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. If you’re looking for a way to eat healthy without disrupting the wonderfully festive, cozy vibes that make this time of year special, this is the recipe for you.

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.

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

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

4.89 from 42 votes
This cozy, hearty Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash with apples, mushrooms, and herbs is a fantastic blend of sweet and savory flavors. Easy and ultra delicious!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

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 wellplated.com 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!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




100 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. This looks and sounds delicious! I am going to make it for a friend’s birthday party this coming Friday. Thanks for your recipe.

  2. I made this a couple months ago and it was awesome! My husband and I don’t usually like squash… too sweet and mushy. This recipe is great with extra savory sausage and cheese, and plenty of non-squishy textures. It’s also plenty filling and makes a great little meal. Give it a shot! It was easy and worked well on the first try. Can’t wait to make it again!5 stars

  3. I enjoyed this dish very much and it was easy to follow.  I had ground turkey meat, I thought it maybe be too stiff and dry  so I added 1 pork sausage, and pieces of bacon.  I used fresh thyme because it is what I had and since I’ve seen a lot of subs in the comments I knew I would t ruin it by changing couple of things.  I really wanted to use my acorns already, not because I didn’t like the original recipe.  Mine turned out hearty low card meal.  Almost too filling for me.  Next tome I’ll forgo the bacon for sure, and maybe even sausage.  
    This was the first time I had acorn squash, I would eat it baked out of the over with salt, pepper and olive oil just like that.  I liked how squash flavor blended with meat, taking the edge off the meatiness and complementing the mushroom.  Loved the fall scent and flavors of nutmeg and allspice.  5 stars

  4. This recipe was super easy to make! I subbed allspice for cloves, and it was great. I also loved that this left me with very few dishes to wash— just a cutting board, mixing bowl, and a frying pan (plus utensils). I’d highly recommend this dish as a nice healthy fall dinner!5 stars

    1. Charlet, I honestly think that’s tough—the oven is your best bet. Otherwise, you could try slicing each squash into a few big pieces and gently reheating it in the microwave.

  5. Wonderful flavor and a very satisfying fall meal! Everyone loved it. Using fresh herbs really made a difference. (One note: the prep time listed does not include time for finely chopping the ingredients.) I will be making this again soon.5 stars

  6. This recipe sounds delicious and I’m planning on making it for dinner tonight, but I have one question. This may seem like a silly question, but I have never cooked or eaten acorn squash before. Do you only eat the filling and use the outer shell as a serving vessel, or do you eat the entire squash?

    1. Hi Ron – not silly at all! While the peel is edible, it is a matter of personal preference. If you find that you enjoy the peel, feel free to eat it too!

  7. The ingredients list 2 cloves of garlic but there is no mention in the directions on when to add it. Does it go in with the onion?

    1. Hi Cynthia! You’ll add the garlic with the mushrooms and spices. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  8. This is SUPER yummy! I used rotisserie chicken and I had to substitute cloves for nutmeg, since I didn’t have any. It was crazy good. I also saved the seeds from the acorn squash and fried them in my air fryer with some chili lime seasoning. Don’t miss out on that!5 stars

  9. I had this at a friends house yesterday. I loved it!!! We all loved it!!! Today on my lunch hour I went to the grocery to pick up the ingredients I didn’t already have and made it for dinner tonight!!! Great and hearty fall meal! Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! I’ve sent it to a few of my foodie friends. I know they’ll enjoy it!5 stars

  10. This was amazing! I skipped the shrooms, cut the recipe in half and just wagered on the amount of the spices, etc. Can’t wait for more.5 stars

  11. Perfect meal for a chilly fall night. I added fresh cranberries and kale, and cooked them down in the sausage mixture with a little chicken broth to mix up the filling! I can always count on finding a great recipe here when I search based on ingredients I have on hand :)5 stars

  12. This was so delicious! I added brown rice as suggested! It was so filling and satisfying! And tasted like fall! I added roasted brussel sprouts and a spinach salad! Perfect accompaniments! 5 star!!!5 stars

  13. Wow, this recipe was absolutely delicious! My grocery store didn’t carry any acorn squash, so I made it with spaghetti squash and it was still amazingly tasty! I added in some extra cinnamon which balanced nicely with the apples. Can’t wait to try it again with acorn squash!5 stars

  14. This sounds very tasty! Can’t wait to try it out. Quick question on the sausage, in the ingredients list it says 1 lb of the chicken or turkey sausage, but then says about 2 links. Which amount would be correct for the regular 1x recipe ratio? Most sausages at my grocery store 2 links would be about 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound. I’m sure it would be tasty with either amount but don’t want to short change or over do on the first time around. :) Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna! The number of links can definitely differ based on brand, so I’d recommend using whatever amount gives you 1 pound. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  15. My 7 year old and I loved this recipe! Never had stuffed acorn squash before, but now it must become a fall staple. Thanks for the storage and reheat instructions as well!

