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This sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe holds a special place in my heart — it was one of the first recipes I ever shared on Wholesome Yum. Back then, I used to make it with delicata squash and ground beef. Over time, I’ve come to prefer the sweet, nutty flavor of winter acorn squash, and I made it even more flavorful using ground sausage. It’s one of my favorite healthy dinner recipes for fall!
Why You’ll Love This Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Sweet, tender acorn squash with caramelized edges
- Savory sausage filling with tart cranberries and creamy goat cheese
- Fresh, simple ingredients
- Makes a complete meal
- Easy enough for weeknights, but would also look festive for Christmas
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for stuffed acorn squash with sausage, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Acorn Squash – This is the perfect fall squash and has a sweet, nutty flavor. Look for squash that weigh around 2 pounds each, as they are the perfect size to hold the hearty filling. This stuffed acorn squash recipe will still work with larger or smaller squash, though. You could even use the same stuffing inside butternut squash, delicata squash, kabocha squash, or even buttercup squash if you like.
- Olive Oil – Used for roasting the squash and sauteing the filling. Any neutral heat-safe oil, such as avocado oil, also works.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Onion – I used a white onion, but you can also use yellow onion or even red onion if you like.
- Garlic – You can use 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic for convenience, but I prefer to use fresh garlic cloves.
- Ground Sausage – I originally made this stuffed squash recipe with ground beef, but later found that ground Italian sausage makes it more flavorful. Feel free to use ground beef if you like, or other ground meats, such as ground turkey or ground chicken. One key difference is that sausage already comes pre-seasoned, so if you use another type of meat, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning to the meat.
- Fresh Cranberries – Adds tartness and burst of color to this dish, and if you happen to have any extras, you can whip up some sugar-free cranberry sauce. If you aren’t a fan of cranberries, you can swap them for 1 cup finely diced apples (use a sweet variety like Honeycrisp or Gala) with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Fresh Herbs – Fresh rosemary and thyme leaves are perfect here. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to replace each tablespoon of fresh ones.
- Goat Cheese – I love the creamy tang of goat cheese in this dish. Feta cheese makes a good substitute if you don’t have any. You can also omit the cheese if you need to make this dish dairy-free.
How To Make Stuffed Acorn Squash
This section shows how to make sausage stuffed acorn squash, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Roast the squash. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise, from stem to tip, and remove the seeds. Drizzle the inside of both halves with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet, cut side down, and bake until tender.
- Saute the aromatics. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Brown the meat. Add the ground sausage, breaking apart with a spatula. Increase to medium-high heat the sausage until browned.
- Add the cranberries, rosemary, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until the cranberries are soft.
- Add the cheese. Remove the meat mixture from heat and stir in the goat cheese.
- Assemble the stuffed acorn squash. Spoon the meat filling into the squash. If you like, garnish with extra thyme leaves.
Variations On Stuffed Acorn Squash
I love stuffed veggie recipes! From stuffed peppers to stuffed portobello mushrooms, there are so many ways to fill them. Stuffed acorn squash recipes are no different — you can add all kinds of fillings. Here are some other stuffing ideas to try:
- Mediterranean – Swap sausage for ground lamb, season with Mediterranean herbs like oregano and thyme, and stuff with a mixture of diced tomatoes, sliced olives, and feta cheese. You can also try the stuffing from my Greek stuffed tomatoes.
- Vegetarian – For a vegetarian stuffed acorn squash, replace the sausage with cooked quinoa and a variety of sauteed vegetables like bell peppers, sauteed zucchini, and sauteed mushrooms. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, or leave it off for a vegan option.
- Italian – For an Italian twist, stuff your acorn squash with the stuffing from my stuffed zucchini boats or lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash.
- Mexican – Brown some ground beef with taco seasoning and stuff your acorn squash with it. Add diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, and melt shredded cheddar cheese on top for a Mexican flair. For a fajita flavor, use the stuffing from my chicken stuffed peppers instead.
- Store: Place leftover stuffed acorn squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Warm in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or use the microwave for a quicker option.
- Freeze: Cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or place in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat from frozen if needed, but it’s much faster if you thaw in the fridge overnight.
What To Serve With Stuffed Acorn Squash
This sausage stuffed acorn squash makes a complete meal on it’s own — that’s one of my favorite things about it! But if you want to add a little something, try one of these:
- Salad – Kale salad is my favorite pairing and is perfect for fall and winter, but a simple arugula salad also works well and takes minutes to assemble.
- Soup – A warm bowl of roasted tomato soup or creamy tomato bisque adds a comforting touch to this cozy meal. Panera Autumn squash soup makes the perfect fall side, but for a special holiday meal, try lobster bisque as your starter.
- Rice – Make your favorite kind, or opt for cauliflower rice if you want a lighter option.
More Winter Squash Recipes
Looking for more ways to enjoy a winter squash? Here are some of my favorite winter squash recipes:
Stuffed Acorn Squash
This stuffed acorn squash recipe with sausage, cranberries, and goat cheese is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. An easy dinner for fall!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Prepare a medium baking sheet by lining it with foil or parchment paper, or you can leave it bare if it’s a good non-stick surface. (If using a bare pan or lining with foil, brush lightly with oil. This is not necessary with parchment paper.)
Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise, from stem to tip. (The easiest way to do this is to start along a ridge in the middle, then work toward the tip and the stem from there. It can also help to score where you plan to cut before slicing.) Scoop out the seeds.
Use half of the olive oil (1 tablespoon) to drizzle the inside of both halves. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet, cut side down. (You can roast cut side up if you like, but cut side down makes it more caramelized and less dry.)
Roast the acorn squash for 25-40 minutes, until the squash is tender when poked with a fork or knife, and the edges are browned.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown.
Add the garlic. Cook for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the ground sausage and break the pieces apart with a spoon or spatula. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook for 8-10 minutes, continuing to break apart and stir occasionally, until browned. If needed, drain excess grease from the skillet.
Stir in the cranberries, rosemary, and thyme. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cranberries are soft.
Remove the meat mixture from heat and stir in the goat cheese.
Stuff acorn squash with the meat filling. If desired, garnish with extra fresh thyme.
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Serving size: 1 stuffed acorn squash half
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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