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turkey sausage-stuffed acorn squash

Where has the acorn squash been my whole life?! For the past 31 years, I've resolutely resisted squash . . . or anything remotely related to squash . . . or even vaguely squash like. 

I didn't have a good reason. It just didn't look like it could possibly taste good. 

But thanks to a steamer and a husband who loves vegetables, I gave in this winter and tried squash. 

AND I LIKE IT. It's kind of an Advent miracle. 

Part of the reason I love squash so much is that the chillier months allow my farmer and me to eat supper together every night, and squash has become a staple for mealtimes throughout the week. 

In the summer time, he often comes in later in the evening and I've already eaten because, well, I'm hungry and not eating until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. is, let's just say, not an option for my mental well-being. Or anyone's.

So sitting down together -- at both ends of our table -- with cloth Christmas napkins and good music on the radio while talking about work and what we've read and what we're planning and where we're headed is a true treat. 

It also makes me want to take more time on what we've having for supper, because if we have the time to chat and laugh over it, it might as well be worth it. 

Basically I'm trying to kick it up a notch from cocoa and toast, which I'd eat every night for supper in the winter if it were just me. 

Acorn squash or toast, cheeseburgers or Fruit Loops, making time to eat together -- to set goals, talk politics, dream about vacations and pray -- is always worth it. 

And so it this recipe for turkey sausage-stuffed acorn squash. 

Turkey Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

4 medium acorn squash
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lb. Italian turkey sausage link, casings removed
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. caraway seed
1/2 tsp. dried sage
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 T. minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
1 T. red wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Roast, hollow side down, in pan with 1/4 inch. water and halved tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage, mushrooms, apple, onion and dried seasoning over medium heat 8-10 minutes, breaking sausage into crumbles; drain. Add spinach, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

3. Carefully remove squash from pan. Drain liquid, reserving tomatoes. Return squash to pan, hollow side up. Stir cheese, vinegar, and tomatoes into the sausage mix. Spoon into squash. Bake 5-10 minutes or until squash is easily pierced with a fork. 

Note: I didn't have the fennel or caraway seed so I added a dash of a variety of random spices. I also steamed the squash in my steamer instead of baking it for the first 45 minutes. And it was delicious! 


  1. This sounds like a great winter time meal!

  2. We LOVE acorn squash in our home! I've never stuffed it (but will need to try your method soon) - I just cut ours in half, put the cleaned halves in a square Pyrex dish with a little water in the bottom, add a small pat of butter in each half, along with a teaspoon (or tablespoon for my husband) of brown sugar, a few shakes of salt & pepper (and cayenne for me), cover them loosely with vented saran wrap and then I microwave them for 6-8 minutes, or until soft. Our favorite side - any time of the year! :)

  3. Oooh, that looks good. We've been making them all fall with sage from the garden (adults), brown sugar (kids) and butter (all). I need to try your recipe because it's suddenly a main dish.

    1. Butter for all! I like how you Roberts think.


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