I’m obsessed with squash.
Roasted with coconut oil and brown sugar.
Spaghetti-ed with marinara and lentil meatballs.
Diced up in chili.
Like I said, obsessed. I have however, met people who are not so obsessed with squash. Do they like it? Do they not like it? Mostly, they are indifferent. To them, squash is this random thing they sometimes eat pureed and stuffed into a fall ravioli. So yeah, that sounds delicious, but what about the other 364 days of the year?
This recipe = game changer. No longer is squash a side on your plate, it’s become the main event. I first imagined this combo when we were visiting my friend Hannah in Seattle. Mostly, we were struggling to use up all of her CSA veggies (and then some). I later got Hannah the CSA Cookbook to help out with this issue, because I unfortunately can’t cook dinner with her every night. We’re usually on the same page about food and like to go for the “filling but not full of crap” options. So – now you’re starting to see why we get along so well.
Hannah and I go back to freshman year at UW-Madison when we lived across the hall from one another in Chadbourne. If you’re familiar with the UW campus, you’ll know that most people call this dorm “Nerd-bourne” because a lot of the international students live there. What would I say to those people? Two words – air conditioning. That, and you never woke up to puke outside your door on Sunday morning. No, this tangent doesn’t have anything to do with squash.
This recipe is verrry filling. I would say that one squash half is definitely enough for a meal, but you can easily pair this with salad or roasted veggies. The kale is a also a great addition to get those greens in. I found some vegan sausages at Whole Foods for this recipe, but you could easily use ground “sausage” or soy-rizo too!
First things first, cutting the squash. In most cases, I lean towards recipes with butternut squash cubes because then I can go to Trader Joe’s and buy the pre-cut bag. This however, is not the case. You will want to cut each end off the squash so that it sits flat when cut in half, open side up. Then cut each squash in half, removing the pulp with a spoon. Again, use a sharp knife and make sure you have good leverage to apply pressure. I have to say that the last time I made these (at Hannah’s) I was about three G&Ts deep so there may have been some whacking against the cutting board involved. Avoid this if possible.
Aside from the squash hacking, this recipe is super easy. Everything gets roasted, sautéed and stuffed; it really couldn’t be easier. Also, if you’re looking to impress your friends because you are a very sophisticated adult – these turn out beautiful. I kid you not my roommate said, “They are so cute, they look straight out of a magazine” (gushes to self).
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Servings: 6, serving size 1/2 squash
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 3 acorn squash, cut in half with ends chopped off and pulp removed
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP salt
- 1 TBSP ground black pepper
- 170g vegan sausage, diced into small chunks *
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 TBSP herbs de provence
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
- 3 cups kale, washed and cut into strips
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Line baking sheet with silicone pad or aluminum foil for easy clean up and grease lightly with olive oil or coconut oil. The coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s is my jam.
- Prepare squash by cutting off each end so that it sits flat when you cut in half, open side up. Remove the pulp from the insides and place open side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil and then sprinkle salt and pepper over the squash. Roast for 35 minutes.
- While the squash is in the oven, heat coconut oil in a large skilled over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, herbs de provence, and diced onion and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add apple and sausage and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the kale to the skillet. You may have to add it in smaller additions if your pan is not quite big enough. That’s totally fine. Once the kale has all wilted slightly and darkened, stir to combine.
- At this point, your squash should be done roasting. Remove from the oven and evenly distribute the filling between the 6 halves. Sprinkle 1/2 TBSP of brown sugar on each half and place back in the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes. Squash should pull away from the skin easily and the brown sugar should be melted.
- While these taste best eaten fresh, they make great leftovers. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week and 2 months in the freezer.
* I used 3 Field Roast Italian links, but you can use whatever your heart desires.