This Acorn Squash with Sausage & Rice Stuffing is a delicious Fall dinner idea.
Acorn Squash is my favorite out of all of the wonderful Fall squashes that you’ll find these days in the produce section of your local supermarket. It has a mild flavor that goes wonderfully with so many foods, and it’s the perfect vessel for this Acorn Squash with Sausage & Rice Stuffing.
Seriously – who wouldn’t love sitting down to dinner and seeing this gorgeous dish on their plate?
The soft, lightly sweet squash is perfectly paired with the zesty Italian sausage and rice, and fresh cranberries throughout the rice stuffing add a burst of fresh-tart flavor in every bite.
How do you make Acorn Squash with Sausage & Rice Stuffing?
You’ll start by cooking up some brown rice. We used long-grain brown rice in our recipe today (because it’s what we had on hand), but you can swap in short-grain brown rice, or even white rice if you prefer.
As the rice cooks, prepare your acorn squash for roasting. Cut the squash in half (across the horizon or width of the squash, not through the stem) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Snap off the stem of the acorn squash, if it’s still attached, then slice off the point of the opposite end. You want each half to sit flat with the inside flesh of the squash facing up.
Brush the inside flesh with oil, then place it flesh-side down on an oiled, foil-lined sheet pan. Roast until tender – about 30 to 45 minutes. Then turn each squash half over so the cavity faces up.
Then fill each cavity with a delicious stuffing made with the cooked brown rice, cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, fresh cranberries, kale, and Parmesan cheese. (We used a large ice cream scoop like this (affiliate link) to get that perfect domed shape.)
Sprinkle some more grated Parmesan cheese on top, then bake the Acorn Squash with Sausage & Rice Stuffing in the oven to heat through and brown a bit on top. Serve immediately.
Can I make this Acorn Squash with Sausage & Rice Stuffing ahead of time?
Yes – but note that the cooking times listed in the recipe below assume that both the acorn squash halves and sausage and rice stuffing are already hot when assembled. Chilled ingredients will take longer to heat through.
To minimize the reheating time, you can roast off the acorn squash and prepare the sausage and rice stuffing ahead of time, then assemble and heat through just before serving. (At the very least, bring the squash and stuffing to room temperature, but you could also fully preheat both before assembling and baking.)
This recipe is gently adapted from Savory magazine’s Stuffed Autumn Acorn Squash recipe.
You may enjoy these other Fall-inspired dishes:
- Autumn Pork Stew
- Fall Harvest Vegetarian Corn and Butternut Chowder
- Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash Purée (Prepared 3 Ways)
- Acorn Squash and Pear Soup
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large acorn squash (try to pick squash that are short and squat instead of long and pointy tipped)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup sweet onion, diced medium
1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped fine, or half that of dried
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 ½ cups fresh kale leaves chopped fine
2 tablespoons water
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for tops
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium sauce pan, place rice, stock, water, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a light simmer, cover and cook until tender. Depending on the type of brown rice you buy, the timing will vary from 35 to 50 minutes. Go by rice package directions. Once done, remove cover and fluff.
While rice is cooking, cut the squash across the center on the horizon and remove the seeds. Snap off the stem if there is one and if the other end has a point, nip off the end so it sits flat.
Line a sheet tray with foil and brush the foil with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Use two more tablespoons of olive oil and brush the cut edges and insides of each squash half then set cut side down onto the oiled foil.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender. Invert and set aside. Leave the oven at 425 degrees F.
While squash and rice are cooking, in a large saute pan, place the rest of the olive oil and over medium heat add onions, sage, salt, pepper and pepper flakes and cook three minutes.
Add the sausage and break up into small pieces while browning.
Once the sausage has cooked, add cranberries, kale and water and cook for about five minutes until kale has wilted.
Remove from heat and stir in all of the cooked rice and the half cup of Parmesan cheese.
Replace the foil on the pan with a clean sheet and place the six acorn squash halves cut side up and divide the rice filling between them, mounding in a round pile. I found it easiest to use a large ice cream scoop to divide the filling.
Sprinkle on a little Parmesan over each top and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is hot and just starts to brown on top.
Keywords: acorn squash with sausage & rice stuffing