    My son doesn’t like mushrooms :( so I substituted diced zucchini as I think both are slightly “earthy”.5 stars

  16. This was excellent! I really enjoyed it and it was pretty easy to prepare. I used less oil, just sprayed it on, and more parmesan–adding it to the filling as well as putting it on top–and probably less sausage because I just used what I had in the fridge, and it was great! Thanks, it was just what I wanted.5 stars

  17. I made this for dinner tonight and the sweet and savory combo was on point!! So delicious!!! Thanks for sharing it =)5 stars

  18. This is an OMG recipe! Better than anything else on the Thanksgiving menu…It’s at least 5 stars! Used apple chicken sausage and peeled the casings off. Added wild rice but it really wasn’t necessary. Fit for royalty.5 stars

  19. Delicious. Made an excellent winter dinner. Will definitely make it again. Prepared squash in AM and saved final baking until evening. Got it out of refrigerator an hour early to come up to room temp and then baked it for 20. Great! Thinking about adding more apple next time as well as some chopped walnuts for crunch.5 stars

  20. My second time making this recipe. I had to make some modifications. I didn’t have apples nor mushrooms. So I used half a can of apple pie filling and a can of cream of mushroom soup. I also added a hand full of dried cranberries and walnuts. Then I topped it with mozzarella cheese and fresh ground Parmigiano. It was awesome.5 stars

  21. Very tasty! I didn’t have any parmesan on hand but I did have some leftover ricotta, which gave the filling a nice creamy texture. I also left out the mushrooms (neither my husband and I are mushroom fans) and went for extra sausage instead, and it worked out pretty well!5 stars

  22. I made this last night and it came out great and it’s an easy recipe. Per some others’ suggestions I added dried cranberries and walnuts to half just before stuffing the squash and we liked that better than the plain. The added texture of the walnuts was a plus. I don’t even like mushrooms but it ended up being like the mushrooms in chinese chicken lettuce wraps – you don’t really taste them and the rubbery texture is hidden. I’m not a big fan of sausage so next time I think I will try ground turkey mixed with some wild rice. I like how flexible the recipe can be.5 stars

  23. One of the best meals I’ve made for myself in a long time! Super easy if you have the time to cook the squash. I cooked the squash mostly, went ice skating, then finished it all off. Yum.5 stars

  24. This is one of the best acorn squash recipes I have come across!! I made a few substitutes and additions from what I had available! I used roasted garlic chicken sausage because I couldn’t find spicy Italian! I also used apple pie spice (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg) because I didn’t have nutmeg. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Added some finely chopped celery and carrots for texture as well. It came out perfect!! Will absolutely make again! Thank you!!!!5 stars

  25. Delicious! Absolutely love this – and even my toddlers did, too!! Thanks for another great dish to add to our dinner rotation!5 stars

  26. I didnt have sausage so i used salami and omitted the mushrooms. The family loved it and I will be making it again.5 stars

  27. Awesome! Only changes I made were browning the meat along with the vegetables because I live at altitude and it always takes longer for them to cook. Also went heavy on the spices but I do that with every recipe I find on the internet. But overall I would definitely make this again. Did use spicy sausage.5 stars

  28. Delish. I used spicey Italian chicken sausage and no mushrooms (didn’t have them). I enjoyed the sweet and savory taste. Will definitely repeT.5 stars

  29. This is one of our go-to dinners. We absolutely love it. We usually substitute a can of Apple Pie Filling or Apple Sauce instead of an actual apple, and it gives it a really sweet flavor. Since I hate mushrooms and onions, we substitute onion powder and just skip the mushrooms. Cheers!5 stars

  30. Made the recipe as is just tonight and its soooo good. My partner doesnt really like bread stuffings so this was the perfect recipe for me to find and it came out perfect. The filling is the exact amount you need and it’s a wonderful mix of savory and sweet. I used hot Italian sausage and added extra parmesan because we like parmesan but I am so so happy I tried this out. The perfect autumn recipe and is going to become a repeat recipe for us.5 stars

  31. Made this 3 links of BeyondMeat Hot Italian sausage. MY husband ate the whole things and said we should defiantly make this again. Used Dry sage, since I didnt have fresh, and was absolutely delicious!!5 stars

  32. This was delicious, will definitely make again next fall. My store didn’t have Italian chicken sausage so I used pork, the only change I made. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  33. This was really tasty and perfect for fall! Loved the blend of flavors and use of wholesome ingredients. Thank you for the great recipe – will definitely make again :)5 stars

  34. Generally this was pretty good. However, I think I’d add rice or couscous to the mix to make the filling a little less squash-y. Mozzarella might also be a good addition.3 stars

  35. I’ve made this today and it tasted weird to the point that I had to toss half of it. I used cooked Italian chicken sausage since the recipe called for turkey or chicken and that’s what was available at the store. It may have been better with regular Italian sausage. The apple flavor didn’t come through at all and sage and spices added made the stuffing taste overly spiced and strange. The roasted squash was really good on its on before the stuffing. The recipe sounded good on the books but didn’t work for me so I won’t attempt to remake it.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t a hit for you, Polina. Many others have tried it and enjoyed it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  36. Loved this recipe! Not a huge hit with a 3 and 1 year old, but that is to be expected. My husband and I loved it. I added dried 1/2 c or so of cranberries, a big handful of spinach, and a shake of bread crumbs (idea from another recipe). I didn’t have mushrooms on hand- but will try that next time! Broiled the stuffed acorn squash the last 3-5 mins of the 15 minute cook time. So good! A delicious fall recipe!5 stars

  37. This was phenomenal! (I made my own Whole30 friendly sweet italian pork sausage (TastesofLizzyT.com) to use for this.) It’s even better the next day. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. This one will be on repeat this fall and winter.5 stars

  38. This was a HUGE hit! I will definitely add it to our fall/winter meal rotation. What size squash did you use? There were varying sizes at the super market and I think the one I used may have been too small.5 stars

  39. Such a great recipe. My whole family loves it.
    I buy fairly large squash and we just each eat a half as our entree along with some fruit or simple dressed greens.
    Last time I made these I ran out of Parmesan, so I used some provolone and that was delicious. Someday I might try adding dried cranberries, or toasted finely chopped walnuts.5 stars