooped squash to the pan with the sausage. Add the herbs and ¼ cup Parmesan. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
  • Mound the filling inside of the hollowed squash halves. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is nice and hot, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs as desired. Serve hot.


  • TO STORE: Place in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Place stuffed acorn squash in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom. Rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until hot.
  • TO FREEZE: Place one half of cooked stuffed squash into a quart size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Put in the fridge until well chilled, and then transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN: To reheat, remove a frozen squash half, and place it in a covered casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for and 45 to 50 minutes (from frozen). Add additional cheese as desired in the last 10 minutes of baking. You can also reheat the squash half in the microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • If you prefer, you can let the squash half thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm according to the “To Reheat” directions above.


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 26gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 71mgPotassium: 1330mgFiber: 6gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1087IUVitamin C: 62mgCalcium: 263mgIron: 13mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. As usual the prep is more time consuming than the recipe states, but MAN these were absolutely delicious. We used Impossible Sausage to make it a meatless meal. The combination of the savory squash and fall spices and the sweetness of the apples made a wonderful combination.5 stars

  2. It was like Vermont , pumpkin spice , Halloween , crisp air , fall leaves , sweaters in the morning , t-shirts in the afternoon, apple picking , and cider donuts exploded in my mouth 🤣😂🍁Fall in a bowl. I used hot Italian sausage.5 stars

  3. WOW this recipe is amazing! Boyfriend says it’s top 3 meals I have ever made for him, and I have to agree! 10/10 would make again. My only comment is that it took me about 2 hours with all the prep and everything, so I would plan for that if you’re not a super experienced chef!5 stars

  4. A beautiful and delicious fall dinner!! It even won over my husband who is not the biggest squash fan. I added wild rice into the stuffing so ended up with some extra. The excess stuffing plus some melty Italian cheeses went into quesadillas the next day. Highly highly recommend!5 stars

  5. I usually roll my eyes at recipe descriptions but yours was well formatted and very helpful to read. Glad to see you have a recipe book, you have my interest!5 stars

  6. If you want a stuffed squash recipe without rice and/or brown sugar, this one is it! First time making stuffed acorn squash and this recipe is easy to follow and make. Prepping filling while the squash is baking is a great idea. I used sulfite-free pork sausage (has a little spicy kick) instead of Italian sausage, halved the nutmeg, omitted the sage, included 1tsp French thyme. I did not peel the apple (used a lunchbox Gala) and it added just the right amount of sweet. I was running short of time and didn’t want to wait until the squash cooled, so I held onto the stem end with tongs while I scooped. 40 minutes in the oven cooks the squash enough to scoop out the insides, but not so much that the squash collapses, which is why I was able to use the tongs. My husband loved the results. This one goes in the ‘favorites’ section of my recipes.5 stars

  7. I made for the first time and it’s now being made as our Main dish for Thanksgiving. Love this recipe flavor and easy to make.5 stars

  8. Low carb, delicious meal. Loved the spices and tasted great. The parmesan cheese adds a beautiful touch at the end. Make sure you have the time to cook it.5 stars

  9. Sorry. I hated it. Waste not want not. I seperated the filling from the remaining squash and put it into stuffed mushrooms. I used the acorn squash flesh to make a slightly sweet puree with butter and a touch of brown sugar.
    I loved the components, just not the combination.
    Served this with some chipotle raspberry glazed chicken thighs and sautéed zucchini and beauty was shared by all.
    3 stars because the stuffing was outstanding! Only 3 due to my particular tastes.3 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Jessica. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it not turn out for you.

  10. We made this and got to enjoy it twice. Our squash were small, so we had a lot of filling leftover. I mixed the filling with some beaten eggs and sprinkled cheese on top – it made a delicious breakfast casserole the next morning!5 stars

  11. This website has an insane amount of ads it’s hard to even see the recipe and instructions!! Please consider less ads on your website, it’s hard to be inundated all the time by tacky advertisements.

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

  12. This was the BEST I have ever had. Thank the only modification I made was when baking the squash we did add a little butter and brown sugar and doubled the spice and garlic. Sooooo good!!5 stars

  13. five stars with me!!! So surprisingly delicious!! The prep was a lot but SOOO worth it!! Will be making this again!! Thank You!!5 stars

  14. This was delicious and very easy but I did alter the recipe after tasting. I felt like the stuffing was a little sweet and so I added a healthy amount of crushed red pepper (1-2tsp). This version with the added spiciness worked VERY well with the spices and sweet and savory flavors.5 stars

  15. I don’t care for mushrooms so I substituted with lentils that I had made earlier in the week. I’m not ready for the warm spices so I substituted the nutmeg with coriander and a pinch of cumin for the allspice, and had fresh parsley on hand instead of sage. It was delicious! Looking forward to colder weather to try the warmer spices.5 stars

  16. These are an absolute labor of love but completely worth it. The prep takes way longer than anything else, but it’s smooth sailing once you actually start cooking.

    I had some ground lamb I needed to use so subbed that for the sausage, adding some red pepper flakes, oregano and fennel seed to mimic the flavor profile. Also added two finely diced parsnips.

    Otherwise made as written, seasoning from the heart (ie: a little more of everything).

    Came together beautifully and was able to share with some friends. Our acorn squash were freakishly large so we’ve gotten a few meals out of this. Served with a crunchy chopped salad for some texture variation.

    10/10, perfect recipe to usher in the fall!5 stars

  17. Just made this tonight and it was a big hit. I hate Italian sausage and my sister doesn’t eat pork so I subbed beef chorizo. Of course I forgot she won’t eat onions or mushrooms either so… lol I was making for a 78 and an 82 year old so I did a super fine chop on the onion, apple, and mushrooms (my pampered chef food chopper made quick work of it) so it had a smooth texture and the chorizo gave it just a bit of spice. I didn’t have fresh herbs but it was still great with the dried sage and thyme. My aunt asked if I saved the recipe. She doesn’t eat much so the fact that she ate a whole (although relatively small) squash half was great. We will be having this again! I might experiment with different sausages.5 stars

  18. Delicious! I made the recipe exactly as is and we all loved it! I may add some toasted walnuts in it next time. I did not think the prep was bad at all…but I prep during the day and cook later to break it up. Will make again?4 stars

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